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Joelinton feeling the love and respect after Eddie Howe replaces sacked Steve Bruce

1 week ago
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Saturday afternoon at St James Park and the running joke amongst many fans was…who is the new lad wearing the Joelinton shirt?

To say that the boy from Brazil looked a different player would be understatement of the day, or indeed of the 28 months that the former Hoffenheim player had been with Newcastle United.

After 79 Premier League appearances that had produced only six goals and not many more better than average performances than that, to score and perform like that in Eddie Howe’s first game, Joelinton was a revelation.

The player himself declaring: ‘Eddie Howe has brought in new ideas and a new style of play. The last ten days with him have been very good.’

The feeling had always been amongst the fanbase, that whilst it was always going to be unlikely that we’d ever see any justification for Mike Ashley insisting at all costs that Newcastle had to spend £40m+ on him, supporters did generally think that surely there must be a better player lurking there than what we’d seen for over two seasons.

Whilst his failure to score the winner, or indeed have a shot or stay on his feet, in the final stages when ASM ran half the length of the pitch, reminded us that Joelinton still has some way to go to be the complete player. We all saw more than enough on Saturday to tell us that something had gone badly wrong the previous two years plus.

The 25 year old adding: ‘We have worked hard and we must continue that. Sticking together and keep fighting [for Newcastle United].’

Could it really be as simple as that, Joelinton and the team working harder on the training pitch under a decent head coach who has a plan and knows what he is doing?

Maybe so.

When Joelinton arrived in July 2019, Steve Bruce welcomed him as the answer to Newcastle’s problems up front, saying that the club had signed a centre-forward who would score plenty of goals as the spearhead of the new look NUFC under him.

Before even the end of that first season, Steve Bruce was admitting that not only was Joelinton was not a centre-forward, nor a natural goalscorer, neither was he a player / forward who liked to get into the box very much. Preferring to do his main work away from the danger zone.

Only two goals in his first season under Steve Bruce, far easier to blame it on the shortcomings of the player than the coaching.

On Saturday we saw somebody who wanted to and could do both, working tirelessly away from the box and helping to set up attacks, as well as getting into the penalty area and trying to get on the end of things. Joelinton scored the second goal, put in a great cross that Wilson flashed a header just wide from, the first goal came from a corner won by the Brazilian, then in those final stages – Joelinton up there getting into the box and simply choosing the wrong option of trying to check back, instead of shooting when set up by ASM.

Difficult (impossible?) to remember a match where Joelinton had been so involved AND so effective, unless maybe if you are a Hoffenheim fan.

Standing in on media duties in place of Eddie Howe, Jason Tindall stating after Saturday’s match: I think Joelinton is a fantastic player. Ever since we have been here, we have really seen the quality that he has got…he is certainly going to be a big player for this football club and this team.’

Steve Bruce clearly didn’t have a clue what to do with Joelinton and checking back, in Bruce’s final 56 Premier League games, the Brazilian only started 33 of them, less than 59% was he selected in the starting eleven. Plus, many of the times that Bruce did put Joelinton in his team, many supporters believed it was either under orders from Mike Ashley to play his £40m+ record signing and / or Bruce feeling obliged to give him a certain number of matches, even though not having a clue what to do with him.

Obviously only Eddie Howe’s first game but just imagine if Joelinton did go on to score 12-15 goals this season and do a lot of great stuff on top of that, as was the case on Saturday? It would arguably be the biggest of all pointers as to how poor Steve Bruce was in the job.

However, no doubt that if this did happen, you would then have journalists and pundits claiming that actually Joelinton was always going to comes good and Eddie Howe simply reaping the benefits of the work Steve Bruce had done with the player…

Joelinton:

Eddie Howe has brought in new ideas and a new style of play.

“The last ten days with him have been very good.

“Both for myself and the team.

“We have worked hard and we must continue that.

“Sticking together and keep fighting [for Newcastle United].”

Jason Tindall:

“I think Joelinton is a fantastic player.

“Ever since we have been here, we have really seen the quality that he has got.

“I think the performance that you saw [against Brentford] was outstanding.

“His work ethic for the team was exactly what we asked for and he got a fantastic goal.

“That should give him confidence moving forwards.

“Because he is certainly going to be a big player for this football club and this team.”

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