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Will Bruce Follow Through On Position Change With New Injury Scare?

One of the issues with our £40m record signing Joelinton is that he’s far too isolated playing as a lone striker.

Couple that with him not being used to playing that role and then add in that he’s brand new to the Premier League, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that he’s continued to struggle.

While it was always expected that it would take time for him to find his feet, his return of just 1 goal and 1 assist this season is very concerning.

It’s becoming quite clear that Andy Carroll could now be our number one striker. Though that carries with it a tremendous risk due to his fragility.

What would that mean for Joelinton? Would Steve Bruce consider another role or just use the 23-year-old as he’s used Carroll so far in a cameo role of the bench?

A few days ago, before the wins against Sheffield and Southampton, Steve Bruce hinted at a change of role for the 23-year-old Brazilian. This is what Bruce said as reported in the Chronicle.

“He’s just got to keep working away and let’s hope we can try and keep encouraging him if we can. He has to get into the box more often.

“In that respect, you can see why half of his career was played to a side in a 4-3-3. When I saw him play live, he played on the left-hand side against Man City in the Champions League.

“You can understand it because half of his career he hasn’t been a natural center forward, so that might give me a bit of food for thought later to play him on the left as well if we’ve got a problem.”

It’s interesting to note that Bruce said this before the Sheffield United win when he most likely had already decided he was going to give Andy Carroll a start.

This is also the second time Bruce has hinted at using Joelinton on the left. In late September, he also spoke about the Manchester City Champions League game.

At the time, he said the following:

“I saw Joelinton play for Hoffenheim against Man City down the left.

“He’s done that throughout his career. A lot of teams play three upfront.

“I have no problem playing him & Andy Carroll together in a two or even with Saint-Maximin as well in a three at some point.”

These plans may have been put on ice once Allan Saint-Maximin returned from his first hamstring injury a few weeks later against Manchester United. After the Frenchman’s eye-opening displays over the past two months, it’s no wonder Bruce didn’t tinker with moving Allan from the left.

However, now with Saint-Maximin likely to miss a few games, we wonder if the head coach will strongly consider moving Joelinton to the left. While it would take some tinkering as Joelinton is a vastly different player to the Allan, it’s an option that might be tempting.

While we think he’s likely to just bring in Christian Atsu for Saint-Maximin, the fact that he’s mentioned Joelinton on the left twice this season during his struggles is interesting.

The best-case scenario is for Allan to be fit and ok as quickly as possible, but in the case of a prolonged absence, Bruce will have some decisions to make.

Who Was Newcastle's Man Of The Match Against Southampton?

  • Martin Dubravka (37%, 1,091 )
  • Andy Carroll (25%, 731 )
  • Jonjo Shelvey (16%, 470 )
  • Fede Fernandez (8%, 228 )
  • A. Saint-Maximin (6%, 173 )
  • Miguel Almiron (3%, 86 )
  • Javier Manquillo (2%, 60 )
  • Isaac Hayden (1%, 36 )
  • Sean Longstaff (1%, 22 )
  • Joelinton (1%, 20 )
  • Jetro Willems (0%, 11 )
  • Paul Dummett (0%, 8 )
  • Ciaran Clark (0%, 7 )
  • Fabian Schar (0%, 4 )

Total Voters: 2,947

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26 comments so far

  • Assassins Inc

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #1

    SB, Try playing with Joe and the right and Migs on the left with either Andy or Gayle upfront.

    This is the ideal time to try something as we are missing key players and honestly you may not have a choice in the matter.

    I haven’t forgot about Astu but will he drop Migs or Joe for Astu?

    Either way he has to try new things.

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #2

    You ever seen Fred Chapellier in your French travels ?

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #3

    Good call
    Joelinton did play RW on occasion for Hoffenheim

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #4

    I’ll check this out: “Fred Chapellier plays Peter Green (official video)” on YouTube when I have a mo.

    Nico Toussaint (harmonica) is very good, too.

  • geordietom

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #5

    Tsunki …

    you make a apology then you come in with this .

    Let’s start from the top. I apologise for using such insults as “cretin” and “simple” not really something I should stoop to, even if you are ANNOYINGLY SLOW to grasp the avatar thing…

    i put in caps just so you can see it … you just cant help yourself can you ?…

    two quotes off you from movies to make a point . by the way my offer still stands …

    quote from one of the movies you used ‘ there can be only one ‘

  • geordietom

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #6

    jib …

    that video you put up was that you the ref mate …

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #7

    Twas Robleenio

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 9, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #8

    I’d have put them both on their ar$e and told them to grow up.

    Then I’d have taken them both down the pub where we’d have got p!ssed and gone again.


  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 9, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #9

    i dont think Shelveys playing any better than normal (excluding last season) he’s just scoring more goals. i remember him when he was 16-17 at Charlton and he looked like he’d go on to be a high scoring midfielder. i had him in my dream team at swansea thinking he’d get ten a season but he seemed to drop further back by then so i got very few points out of him. i think his only goal came against us just after i dropped him.

    hes been one of our best players and unfairly criticised for the hollywood passes. but those hollywood passes have been the only bit of magic weve witnessed since ben arfa left. another player condemned for presumably taken on half a team and scoring hollywood goals. some fans really got on perezs back too. and sissoko (although he was rubbish as a winger).

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 9, 2019 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #10

    The next Mike, I agree he’s not necessarily playing better, but he is playing further up the pitch, which makes him more effective.

    It’s essentially what I wanted from him last season, particularly when Lejeune and Schaer are both playing as they are both capable of playing the same kind of passes that JonJo hits from the defensive third.

    That said, Dummett has been hitting some consistently good, accurate passes forward from defence in recent matches, something that seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the pundits.

  • Marzy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Sky Sports “Benitez will discuss the fallout from his summer exit from Newcastle on MNF”
    Not really looking forward to seeing Rafa tonight. I feel his presence is negative on the positivity SB & the team have achieved thus far! I respected Rafa when at the helm, albeit not always agreeing with his methods/philosophy, felt we had something to be positive about even under MA Ownership but this is now in the past. You can see it now, headlines in the press, on the internet and on here, ‘how he was mistreated under MA’. I feel this negativity may tip us backwards at this crucial time over the festive period, feel for SB already. Before anyone says I’m a massive SB fan il save you the time “I’m Not” bit absolutely appreciate the job he’s done so far under very challenging circumstances and in the constant shadow of Rafa, he’s achieved 22pts and played some nice football and some ugly football but players are playing for him which is something I didn’t expect, “credit where credits due!” Look forward to others opinion.

  • Mindshaft

    Dec 9, 2019 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #12

    RobLeenio – I can see your point re: the defence in SU game, don’t think you’ll find the same when you watch yesterdays game – defence was all over the place first half with Clarke , Dummett and Willems particularly poor – seemed to sort themselves out a bit once Bruce made changes ( although Schar probably responsible for goal )

  • Mindshaft

    Dec 9, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #13

    Marzy, no different to KK and Shearer coming out and slating fatty – don’t think this reflects badly on Bruce or the team – fatty is the liar in the equation and Bruce to his credit has already started mentioning trying to get him to cut prices etc – he’s a big friend of Shearer so he knows what fattys like and I think he’s playing a canny game.
    Bruce clearly wants to be more attacking but is aware that with the players we currently have that 5-4-1 is the way to grind out points.
    Guess it depends on how many points we can get on the board over xmas and new year and if we actually buy anybody in Jan before he can start experimenting with a more attacking style

  • barkel

    Dec 9, 2019 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #14

    Marzy, I don’t think it’ll be too big an issue .. sky sports and daily mail will have something tonight/tomorrow and it’ll be gone by Wednesday except for the few on here that insist on the RB/SB comparisons. Which in itself is a pointless waste of time

  • Marzy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #15

    #Mindshaft really appreciate your reply and hope your right, I suppose they’ve all had their fair share of negativity in the past, hopefully SB will have thick skin and hopefully the players to. If they reduce tickets this should encourage supporters to return but I won’t sadly until MA has gone ? I’ve boycotted St James, Debenhams, HOF, SD & others in the hope my efforts will tip him over the edge ?. I feel we have an opportunity this coming weekend, and hope SB will try Joelinton on the left, feel he’s being unfairly judged in a central role as it’s unnatural to him and not to mention the league is hugely different to what he’s use to.

  • Moonraker15

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #16

    We don’t need to find a position for Joelinton! He’s a dud and the last thing we need is him playing out wide. We’d be better off playing Gayle out wide although Atsu is the obvious choice.
    Trying to fit Joey in to justify the ridiculous amount we are reported to have paid for him!
    He’s slow, tactically inept and scared to shoot!
    Drop him!

  • Marzy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #17

    #Barkel yeah I agree, sometimes things such as this in the past has lingered around unnecessary for a time, which instils negativity within supporters and reflected with performances on the pitch at times, just hope it will pass and we continue on this run, albeit performances on the pitch isn’t all attractive but obviously effective. Agree about the needless comparisons between the two.

  • hibbit

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #18

    if folk are going to compare managers surely it has to be at the of the season,
    with the inevitable peaks and troughs in form, and the normal twists and turns of a premier league season we still a have a lot of football to come, now’s not the time to judge.

  • barkel

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #19

    Marzy, can things get much more negative? Lowest attendance in over a decade at the weekend, everyone is fed up with the ownership, luckily those that do attend aren’t taking frustrations out on the coach (whatever his ability). Sure we’re picking up points but on a whole I think most teams aren’t doing particularly well. It reminds me very much of the season we finished 5th with Pardew, we picked up points in games we should have lost and the teams around us dropped points every other weekend

  • RobLeenio

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #20

    I think that there’s no problem making comparisons between the two, what I object to is the use of one as a stick to beat the other.

    I thought Rafa was great, but I’m delighted with the start that Bruce has made to his career here. It’s way too early to judge his lasting impact yet, but we can all give him credit for the progress so far.

    I do think the football will improve as the team grows in confidence, but I think the defensive formation is here to stay. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it applies here. And it’s not like we haven’t been scoring our fair share of goals – just not from our forwards….

  • Mindshaft

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #21

    Marzy, I’m doing likewise this season but attending as many away games as I can – to be honest it’s way better as supporters are loud and proud

  • Jib

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Unfortunately folks posts live on

    May 8, 2019 at 2:36 PM
    Comment #29
    I for one would be more than happy to see Ayoze go if we got a reasonable fee for him, say £15 million. Yes he’s scored some crucial goals for us but he’s not gonna get 20 a season. Ayoze loses possession repeatedly and runs down blind alleys too many times. Rondon won’t score that many neither

  • barkel

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #23

    *Edit: Sorry the attendance was the lowest in just over 9 years

  • Marzy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #24

    #Moonraker15 I disagree to a point, agree Joelinton has been goal/shot shy, not strong enough in some of his play, but in most parts he’s playing to keep possession and build up play, doing the dogged work which often gets overlooked such as Miggy & sometimes Maxi but this is how the team is set up. Yes he’s no £40 million player, but if his past strengths where on the left at Hoffenheim, we may have an opportunity to see this and make a informed opinion/decision based on it. I for one don’t want to rule somebody out based on our defensive setup and sometime unattractive football. Hopefully he will prove a few people wrong or even right but I hope it’s positive for all.

  • Marzy

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #25

    #Hibbit totally agree, long old hard season with many ups/downs, I will reserve my judgement till May.

  • geordietom

    Dec 9, 2019 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #26

    Tsunki last word you are always putting people down with your condescending ways patronize people put people down with your word play , dont make the mistake thinking i’m a fool this person bites back . your lame excuse about your avatar …condescending

    having or showing an attitude of (patronizing superiority ) <<< this sums you up


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