Yoshinori Muto is all the evidence you need.
Rafa Benitez keeping his head whilst all around him everybody loses theirs.
With Salomon Rondon struggling for fitness and then carrying an injury, plus Joselu and Perez hopeless, fans and media alike were asking why Yoshinori Muto wasn’t getting a game.
As always though, Rafa Benitez is playing the long game.
Without doubt, the likes of Pardew, Carver, McClaren and others, would have just thrown the Japanese striker straight into the team. Not Rafa though.
In the crazy world of Newcastle United, you end up with such unrealistic expectations put on a player such as Muto.
Even though he cost only £9.5m, a pittance for a first choice player expected to get goals these days, because he ends up as Newcastle’s biggest signing of the summer, fans naturally end up looking to the former Mainz striker as an answer to a desperate lack of goals.
Instead, Rafa has done it slowly slowly, Yoshinori Muto getting brief sub appearances in six of Newcastle’s seven opening PL matches, only 86 minutes in total.
He’d been in Russia for the World Cup and then only signed shortly before the season started, so no pre-season with his new team-mates.
Rafa could still have bowed to pressure and started him but that is where experience and expertise come in.
In his one previous start at Forest in the League Cup, you could see Muto wasn’t ready to start in the Premier League.
So many signings in the past, especially from overseas, have seen their Newcastle careers end before they have even really started. Thrown straight in when not ready, struggled, players low on confidence, fans maybe getting on their backs, and end up as liabilities.
Playing Yoshinori Muto just because Perez and Joselu had been hopeless, wouldn’t have been the right choice.
Instead, Rafa has waited his time, the end result being an excellent display by Muto at Old Trafford, an excellent goal and could ave had another, very good overall display, helped Perez play a bit better, and now he (Muto) will be bursting with confidence when taking on Brighton in nine days time.
The opening fixtures were going to be hard enough for Newcastle without sacrificing the new signing as well for no reason, this run of games up to the new year sees only one game in 12 being against any of the ‘big six’, this is when we need a fully fit and focused Yoshinori Muto, amongst other things.
Yoshinori Muto after a goal but defeat at Manchester United:
“I would like to build my future from the goal at Manchester United.
“If I had missed this chance (to get a game), I couldn’t see when the next chance could come.
“I was really focused on grabbing a good result and I was confident that if I could start, then my motivation would be sky high, because we were against very strong opponents.
“As a result, scoring a goal against them has given me a lot more confidence.
“I should have scored another goal with a chance like that (a close in header straight at De Gea).
“That was the worst possible result for us (in the end).
“But we have to now stay focused on the future.”