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Some prophetic words from Nobby Solano on Joelinton

1 year ago

Right Steve Bruce. You had your chance on Saturday and you blew it big style.

I stated before the game (and before the Manchester United debacle) that the best forward line to use in both games and going forward into the second half of the season is Andy Carroll AND Dwight Gayle.

Over the course of the 180 minutes of football we saw that partnership for a grand total of? Around 20 minutes.

So much for building a partnership and developing a rapport.

After Everton’s excellent young prospect Calvert-Lewin showed our forwards a thing or two in the art of finishing, Bruce decided enough was enough and hooked Joelinton and went with my Gayle/Carroll combo. Why did it take so long?

Joelinton has one solitary goal so far and whenever he is on the team sheet, we are effectively down to ten men as he offers so little. He has no physical presence, doesn’t seem exceptionally quick, doesn’t have a great first touch (for a Brazilian that’s outrageous). I wouldn’t fancy him in the air against many Premier League defenders and as a consequence if he gets five goals between now and the end of the season I’ll be amazed.

Is this really the player Steve Bruce is going to pin our hopes of staying up on? And to think he cost £40m? Pull the other one, we haven’t paid £40m for him. Rafa Benitez only valued him at £20m (Ashley’s words) and that’s a more realistic value of what we’ve paid because if we’ve paid anywhere near £40m then the agent who recommended him at that price should never work in football again.

We’d certainly struggle to get half that back if we were to cut our losses.

I’m not going to go over old ground with the folly of turning down Salomon Rondon for £16m as that opens a can of worms over a former Spanish manager, and also a former Spanish player who is now at Leicester City, but goals and managerial talent have been shipped and it’s up to Steve Bruce to replace some of the goals we allowed to leave in the summer.

Tell me truthfully, would former striker Joselu (also let go) have fared any better or worse than Joelinton?

We have had quite a few flops in our Premier League history and the name that springs to my mind that has alarming parallels with Joelinton is Albert Luque. He signed for a big fee at the time in 2005 (£10m) and he wasn’t an out and out striker either but scored three goals for us over two seasons. At the minute our Brazilian flop is matching the Spanish misfit.

After Googling his stats, I was astonished to come across some quotes from none other than former Toon favorite Nobby Solano back in September this year where he commented on Newcastle United and he had this to say:

“I’m hoping that the new lads like Joelinton and Almiron settle down soon and that we aren’t talking in the same terms as Luque.”

I nearly fell out of my chair when I read them.

Four months later they are starting to look quite prophetic. It’s certainly something Steve Bruce needs to address and IF he is being leaned on by anyone at the club to play Joelinton no matter what (something which IS being suggested by some supporters) then he needs to grow a set, as by persisting with the Brazilian is bordering on professional suicide. Any manager in full control of things would have dropped him weeks ago.

In the meantime, we enter a new year but with the same old failings. It’s worrying that with each passing game our defenders’ goal tallies are outstripping our forwards’ efforts.

Not since Chelsea activated Demba Ba’s release clause in 2013 and Papiss Cisse went off the boil, have we had any forward worthy of the name. Rondon came close and in a decent side he would have got 15+ goals. We know Joelinton isn’t an out and out striker, which beggars the question…Why the hell is he playing in a team that is struggling for goals?

In their last full seasons at the club, Demba Ba got 16 goals, Salomon Rondon 11. At this rate, none of our forwards will get those figures between them this season and the one to drop out is clearly Joelinton.

I wonder how long it will be before Steve Bruce sees it…


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