'He's afraid' - Jeff Stelling tears into 'woeful' Newcastle United player

Sky Sports host Jeff Stelling has accused Newcastle United forward Joelinton of being “afraid” to have a shot on goal.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 8:00 am
Joelinton of Newcastle United. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Brazilian has struggled to produce his most prolific form ever since he signed for the Magpies in 2019, and has hit just seven goals in 71 outings for Steve Bruce’s side.

So far this season, he has registered just three strikes in all competitions, one of which came in the Premier League.

With top scorer Callum Wilson still sidelined, the 24-year-old was given another opportunity prove his credentials in Friday night's 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, but after another barren display, Stelling wasted little time in criticising the Toon player.

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Speaking on Soccer Saturday, he said: “Steve Bruce afterwards said you’re only as good as your strikers, in which case he’s in big trouble, isn’t he?

"I thought Joelinton actually did have a decent game but he’s afraid to pull the trigger. He’s afraid to shoot.

"He’s so lacking in confidence”.

Panel member Lee Hendrie replied: “His return has been really woeful.

"At times I find him playing out wide – I don’t think he’s got the pace to play in that area.

"I’d rather see him actually play through the middle, leave him up there, and play Dwight Gayle off him.

"I don’t see what they see in him”.

Fellow pundit Kris Boyd added: “Do you not think he ends up in the wide areas because he doesn’t want to be through the middle with the potential of missing chances?

"I know that sounds silly, but he’s missed that many that he takes himself wide because he doesn’t want to miss them”.