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Latest lame attempt to rebrand Joelinton hasn’t convinced anybody

1 month ago
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There is a strange debate around Joelinton.

Repeatedly, local journalists line up to to try and make a case that ‘proves’ the Brazilian is actually doing a lot better than the vast majority of Newcastle fans think.

You see the same from a small but dedicated group of Newcastle United supporters.

Pretty much every time they base their case around the modern day phenomenon that is useless statistics.

I’m not talking about the statistic of six goals for Newcastle United in 69 Premier League matches so far.

I’m not talking about the statistic of four assists for Newcastle United in 69 Premier League matches so far.

It is more the type of statistics that supposedly show up his great ‘unseen’ work away from goal…

Which invariably means useless statistics such as number of headed duels won (in non-threatening parts of the pitch, not winning headers in the box to score and create chances), or how he is so strong and keeps possession of the ball (in non-threatening areas of the pitch), how he links up play so well a lot of the time (in non-threatening areas of the pitch where the opposition stand off you and let you do it a lot of the time)…and so on.

I always have a laugh when I see these type of cases made by journos and fans because it doesn’t relate to anything I watch in the vast majority of matches.

Of course I would love Joelinton to prove the vast majority of us wrong and turn into a great player but I haven’t seen any indications whatsoever to suggest that is ever going to happen, what I saw last season was once again a striker who doesn’t even have want to get into the box, a forward who isn’t busting a gut to make things happen. It isn’t that he doesn’t try at all, just that he tries a lot in non-threatening areas of the pitch but appears to be totally missing the desire that great, or even good, strikers have to try and score and make things happen in the final third.

On Saturday morning I had to laugh at the latest attempt by local media to run the Joelinton ‘will come good’ routine.

The Chronicle declaring: ‘Newcastle’s transfer ‘mistake’ could end up being next season’s under-the-radar success story.’

Once again, it is how Joelinton will have loads of Newcastle fans suddenly realising, you know what, he’s actually pretty bloody good this Brazilian chap. Not that he is suddenly going to be scoring goals and / or creating chances for fun.

If the usual narrative is that Joelinton is this great player who doesn’t get recognition because he is so unselfish, then how come he has managed only four assists in two Premier League seasons? (Salomon Rondon got seven assists in his only NUFC PL season, oh yes, plus the eleven PL goals)

The Chronicle quote a source…:

“I think Newcastle are keeping it quiet but there is that hope that next season he [Joelinton] emerges a bit as someone who is that consistent creative force. He certainly looks more settled, his training performances are consistent, he can speak the language, he’s got his family here and he’s well-liked in the dressing room. The way he ended the season should give him that confidence.”

This great end of the season…Steve Bruce only started Joelinton in two of the last five Premier League matches, 11 starts in the final 20 PL games of 2020/21. Bearing in mind as well that Callum Wilson was only fit enough to start six of those final 20 PL matches of last season, Bruce still not willing to play Newcastle’s record signing on a regular basis, even though he was desperate not to play Gayle or Carroll either.

If you want to mess with skewed statistics, you might say that Joelinton doubled his total of Premier League goals compared to the previous season. These goals were:

Palace away – An easy finish inside the box but Joelinton scuffed his shot which was slowly on its way to the keeper, only for it to deflect off a defender and leave the keeper with no chance.

Tottenham at home – Unmarked in the box and when played to him, an easy finish.

West Ham at home – Fabianski somehow drops an easy catch from a corner and the Brazilian scores from a yard out.

Man City at home – A penalty.

I’m sorry but I can’t even remember many / any near things, where Joelinton hit the woodwork so many times, or keepers made brilliant saves.

I just can’t see him ever scoring many goals and if you think otherwise, what is your argument based on?

Joelinton turns 25 on the Saturday (14 August) the 2021/22 Premier League season starts and he has scored 34 league goals in his entire career, a handful of goals in Brazil and then 28 in six seasons in Europe.

He isn’t a young kid, Joelinton is somebody now in the middle of his playing career.

Mike Ashley says he paid £43m for Joelinton because it was a no-brainer to do so and he was astonished that Rafa Benitez thought it was a ridiculous idea to pay so much for a player who had done so little.

In his first four years in Europe before Mike Ashley bought him, Joelinton had scored zero league goals in 2015/16, eight for Rapid Vienna in the Austrian League in 2016/17, seven for Rapid Vienna in 2017/18 and then seven for Hoffenheim in the 2018/19 Bundesliga season.

What part of that says this is a £43m goalscorer?

I think it is very useful to contrast the Newcastle signing of Joelinton, with West Ham paying a couple of million more for Sebastien Haller in the same transfer window.

When the Hammers signed Haller, his last five seasons of league goals in Holland and Germany for Utrecht and Eintracht Frankfurt, showed 11, 19, 15, 9, 15, making it 69 goals from 134 league starts (14 sub appearances), you can see why West Ham thought he could be the answer, scoring better than a goal every two starts on average.

His 18 months at West Ham saw injuries play a part but still Haller disappointed, 10 goals in 34 Premier League starts (14 sub appearances). The Hammers so disappointed with that return, it puts it into perspective just how truly spectacularly bad Joelinton has been with his six goals in 69 Premier League appearances.

This is where we get to just how rotten the ownership of Mike Ashley is.

I’m guessing we will never know exactly why Ashley was so determined on Newcastle spending £43m on Joelinton, a player that had shown absolutely nothing to suggest he was worth that. This from an owner who had starved Benitez of transfer funds and indeed only six months earlier had allowed the first signing (Almiron – £20m) of over £10m since promotion in summer 2017.

However, it gets worse. A more normal club such as West Ham (which is saying something!), have recognised their mistake and after 18 months have bitten the bullet and got roughly half their £45m back off Ajax.

The second half of the Ajax season seeing Sebastien Haller come in and score 13 goals from 21 starts, reproducing the goalscoring form he had shown previous to joining the Hammers.

As for Newcastle United and Joelinton…

Due to Mike Ashley having been the one who bought Joelinton, forcing out the likes of Rafa Benitez and player of the year Salomon Rondon in the process, we are stuck with the Brazilian, at least we are unless there is a takeover.

Ashley’s pride will never allow Joelinton to go and his transfer fee and wages be used to strengthen the squad, as West Ham have done with Haller.

If Mike Ashley stays then I’m afraid Joelinton will as well, right up to the end of his contract in June 2025 when he will be just short of turning 29.

No doubt local journalists and fans obsessed by meaningless stats will still be claiming that Joelinton actually did ok, despite having scored just the 16 Premier League goals and got 10 assists in his six years on Tyneside…

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