Newcastle continued their march towards next season’s Champions League with a 5-1 demolition of West Ham last night.
The Magpies kept themselves third in the Premier League with the win and opened up a three point gap to fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur who have played 29 matches compared to their 28.
A double each from Calum Wilson and Joelinton, along with a smart finish from substitute Alexander Isak, resigned David Moyes to yet another defeat as the Eastenders continue to stare down the barrel of potential relegation.
It was an utterly dominant performance against the Hammers, illustrated by Newcastle notching up 15 shots to their opponent’s seven, eight shots on target to two and recording 58% possession.
As Geordies everywhere continue to get excited by the prospect of European football, and the renewed sense of optimism and excitement injected into the club by the takeover by PIF, the standout performer at the London Stadium was Joelinton- a man signed for former manager Steve Bruce under the much-maligned ownership reign of Mike Ashley.
How did Joelinton perform against West Ham United?
The Brazilian has been one of the comeback stories of the last few Premier League seasons for Newcastle, going from a misfiring and ridiculed striker under Bruce to an all-action, box-to-box midfielder under current boss Eddie Howe.
Against West Ham, Joelinton was everywhere, recording a man-of-the-match WhoScored rating of 8.6, alongside his two brilliantly taken goals.
His first strike was a composed finish after rounding Lukasz Fabianski, before he added his side’s fifth late on with a fine left-footed strike across the Hammers ‘keeper following an incisive counter-attack.
It wasn’t just his attacking prowess that caught the eye in Stratford however, as the 26-year-old also won four ground duels and two aerial duals as well as one block, one interception and one tackle, also proving to be cool in possession with 27 accurage passes from 55 touches – as per Sofascore.
Former Rangers legend Ally McCoist hailed the £80k-per-week star’s turnaround in the North East on talkSPORT breakfast saying:
“I keep asking the boys in the North East, I don’t think I’ve seen a transformation in a player anywhere, at any time, that’s been better than Joelinton.”
“I remember going to watch Newcastle and I actually felt sorry for the lad. He was trying but he couldn’t hit a cow on the backside with a banjo!”
In recent times, he has also been labelled a “revelation” by former Arsenal man Kevin Campbell.
If Howe can keep his payers purring as they were last night, the Champions League anthem will surely be ringing around St James’ Park come next season.