Newcastle have probably exceeded most pundit’s predictions of how well they might have progressed this season under Eddie Howe.
As expected, the Magpies have produced a brand of football that’s been easy on the eye, and has got the better of a number of teams during the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.
In the Carabao Cup, they were a whisker away from their first silverware in decades, so there’s no real argument that they’ve improved immeasurably since Howe came in to replace Steve Bruce.
They are a threat all over the pitch, and one player that’s been utterly transformed under the new manager is Joelinton.
Previously mocked, he has come on leaps and bounds since being asked to play as an attacking midfielder, and he was at it again in Newcastle’s comeback win over Brentford on Saturday.
His marauding and skilful run and shot saw the Magpies get back on level terms against the Bees, and it proved to be the platform for Howe’s side to go on and win the game thanks to a magnificent finish from Alexander Isak.
One pundit didn’t appear to be too impressed, however.
“I think that’s the one area Joelinton needs to improve when he’s in front of goal, and he’s got lucky there for sure,” Martin Keown said live on BT Sport, cited by The Boot Room.
“In front of goal, I still feel he’s not quite really top level. In midfield, in his work-rate and what he’s done he’s been amazing.
“But in front of goal there are times when he can be better.”
It’s difficult to understand the former Arsenal man’s point of view here, given that Joelinton’s persistence is often what has got Newcastle into scoring positions in the first place.
Goals will come but they’re not necessarily the main thing that he is handsomely remunerated for.
You may also like
What Spurs can expect from former Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou
Paqueta’s hilarious reaction to walking into TV shot
Jarrod Bowen scores 89th minute goal in ECL final
Video: West Ham instantly pegged back as Bonaventura levels for Fiorentina
Video: Said Benrahma gives West Ham priceless Europa Conference League final lead from the spot