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Bruno Guimaraes must start for Newcastle United at West Ham – and Joelinton should make way – Malcolm Macdonald

First the less controversial bit of the argument – I want to see Bruno Guimaraes start for Newcastle United.

He’s a current Brazilian international, cost £40m, and is an exciting January signing who the fans have been clamoring to see unleashed.

Now the bit that will split public opinion right down the middle – who should make way for him out of Joelinton, Joe Willock and Jonjo Shelvey.

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Well – deep breath – I would drop Big Joe!

Oh, I know. I can almost hear the collective clamor shouting me down.

I’m repeatedly told that Joelinton is doing really well, much better than he did when he played centre-forward and, yes, I accept that.

But for me he still doesn’t do enough. He doesn’t take a game by the scruff of the neck. He doesn’t hurt the opposition and strike fear into them.

Sure he’s neat and tidy and gets his foot in but I think Bruno will bring more to the table.

I would keep Willock in the side ahead of Joelinton because he likes to get into the penalty area, we know he can finish, and Chris Wood needs support.

Shelvey can sit deep and let the other two get on with it. Jonjo has improved, like Joelinton, but his range of passing is better.

Wood used to play in a two at Burnley and I feel he does not like to be isolated. Willock can get up and get around him.

In the meantime how much longer can we hold Guimaraes back? We know foreign players can take time to adapt to a different league and different culture but he has waited long enough. If he was good enough to splash an awful lot of money on him then he is good enough to start now.

The lad didn’t come here to sit on the bench and is he remains there too long he will get frustrated.

I know there is an argument to keep together three players who have done well in a winning team but every team can be improved.

The other Brazilian (Joelinton) has an awful lot of support on the terraces and Eddie Howe likes him but I just feel that of the two South Americans Bruno has the edge.

I also believe that midfield will be the key area against West Ham. Who wins that battle will win the match which is why I want Bruno in the trenches.

The Hammers possess two outstanding players in that area of ​​the pitch in Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen. They are on fire and will test Newcastle to the full.

However such is the team spirit and the confidence right now that I expect the Magpies to more than compete even without Kieran Trippier and his absence is a major blow.

I feel the back four is much more balanced with Dan Burn and Matt Targett on the left side of it. Both enjoyed terrible debuts though this will be their first time in harness.

It’s a great shame that United will have to go with their third choice right-back but at least Emil Krafth has improved and if he concentrates on doing the simple things well he should be all right.

West Ham will play football, not just hump it, and David Moyes deserves huge credit for the job he has done with them. Think back to the opening match of last season. They were atrocious and Newcastle slaughtered them.

However Moyes has put it right big style. They will be a massive danger to us come Saturday lunchtime but I believe the Mags will get a draw to remain unbeaten in 2022 in the league and if they follow that up with victory at Brentford in their next game they will be really on a roll.

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