While many expected Dwight Gayle would get a chance today, Steve Bruce is sticking with the Newcastle United record-signing up top.
With kickoff less than one hour away between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, we have our team news. There was a growing expectation that Dwight Gayle would get the nod up top, but Steve Bruce has resisted that urge to follow basic logic and has kept Joelinton in the starting XI.
Today’s match seemed to line up perfectly for Bruce to make a switch from Joelinton to Gayle. The Brazilian is dealing with a leg injury and is definitely not full fitness. On the other side, the pacier Dwight Gayle is returning from a hamstring knock that has kept him out and he’s a former Crystal Palace player. It wouldn’t have signaled a long-term benching, though maybe it should, of Joelinton and it gives a different look at striker, where the Magpies have been atrocious all season. With the club likely bunkering down as always, Gayle’s pace would’ve been welcome on the counter-attack.
Hopefully, Joelinton will battle, win the ball, and somehow score a goal. Bruce credited him with being a fighter and wanting to play, but sometimes, you need to help a player help themselves and sit them down. What if the thigh injury gets aggravated early on? Steve Bruce will be forced to either stick with an injured player already in poor form or make an unnecessary change in a very winnable match on the road. This decision really lacked common sense and let’s all hope that it doesn’t come back to haunt Newcastle United.