Yoshinori Muto has claimed he felt isolated during Newcastle United’s 3-1 loss against Norwich City, as reported by The Chronicle.
This was the Japan international’s first-ever competitive match under Steve Bruce, having been left on the bench for the full 90 minutes during the Magpies’ season opener against Arsenal.
Speaking after the game, Muto said: “It was really hard. I felt isolated and I was always surrounded by three or four opponents, as a forward that was very tough. As a team we struggled overall.”
“When I was watching in the first half I was expecting it to be difficult when I came on because Joelinton was struggling as well.”
Muto played 23 minutes against Norwich, making five passes, of which he completed all of them, as per WhoScored.
During his time on the pitch, the 27-year-old didn’t take a single shot and made no key passes, dribbles or tackles and didn’t contest a single aerial duel.
He referenced Joelinton’s time on the pitch and the Brazilian was only able to complete 79% of his passes.
The 23-year-old took two shots which both went off target, won two of his eight attempted aerial duels and was dispossessed five times throughout the game.
He did help out defensively, making three tackles, which was the third-highest amount of any player on the pitch.
It is likely there was a degree of isolation for Newcastle’s strikers, though when Jonjo Shelvey scored Newcastle’s only goal of the game there were four men in black and white inside the box and two narrowly outside it.
Muto was ineffective and it feels a little bit as though he is looking to take the easy route out of being blamed for that, as even though Joelinton wasn’t fantastic, he still had more of an impact than Muto did and hasn’t been quoted complaining about the situation.
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