It doesn’t take much to become a hero on Tyneside.
A little bit of loyalty, a good sense of humour, and a willingness to put in 110% every time you step out onto the pitch is all it really takes, and all of those qualities can be massively helped by a belief that the Toon Army are a genuinely big club.
Players who shirk their responsibility or see the Magpies as a stepping stone are rarely remembered with great fondness, but those that by into the ethos of the fanbase and properly try to improve themselves and the club are justifiably regarded as cult heroes.
And judging by his early showings, young Matty Longstaff should definitely be on the path to heroism.
The prodigy, brother of last season’s breakout star Sean, may not have made his competitive first team debut just yet, but he is already making the right kind of sounds to ensure that he is incredibly popular amongst the local fanbase.
And his latest comments on where he would like to see the Magpies finish this term will only have helped to enhance his profile amongst supporters.
Speaking to Football Focus, he said: “Love to make the Champions League. You never know to be fair.
“Leicester won the league so you never know.”
A place at Europe’s top table may be beyond the Toon Army this term, or for a few more terms to come for that matter, but at the very least, Longstaff’s comments show a player who has his priorities in order.
He wants to see the club grow and improve, and he is clearly hungry for success in a black and white shirt.
If United are ever to get back to the glory days of Champions League football, that is the mindset they will need.
This article was originally posted here