The 27-year-old shared that he felt isolated in the 3-1 defeat to Norwich City and in the process seemed to question Bruce’s tactics.
“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.”
However while Bent revealed he thought Muto should have told Bruce about his unhappiness privately, as all he did was put his manager under pressure, he was sympathetic with the player’s issue.
“That’s something you have a conversation with your manager, say that the way that you’re playing, you’re not going to score goals. Him coming out and saying that, he’s putting a little bit more pressure on the manager.
“Then Newcastle fans will be like: ‘See, it’s Bruce’s fault, even the players don’t like his tactics,’ and it’s just another unnecessary problem that they don’t need.”
Bent openly admitted that he could see where Muto is coming from, and as a result, you feel he is spot-on with his verdict on Muto’s remarks.
The 27-year-old shouldn’t have broken rank and effectively throw his manager under the bus by questioning his tactics, but he was right to voice his annoyance at his cause to score not being helped.
Muto has been starved of minutes ever since he arrived at St James Park and he is no doubt desperate to prove himself.
The Magpies attacker only managed one goal in 18 appearances after joining the club last summer in his 2018/19 campaign but was noticeably sparingly used.
Muto only played 516 minutes across his 17 league outings, and only completed 90 minutes on once occasion (Source: Transfermarkt).
So he knows that if he doesn’t shine bright in his cameo outings by scoring, then he’ll continue to not get many opportunities to feature.
Muto only played 23 minutes of the Magpies’ 3-1 loss to Norwich and in his outing, he never registered a shot as he only managed to touch the ball nine times. (Source: WhoScored)
While an individual is responsible for their own performances, him hardly touching the ball does show how his teammates and perhaps Bruce’s tactics didn’t allow him to wow as much as he possibly could have.
So with that in mind, it is hard not to be sympathetic towards Muto after he spoke out, just like Bent was, as his failure to score will just see his minutes limited and his ability continue to be doubted.