The former Magpies boss re-watched a clip of the Newcastle forward failing to slot the ball home from close-range, after Isaac Hayden’s long-distance shot kindly fell at his feet, and just didn’t understand how he didn’t get a goal.
Souness pointed out that the sort of chance that fell to Muto was a tap-in for most strikers and asked if the player’s shoelaces were tied together.
“Yeah, they’re not creating much as his feet there…as if he has got his shoelaces tied together there,” said Souness during Newcastle’s loss to Leicester (17:25, Sunday, September 29th, Sky Sports Premier League).
“I mean this a simply tap in! Does he see it late? For most strikers this is a tap in, it is as if his shoelaces were tied together!”
While normally a player missing such a big chance in a game should see a forward heavily criticised, it’s really hard to be too harsh at Muto as you can’t help but feel sorry for him. The 27-year-old has had a terrible time at St James Park ever since joining, and you feel his miss could be put down to him lacking any form of confidence. Muto joined the Magpies last summer and has only managed to score two goals in 23 outings. When you consider 23 appearances isn’t a lot and that he never has really got consistent playing time at the club, he only completed 90 minutes once last season (Source: Transfermarkt), is it a surprise he hasn’t been able to be a success at the Magpies? While the 27-year-old likely hoped he’d get more opportunities under Steve Bruce this season, that hasn’t been the case. Muto has only played 102 minutes of Premier League action this season, and it’s very telling that the attacker was the player sacrificed and subbed off against the Foxes after the team went down to 10-men due to Isaac Hayden’s red card. So with that all in mind, it’s hard to rip Muto apart for not scoring as at this point, as you feel it’s the last thing he needs.