Newcastle United continued their remarkable resurgence with victory over a struggling Chelsea side on Saturday evening, with Eddie Howe’s men running out 1-0 winners courtesy of a Joe Willock stunner following what was a hard-fought encounter at St James’ Park.
That result ensured that the Magpies will be in third place in the Premier League heading into the World Cup break, having now claimed five successive top-flight victories to put themselves firmly in the mix for a Champions League berth.
Such relentless form has unsurprisingly seen a number of the Tynesiders’ key figures rewarded with a place in Qatar, with Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope and Callum Wilson all named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad, while both Bruno Guimares and Fabian Schar are set to join up with Brazil and Switzerland, respectively.
By contrast, there are notable assets who have been omitted from their nations’ travelling party for the upcoming tournament, with summer signing Sven Botman having been left out of the Netherlands squad by former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.
The 22-year-old colossus is yet to even earn a senior cap at international level despite his stunning displays in recent times, with the former Lille man having formed part of a Newcastle side that has shipped just 11 league goals this season – the best record in the division.
The Dutchman is not the only player for the northeast side who should well have been allowed the chance to impress on the global stage, with the resurgent Joelinton having seemingly done enough to warrant his place in the Brazil squad, alongside Guimaraes, although was eventually snubbed.
While the 26-year-old was an outside bet having also not featured for his country in the senior ranks, the player’s transformation over the past year or so has been nothing short of remarkable, having gone from misfiring striker to midfield colossus under Howe’s tutelage.
The club’s Player of the Year for the 2021/22 campaign, the former Hoffenheim sensation has again been an integral presence this time around, starting 12 of his side’s 15 league games, including the recent triumph over Graham Potter’s men.
That latest display further rubberstamped just why Joelinton did deserve a place in Tite’s squad, having produced a typically industrious and dominant showing against the Blues, having been dubbed “pure class” by podcaster, Dave Harvey.
The 6 foot 1 brute was deployed in a more advanced role on the day than he has of late, although still managed to contribute impressively, with the £85k-per-week gem – who ranks in the top 6% in Europe for aerial duels won – winning 100% of his battles in the air, while also recording four tackles and two interceptions from his left-wing berth.
Also a threat in an attacking sense, the imposing presence registered one key pass and recorded 60 touches, while also enjoying a respectable 90% pass accuracy rate as a marker of his renewed quality on the ball, having also played his part in the goal after sending Miguel Almiron in down the right flank.
To think that the versatile ace won’t be heading to Qatar is a crying shame, particularly when one of those to get ahead of him in the squad is Red Devils midfielder, Fred, with the latter man having not even been a consistent presence for Erik ten Hag’s side this term, starting only four league games.
Alas, it was not to be for Joelinton, although as the Newcastle official Twitter account noted after the player’s recent, cruel snub – “his time will come“…