Since scoring the winner against Manchester United on Sunday, Newcastle’s Matty Longstaff has found himself being compared to various midfielders by the media and some pundits.
He has almost become a household name overnight, such was his impact at the weekend, and even had Martin Keown labelling him as being “like Paul Scholes” on BBC’s Match Of The Day 2 [BBC i-Player 35m30s].
Similarly, Matty’s brother Sean has been dubbed “the new [Michael] Carrick”, due to having a similarly combative style to the Geordie born Manchester United star.
Carrick himself has described it as “unfair” to compare Sean Longstaff and himself.
The Chronicle quote Carrick as saying: “I don’t like comparisons to be honest. It’s not fair on Sean if anything.
“He is carving his own career out for himself and has got his own traits and strengths.”
Players should be allowed to make their own name in the game
Comparisons like these are flattering for the players, but they are also dangerous for their development.
As soon as they are likened to a top footballer, they are immediately under extra scrutiny, and carry the burden of pressure that accompanies it.
We have heard it all before over previous players at Newcastle.
So many times a player was going to be the new Alan Shearer or the next Paul Gascoigne. On most of those occasions, the players in question have never reached anywhere near that level.
Pundits, journalists and fans should all just let Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff, or any other player who may emerge from their various academies, be themselves and let them create their own legacy.
Of course, if they achieve the levels of success they are tipped for, it would then only be a matter of time until a new crop of youngsters are being seen as the new Sean Longstaff.