Joelinton played 59 minutes against Southampton and didn’t come close to scoring his second Newcastle goal.
The forward is on dreadful run, unable to find the net since his winner against Tottenham. That was in late August… More than three months on, he’s yet to add to his tally, and fan patience is wearing thin.
But having arrived at the match earlier than usual yesterday because of the Metro industrial action, I noticed something about the Brazilian.
With kick off still about half an hour away, the players were being put through their paces, warming up on a bitterly cold afternoon. Down by the corner flag at the Gallowgate, the Newcastle forwards were doing some shooting practice with Karl Darlow in between the sticks.
Far too many balls went into the crowd, but one player seemed to find the net every time it was his turn to take a shot. Joelinton just couldn’t seem to miss. And they were high quality finishes too, neatly finding the corner every chance he got.
Fast forward half an hour, and the number nine was pretty woeful once again. When the pressure was on, Joelinton was unable to come up with the goods.
He’s not even getting chances now, which is a big worry for a striker. In the warm up, he was composed in front of goal. But in a competitive game, that composure goes out the window.
This is a big issue for Steve Bruce, as the Magpies have invested a lot of money in the 23-year-old. Whether he takes him out of the starting XI for a period of time or changes his position, Bruce needs to find an answer to the Joelinton conundrum.
The quality is definitely there, we’re just yet to see it. However, the longer it takes, the more the pressure will increase on his young shoulders.