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Andrew Musgrove

Kieran Trippier's Lineker-Gazza moment during semi-final reaffirms Newcastle leadership qualities

In the moments that Bruno Guimaraes was initially shown a caution for his tackle on Samuel Edozie, Kieran Trippier ran over toward the Newcastle United bench. In a moment not too dissimilar to Gary Lineker in the 1990 World Cup, Trippier pointed to his eye and seemed to suggest - like Paul Gascoigne on that infamous night in Turin - Bruno was losing control.

It's just another moment in Trippier's so-far-short Toon career that goes to reaffirm his standing as a top leader. The bench seem to take the warning aboard with manager Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall turning to talk to one another before the referee headed over to the pitch-side monitor.

Bruno, of course, then saw his yellow card rescinded and was shown red for the tackle - and an initial burst of anger at the referee shifted to tears as the Brazilian pulled his shirt over his head and headed down the tunnel. Trippier was with him all the way to the touchline.

READ MORE: Eddie Howe's 'not happy' message should worry Manchester United and unseen Newcastle farewell

Firstly, calming him down in the initial seconds after the dismissal, and then with a comforting arm as he left the pitch. It was the work of a true leader and captain.

As Bruno was taken down the tunnel, Trippier began gesturing and organising his teammates to ensure the void left by the midfielder was filled the best it could be.

As St James' Park felt a wave of nerves - playing 10 men against a Southampton side with nothing to lose understandably set the nerves away - Trippier turned to the Gallowgate and waved his arms about. It was an attempt to get the crowd going, and alongside Joelinton, the fans duly obliged.

Every tackle and clearance that followed was roared by the fans, again mostly with the encouragement of Trippier's gesturing. In the end, Newcastle secured the place in the final and news then filtered through that Bruno's three-match suspension would run for all domestic games - meaning he'll miss the next three Premier League games and not the final.

Trippier was the first signing of the new era and has been the transformational piece for Newcastle and Eddie Howe.

A man with quality on the ball, Trippier had the most touches of any Newcastle player in the second-leg and made the most key passes (5). His leadership qualities have also set the standard for what has come since.

His simple yet important leadership on the pitch has helped to catapult Newcastle toward the top of the Premier League table and a cup final. From calming his teammates down to ushering them away from the referee, Trippier is in control.

Howe after the game said of Trippier: "From day one he brought a real leadership, a huge determination to increase standards of professionalism, but not only that, he got injured very early in his time [here] so we missed him on the pitch and he was brilliant off the pitch, and now we’re seeing this season how incredible he is for us. Down that right-hand side he’s been a crucial part of our success."

And who could put it better than that? Kieran Trippier, leading Newcastle United into their first cup final in more than two decades.


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