Dean Ashton issued a plea on behalf of Newcastle United attacker Joelinton as he claimed the forward needs more help from his teammates.
The Sky Sports pundit revealed that he felt sorry for the Magpies forward as he was clearly working hard but was starved of service so wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet.
Ashton asked how was Joelinton expected to do it all on his own up front for the Magpies and even pointed out that he was surrounded by four defenders at one-time during the 1-0 loss to Chelsea.
“I feel sorry for him is what I feel because clearly you can see from his heatmap that he is getting through a lot of work,” said Ashton on Match Centre (Sky Sports News, 11:50am, Thursday, 24th).
“Whether that is trying to hold the ball up…if you pause that clip there (from Chelsea clash) other than that player, it’s just him being surrounded by defenders.
“So realistically he either has to make an outstanding run that gets between all four of them or the ball to him has got to be perfect as we saw with his Tottenham goal, I just feel sorry for him.
“How is he meant to do it all on his own? And not only that, he’s probably tiring himself out doing the work that he clearly does, which Newcastle fans will love from him in terms of his work-rate.
“But when you’re starved from service, you get down on your self, lose confidence, and clearly if you get the ball to him in the right areas, the way he took the goal against Tottenham was a different class, the way he took the goal, that touch, his timing to stick it past the keeper…so there’s a great player there…
“But please, he needs more help, he can’t do it on his own.”
As a former Premier League striker himself, Ashton knows how hard it can be a forward that gets no service. After all, if you’re the type of player who needs the ball to be played into them and you’re teammates are not delivering, there’s not much you can do to improve your luck in front of goal. Joelinton clearly is desperate to succeed, as just like Ashton noted he does seem to cover a lot of ground in a bid to help his team, but as a forward, he is judged on goals. The Brazilian is the Magpies’ joint-top scorer this season with one, which is a damning inditement of how poor Steve Bruce’s side are in front of goal, and he has notably only managed to rack up one goal despite playing 717 minutes. If a club’s top-striker is only getting a goal once every 717 minutes, then you know something is amiss (Source: BBC Sport). However while clearly the Magpies have to get better at carving out chances, Joelinton does have to be more composed in front of goal. The Magpies summer signing has had 11 attempts at goal, but only 27% of his efforts have hit the target, so clearly he needs to work on that (Source: BBC).