For all the players taking part in their first game for a considerable length of time, a certain degree of patience is required. Having not kicked a ball competitively for so long, the rustiness and lack of match sharpness is not only understandable, but expected.
That applies even more to players who're into their first seasons in the Premier League, perhaps don't have a perfect grasp of the language (or culture) and have a fair amount of pressure on their shoulders.
Then, there is Joelinton.
For the sake of fairness, I'm going to discount the fact he cost £40m and only focus on his actual ability.
Which still, I'm afraid, does sweet b*gger all to paint him in a better light.
Trying to find any one aspect of his game that's remotely Premier League level is needle-in-a-haystack territory. You'd hope his finishing was up to scratch, but he looks like a rabbit in the headlights as soon as he's in front of goal.
Some will point to Newcastle's defensive approach and lack of creativity in the final third as reasons for why they don't score many goals, which are all true, but from Joelinton's 42 shots in the league prior to kick-off, he'd scored just once.
Of those 42 shots, half have been off target, 12 have been on target, nine blocked and one has hit the post (as per WhoScored). You can't have 42 shots and score once. At no level, anywhere, is that a credible return. He's a goalkeeper's dream.
2130 - Joelinton has scored his second Premier League goal of the season and his first since August 2019 against Spurs. He had gone 2130 minutes and taken 39 shots without scoring between the two goals. Relief. pic.twitter.com/JZZkmcaw25— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 21, 2020
What about his movement? Sadly, due to having his confidence shot to pieces, he makes the wrong runs in the final third. He'll be so desperate to get a feel for the ball and to ease his nerves that he'll drift into pointless open spaces where he know he can take two or three touches unopposed.
He's not the quickest, either, so a threaded through ball beyond the centre-halves is hardly his ideal feeding ground. The one time he found himself in such a position against Sheffield United, he fluffed his lines so badly that it hurt to watch.
Technically he's not up to the standard either, and it's costing Newcastle dearly to persist with a striker who doesn't boast any appealing characteristics in his play.
So, obviously, he scored on Sunday.
Joelinton has scored a Premier League goal.— 90min (@90min_Football) June 21, 2020
Yes, you read that correctly. pic.twitter.com/fnsbXbQZnZ
Curse of the commentator turned curse of the Sunday afternoon 90min writer, but it will do nothing to change my, or indeed many others', minds.
It was a tap-in after all, against quite possibly the worst defensive performance the Blades have put in all season long. The fact that social media (the media in general) blew up with aghast faces and countless humorous memes when he did hit the back of the net is telling of the general consensus around Joelinton.
If Newcastle are to enter a new era in the club's history, then an upgrade has to be their top priority. This applies regardless of whether a takeover bid is successful or not. There is simply no way the club can carry a striker who so incapable of scoring for much longer.
Harsh to criticise a player who just scored a goal? Perhaps the timing could have been better, but to paraphrase Harry Redknapp, 'my nan could have scored that'.
With such a wonderfully creative forward such as Allan Saint-Maximin in the side, he can't possibly be content to see himself carve chance after chance in the Premier League only for it to fall at Joelinton's feet.
This is a player who the team must be built around, and that includes buying a half (quarter)-decent striker. Sorry Joe.
Source : 90min