Newcastle travel to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League today as they go in search of their first top-flight win of the season.
The Magpies sacked manager Steve Bruce earlier this week after he failed to register a single victory in the first eight league games of the campaign, with the club sat 19th in the table as it stands.
Graeme Jones is now tasked with the unenviable task of manning the ship until a permanent head coach is named to replace Bruce and he will need to make some big selection calls ahead of this clash with the Eagles.
One of them should be immediately axing Joelinton from the team after his shocking performance against Tottenham last weekend. The Brazilian lined up out wide on the left against Spurs and put in a dreadful display worthy of being dropped to the bench this weekend.
Should Joelinton start?
Joelinton has never fully settled into life in the Premier League since joining from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in 2019. Earlier this year, Magpies legend Alan Shearer claimed that the £80k-per-week flop does not pose a threat and offers nothing going forward.
He said: “A lot of money he cost and he finds it really difficult. His touch is really poor and he hasn’t posed a threat.
“It’s been really frustrating watching him. I actually feel sorry for him because when the ball goes to him, it’s bouncing off him and he’s offering nothing going the other way, also.”
His struggles were epitomised by his performance against Spurs. As per SofaScore, he lost a whopping 20 of his 29 duels, lost possession of the ball 24 times and failed with all three of his attempted dribbles. He was also unable to complete a single shot or cross as he received a horrendous match rating of 5.5.
Joelinton is yet to score in eight Premier League matches this term, having only found the back of the net four times in 31 games last season. This illustrates how dreadful he has been for Newcastle in the top flight over the last 18 months, with his showing against Tottenham simply being the tip of the iceberg.
Therefore, Jones’ first call as the interim manager must be to axe the Brazilian from the staring XI. The likes of Ryan Fraser, Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almiron could all play in wide areas, which means that the caretaker boss has options ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park today.