This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Joelinton failed to impress against Southampton and his dire form means he surely can’t retain his place in the starting eleven, particularly as Andy Carroll is beginning to prove his worth.
Steve Bruce was right to drop the Brazilian for the trip to Sheffield United and that should have acted as a warning to the striker that he wasn’t pulling his weight, either in terms of scoring goals or his general contribution to play.
However, it was much of the same on Sunday as the £40m man lumbered around the pitch with little urgency, and ultimately, little quality.
It is unsurprising that the Magpies have faltered in front of goal so much this season and have often relied on defenders to bail them out – as they did once more against Saints – and that means Bruce has to take decisive action.
Carroll has made significant contributions in the previous two matches with an assist in each, and though he likely would have started at the weekend had he been fit enough, he must start against Burnley next time out.
Joelinton has offered very little and certain aspects of his game have caused detriment to his side, and it is possible that a better striker would have made wingers Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin more effective, too.
Who the heck is that?! Can you name all 25 of these obscure Liverpool signings…
The most alarming aspect of the 23-year-old’s performance was his abysmal passing. Achieving just 60% pass accuracy, as per WhoScored, is unacceptable for a Premier League player and too many times it caused the Magpies’ attack to break down, so it is no wonder that fans are turning against him.
Having an effective ball-player in the middle of the attacking final third could see chances presented to the other forwards mentioned above, but with Joelinton in the side, Newcastle were unable to create from open play.
The two goals only came about due to set-pieces and a brilliant cross from a certain Carroll, and Bruce should take note.
The Newcastle boss should do whatever he can to persuade Mike Ashley to buy a new forward in January, but until that happens he has to select Carroll for the foreseeable future – and the match against the Clarets is made for him.
Joelinton was effective in the air against Saints but he was very limited aside from that. He is becoming a passenger in the side and is often unable to influence proceedings, and the sooner he is left out the better for Newcastle.
Bruce’s decision-making in regard to his attack could be crucial following the injury to Saint-Maximin, with fans expressing a concern upon hearing the news.