Many Newcastle United fans have been reacting on social media to Joelinton’s appalling touch map away to Arsenal during Sunday’s 4-0 defeat.
Joelinton opened the Premier League fixture as head coach Steve Bruce’s designated centre-forward, but the boss would later be left astonished when it was revealed to him that the 23-year-old only took three touches inside the Gunners’ penalty area.
“In the opposition box? Really?” Bruce queried, per quotes by BBC Sport. “That seems a strange stat. We have to find a way of scoring more and certainly Joe of being more selfish.
“He has played a lot of his career to a side and not played as an out-and-out number nine. He is 23-years-old, he has a lot to learn and give.”
Joelinton starting Sunday’s match at striker was the 29th time this season across all competitions that Bruce has deployed him in the role, with the boss only tasking the Brazilian with playing elsewhere when fielded at left-wing against Burnley in December.
Where should Bruce field Joelinton vs Palace on Saturday?
The move to left-wing failed to see Joelinton end what is now a 23 league game goal drought as we drew 0-0 at Turf Moor, but the forward frequently preferred to drift out to that position at the Emirates Stadium over the weekend.
A vast majority of his 47 touches were taken on the left-flank of our offence in North London, while often centred on the edge of the halfway line and only one recorded on the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area – yet still on the wing.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Joelinton’s appalling touch map in North London…
U can see he likes to play on left as he did in Germany, but he shudnt b just playing where he wants.. He shud b dropped 4 not doing wat he’s paid to do and play centre forward..
— YoungY (@myoungy2805) February 17, 2020
Says it all… people playing Football Manager pay more attention to details and stats than Bruce does.
— oifur (@oifur91) February 17, 2020
Stick him in midfield he’s over proven he’s not a striker. I heard people say “ let him out he’s playing out of position” …. we’ll try him midfield,/Attacking Midfield
— Liam Moorhouse (@MoorhouseLiam) February 17, 2020
Seems like he prefers it on the left
— Ollie Cruse (@ollie_cruse) February 17, 2020
The kids being asked to make goal line clearances at one end and then try and catch up with ASM to nod it in at the other. It’s really not his fault.
— Steve Darrah 💀⚫️⚪️ (@ETRSteve) February 17, 2020
So easy to blame Joe. But the system is the real problem. Let’s say he wins the punt upfield from the CB and lays it off to Miggy (70 yards from goal), lets say he beats three men to the bi-line and crosses. Assuming Joe has kept up with him he’s expected to beat 3 defenders.
— Michael Pullan (@michaelpullan) February 17, 2020
One point when Saint-Maximin skinned Bellerin, put a perfect ball across the six yard box which would have been a tap in, and no one was there. Basic stuff as a striker. #NUFC
— Ralph Blackburn (@RalphBlackburn) February 17, 2020
Joelinton is like a water turtle but for the wings. Put him anywhere and he will make his way to the wing eventually. Shame we don’t have a manager who can show him where he is supposed to go.
— Angel🎅🎁🎄 (@01dunnn) February 17, 2020
I’ve said all along he’s a winger. Rafa wanted a CF. Rondon footed the bill.
— TMW (@TilehurstsOwn) February 17, 2020
In other Newcastle United news, Bruce has met with a 22-cap man keen to join in a permanent deal but did not discuss any potential transfer.