Eddie Howe will be looking for his first win in charge of Newcastle United tonight as his side host Norwich at St. James’ Park.
Howe was in the dugout for the first time on Saturday as he watched his team lose 2-0 to Arsenal at The Emirates, thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
One player who should be brutally axed from the starting XI is Brazilian forward Joelinton, who struggled badly against the Gunners at the weekend.
The former Hoffenheim attacker should be taken out of the team and placed on the bench as Newcastle cannot afford to carry any passengers in a vital relegation clash against Norwich.
This game represents a huge opportunity for the Magpies to kickstart their season with a win, against the team 19th in the table, and it could be a tough, physical, battle between two sides scraping to save their lives.
Therefore, Howe needs players in his team who he can rely upon to stand up to the physical side of the game and compete across the pitch off and on the ball. The £80k-per-week dud’s display against Arsenal suggests that he does meet those requirements.
Per SofaScore, he lost a whopping 13 of his 20 duels on the pitch. He also completed just eight passes in 67 minutes, whilst failing with two of his three attempted dribbles. His statistics over the course of the season do not make for much better reading, as he has lost 61% of his ground duels in the Premier League this term and scored one goal in 12 games.
This shows that he has been too weak in the top-flight and is not a player Howe can rely upon in a game where he needs his players to step up to the plate in terms of physical battles.
Therefore, he should be ruthlessly axed from the starting XI and another player should be given a chance to show what they can do, whether that be out wide in a formation change or alongside Callum Wilson in the front two.