Graeme Jones reveals reason for leaving 'excellent' Joelinton out of Newcastle's starting line-up

The Brazilian was left out due to a tactical decision by Newcastle United’s interim manager.

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 7:00 am

Since arriving on Tyneside for £40m in summer 2019, Joelinton has struggled to adapt to the Premier League.

After spending his first season at the club playing as a lone striker, a return of just ten goals in 90 games has disappointed many.

Despite starting the Brazilian on the bench at Selhurst Park, Graeme Jones has described Joelinton’s recent performances as ‘excellent’ but explained the tactical decision no to start him against Palace:

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Joelinton started on the bench against Crystal Palace (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“Boys I’m telling you Joelinton has been excellent these last few weeks, excellent. He didn’t deserve to be left out.

"I’ve been speaking to Joe a lot and he’s now giving us a level of performance that he’s confident with.” Jones said.

"He’s getting stronger but I’ve said to him ‘Joe we need that goal’.

"I wanted to play a front two, I think Joe’s best position is a left-winger in a 3-4-3 or in a 4-3-3, whatever it is.

"But tactically, I wanted to go with that shape today so that’s how Joe missed out today but our subs were ready.”

In rugby, the people on the bench are often referred to not as ‘substitutes’ but ‘finishers’, highlighting their importance in the later stages of games when opponents are tiring.

It seems like Jones has a similar approach to his bench as he highlighted the great belief and importance he places on the members of the squad who find themselves on the bench:

"I spoke before the game when I named the team and when I named it, I named the substitutes first. I explained how important their roles were because you don’t win with eleven players, you win with twenty.

"The support to the rest of the team from the subs, they felt it and the three players that came on the pitch gave us a level that managed to get us a point against Crystal Palace.

"That’s the Premier League, that’s where we are and I was delighted with the boys [substitutes].”

Newcastle’s search for their first win of the season continues when they host league leader’s Chelsea at St James’s Park on Saturday.

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