According to Kieron Dyer, Steve Bruce deserves real credit for being the first manager to play Joelinton in midfield – a claim we all know to be completely false.
Speaking on talkSPORT after the Brazilian scored in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Leicester, the former Toon attacker had this to say:
“Newcastle fans won’t like me saying this, but it was Steve Bruce who played Joelinton in midfield, so credit to Steve Bruce.”
Absolute rubbish. During his first season and a half on Tyneside, Bruce consistently played his new ‘No 9’ as a lone striker – often booting it long to ‘big Joe’ – or using him as a left-sided forward.
He consistently mismanaged the former Hoffenheim star – who only started 28 of Bruce’s final 50 Premier League games – and it wasn’t until a 1-1 draw with Norwich under Eddie Howe that we saw him used in a deeper role.
Ironically, it was an early red card to Ciaran Clark that forced Howe to drop Joelinton back into midfield that night, but it worked wonders on the night and they’ve never looked back since.
There was a constant theme in the media during Steve Bruce’s time in charge. Pundits and former players would conveniently get their facts wrong while sticking up for the 62-year-old and it’s happened again here.
Do better, Kieron Dyer.