When Joelinton was struck down by injury against Norwich, Steve Bruce turned to Yoshinori Muto.
The Japanese forward made his first appearance of the season, but you’d be forgiven for forgetting he was even on the pitch. Muto barely got a kick, and spent most of the second half frustrated.
“It was really hard. I felt isolated and I was always surrounded by three or four opponents,” he said.
“As a forward that was very tough. As a team we struggled overall.”
Muto got absolutely no support up front, and neither did Joelinton. If the big Brazilian struggled, which he did, the much smaller Muto had no chance.
But his comments must serve as a warning to Bruce. His system isn’t allowing his attacking players to flourish, which is completely hindering his side.
Newcastle barely got any bodies forward at Carrow Road, and this is largely down to the formation we’re playing.
We have three centre midfielders who are more comfortable in a holding role, two wing backs who also need to focus on their defensive duties, and a striking duo that includes an attacking midfielder who looks massively uncomfortable in his new position.
Fortunately, the Telegraph have reported that Bruce is considering reverting to a back four, which will hopefully see an improvement from the Magpies.
For Muto’s sake, hopefully his comments don’t see him slip down the pecking order. He may have felt isolated against Norwich, but the substitutes bench is even lonelier.