Jermaine Jenas believes Joelinton probably has his “best game in a Newcastle shirt” on Friday night…but in a “weird way”.
The former Mag thought the Brazilian gave Tyrone Mings a torrid time and played really well in parts, yet feels any of this good work ended up meaning nothing when his quality in key moments always let him down.
It probably says a lot about his time on Tyneside that even one of his best displays was filled with moments you’d not expect from a ‘£40m’ player, with his decision making in the final third and lack of confidence in front of goal proving costly on more than one occasion.
Here’s what Jenas had to say about his performance on Match of the Day, believing he had to shoot in the second half – not square it to a surrounded Ryan Fraser:
“I think there were times in the game where Newcastle played really well,”
“Joelinton potentially had his best game in a Newcastle shirt but it all seemed to fall apart once they got in that 18 yard box.
“Even into the final third, some of the decision making at times…
“Dwight Gayle and Fraser have got to get closer into positions where they can score goals. Joelinton doesn’t get his shot off in the first half.
“These are the situations Steve Bruce is talking about.
“We know Joelinton isn’t a true centre-forward and these situations explain that. Just shoot there and anything can happen.
“It was a negative pass.
“In a weird way it was his best game in a Newcastle shirt and he gave Tyrone Mings a torrid time but it doesn’t really matter because he doesn’t score goals.”
If Joelinton was a £5m buy from Brazil and we weren’t in the middle of a relegation fight then you could perhaps excuse some of his mistakes and take positives from him getting the better of an England international last Friday.
However, the reality is he cost EIGHT times that and is currently the man we need to step up to keep us in the Premier League – yet he’s looking like a dear in the headlights in positions you’d expect your club record signing to deliver in.
His link up play, work rate and ability to bully Mings was impressive in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, but all of that means little when his final ball was so poor.