Dummies guide to man-management – Joelinton
Joelinton is a player who has become a constant headache to many Newcastle United fans.
His £40m signing fee becomes more and more outrageous by the minute, made yet more painful by the FACT that, after over two years, the coaching staff clearly do not know how to utilise him.
This makes me wonder how much effort was made to actually scout this player, as the club gladly paid £40m for an overachieving club’s third-best forward, who was also overachieving by his own standards (his club record prior to Hoffenheim was 24 goals and 13 assists in 91 games, most of those in the weak Austrian domestic league).
Last night, I did some NUFC standard scouting (watched two Bundesliga videos and went on the transfermarkt site) which took me a gruelling hour (had a bath and watched some post-match interviews in between scouting). This tiresome work, in addition to what I’ve seen from him in a Newcastle shirt, brought me to an understanding of our Brazilian forward, and just why he struggles so much for us.
Joelinton is not a centre forward, his best qualities don’t come from leading the line, and he is most definitely not a target man. Joelinton at his very best is a supporting striker, false attacking winger, or a false 9.
What this means is that for £40m, we got a South American downgrade from Ayoze Perez.
Whilst Perez thrived at finding opportunistic positions in the box, feeding off a main striker, and having good technique and better finishing, Joelinton is a better dribbler, more physical, and feeds the main striker with assists. For all his quick thinking and spontaneous drives, he is unable to maintain a burst of pace from halfway line to penalty area, and for all his physicality, he is not accustomed to classic centre forward hold up play.
My suggestion is quite simple and easy to see, for anyone who hasn’t had bust-ups on the training ground within the past year. Joelinton should never be played as a centre forward.
The player himself has said it’s not his best position, and for each chance he misses or every possession he spurns, a chunk of confidence leaves his body. The best way to get something out of him would be to play him on the wing with an actual CF running down the middle. The other option would be playing him behind Wilson / Gayle while Murphy and ASM run the flanks. Joelinton has enough pace to get into positions with short bursts, though he may not be able to keep up with those two.
For now, he needs to be encouraged to focus on his creative side, taking only the clearest of chances that fall to him. Perhaps after he gets up to five assists, he would have gained some belief.
I’ve really struggled to keep this one short, as it’s a topic that had been on my mind for so long.
We had better get the best out of him because I doubt we will find a buyer for him come the end of the season (ED: Or at the end of any season!).
Howay the lads!
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