Steve Bruce has praised Yoshinori Muto’s effort levels in training, admitting the forgotten forward “hasn’t had a fair crack of the whip” during his time at Newcastle.
The former Mainz star found the net in our latest training game with Middlesbrough this week and spoke after the game about his eagerness to impress at Premier League level
Bruce is clearly sympathetic and impressed with his attitude in training, yet has handed him just 201 minutes of top flight football all season, with us only two starts coming in 5-0 and 0-3 defeats to Leicester.
Here’s what Bruce told The Chronicle after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Middlesbrough at the club’s Benton base:
“I don’t think he’s had a fair crack of the whip.
“He trains everyday as if it’s his last.
“He scored a goal (vs Boro) so let’s hope it helps him the next week.”
To say the Japanese international has failed to make an impact since he arrived from Germany in 2018 would be an understatement, however Bruce is right in what he says – he’s barely been given a chance to show what he’s capable of.
You do, however, have to question just why both he and Rafa Benitez have failed to give the 27-year-old game time, especially when he appears to have a good attitude and work hard in training.
The language barrier / failure to follow instructions came up during his difficult first season under Benitez, while he’s been behind Joelinton, Carroll and Gayle in the pecking order since Bruce arrived, also struggling to get a game out wide now we’ve got Saint-Maximin and Almiron.
Has Muto just been unlucky, or do you think there’s a good reason why starts have been so few and far between?