I think we can all agree that Joelinton looked a FAR more confident and competent player in that no.10 role just off Callum Wilson against Burnley.
It was arguably his best display in a black and white shirt, giving us a glimpse of the player who convinced us to pay big last summer. This raises the question – why on earth did Bruce play him on the right-hand side of midfield against Man Utd?!
It’s been over 48 hours since the defeat that was essentially a comedy of errors, but the role Joelinton was played was the worst of them all.
I’ve really done my research, and I can’t find a single trace of him EVER playing on the right-side, for anyone.
We can’t make excuses for the way he played – he was sloppy, the ball looked to bounce off him at times and he (not for the first time) showcased none of the attributes that made him a £40 million player. But seriously – what chance has he got if he plays brilliantly in the role that suits him one week then spends the next week on the right-hand side of a defensive, five-man midfield?!
He was simply lumped out on the right and constantly found himself isolated, with no options ahead of him and looking lost throughout.
It’s frustrating because It just feels like an extension of Bruce’s ‘hope for the best’ policy. What philosophy is there behind any of our play, never mind sticking a player, who is still lacking for confidence, in a completely alien position.
Anyone can see that Joelinton doesn’t look like playing on the right. If he’s not in the centre, he prefers to be on the left, cutting inside and driving towards goal. That’s the way he’s played his entire career.
It’s taken Bruce over a year to the Brazilian isn’t a number nine, yet (somehow) he’s still playing him out of position now he’s moved him away from that lone striker role.
Let’s just hope that he’s back in a more natural role position for Wolves on Sunday!