Yoshinori Muto has hit out at Steve Bruce’s tactics after Newcastle United’s 3-1 defeat to Norwich, claiming that he was left “isolated” up front at Carrow Road.
Muto, 27, came off the bench in the second-half but had next to no impact as the Magpies fell to their second defeat in their opening two fixtures of the new Premier League season.
The Japan international has not shied away from saying why he struggled against the Canaries, saying that he was marked out of the game and did not enough support from his team-mates.
“It was really hard. I felt isolated and I was always surrounded by three or four opponents,” Muto said, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“As a forward that was very tough. As a team we struggled overall.”
To say Muto struggled against Norwich would be an understatement. According to stats by WhoScored, the former Mainz striker had just nine touches of the ball in his 23 minutes on the pitch at Carrow Road. He also made just five passes and failed to complete any dribbles or shots at goal. It would be simplistic to simply blame Muto for his poor display in East Anglia. While he did not get into the game much, you have to think that happened. Newcastle’s midfielders just do not seem to be up to the task at the moment and there is such a disconnect between the midfield and the attack. Miguel Almiron is supposed to be supporting the forwards but he is struggling to have any sort of impact with next to no help in the wide positions. Matt Ritchie is a good set-piece taker and delivers a great cross into the box, but he’s not someone who is going to help out a great deal in build-up play due to his defensive duties. It could be time for Bruce to change formation to a 4-3-3 to help get something out of his attackers.