The Mirror’s Simon Bird claims Steve Bruce is seriously considering leaving Joelinton out of the side ahead of this weekend’s trip to Wolves.
The north-east reporter questions whether the misfiring Brazilian will be given a ‘rest’ to protect his mental state after a ‘confidence-wrecking’ in the side, with him berated by Newcastle fans following our 1-1 draw at Rochdale last weekend.
He suggests there’s a ‘strong’ chance Bruce will take him out of the firing line as a result – and his case for doing so will only have been increased after Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle returned to training this week.
Here’s a snippet from his latest piece for The Mirror:
“This is one solution Bruce is exploring (leaving him out). Does he need a rest, mentally from the pressure of his confidence-wrecking spell of poor form and missed chances, more than physically?
“Sometimes sitting out a game or two out, studying it, seeing a bigger picture of how you can do better, can revitalise a struggling player.
“Bruce will be considering this as a strong option for the trip to Wolves . Only Bruce and the coaches who work with Joelinton know what his mood is in training, how team mates are rallying around, and whether he’s banging in goals and doing the business in sessions we don’t see.“
I’ve defended Joelinton – and am always a believer in giving new signings a chance to settle in and come good before judging them too quickly (especially young players arriving from abroad) – but he’s becoming difficult to defend now.
His lack of quality in front of goal has been worrying, even when of some of his approach play has been promising, however it was the lack of desire and poor body language that was most disappointing to see at Rochdale for me.
He’s clearly shot for confidence, but he must learn that putting himself about, working hard and battling for every ball are the LEAST we expect from our club record signing – and the easiest way to get fans back onside.
If he’s left in the side I’d play him out wide and keep Andy Carroll up top – someone he could earn a thing or two from – however I wouldn’t be surprised if Bruce took him out the firing line this weekend.