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Matt Ritchie leaps to Newcastle teammate Joelinton’s defence

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Newcastle United

Matt Ritchie leaps to Newcastle teammate Joelinton’s defence

Newcastle star Matt Ritchie has come to the defence of his teammate Joelinton, whose struggles continued this weekend against Crystal Palace.

The Brazilian retained his place in the starting XI against the Eagles, despite claims (Daily Star) he would be axed by Steve Bruce in favour of the fit-again Dwight Gayle.

The Brazilian was chosen to lead the line once more, but was ineffective for the Magpies and now surely faces a struggle keeping his place in the side.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

His performance came just days after Bruce defended the £40 million man (BBC Sport) in a press conference.

Criticism was plentiful for the 24-year-old after the game, but Ritchie praised the South American.

He said (Chronicle): “All players can score goals on the pitch, it’s not just down to Jo.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

“We win and lose together as a team. It’s unfair to criticise any player.

 

“No player goes out not to score goals or not to do something.

“Joey works his socks off for the team.”

Joelinton may work hard for the team, but his goalscoring output was undoubtedly been poor – he has just one in the Premier League, which came all the way back in August, and two in the FA Cup.

TBR’s view – Joelinton has to find form fast

Ideally Newcastle would be in a position to write Joelinton off for the season, and start afresh for 2020/21.

(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

But the club are sliding back towards the relegation zone and seriously need their club-record signing to come good.

Bruce’s team haven’t scored in 270 minutes of football in the Premier League, and some responsibility surely has to lie at the feet of Joelinton, despite the manager branding him not a natural goalscorer (Chronicle).

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