Steve McClaren says that he admires the courage of Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Newcastle Head Coach praising his striker ‘because of the way he grabbed the ball’ and took the penalty that squared the game at 2-2 against Manchester United.
McClaren saying that Mitrovic is the ‘kind of character’ that he rates, somebody who takes ‘responsibility’.
We (the fans) obviously all want Aleksandar Mitrovic (and the rest of them) to be a success at St James Park but so far we have seen very limited evidence of the signing from Anderlecht taking responsibility and showing courage.
We have seen glimpses and the Manchester United match was one of the handful of games, when Mitrovic has looked the kind of player that Newcastle needed to lift them out of the malaise that had built up in recent seasons.
The rest of the time he has been largely anonymous, sometimes indisciplined and occasionally left on the bench.
These are the perils of signing a 20 year old striker from a weaker overseas league and expecting him to instantly cure a lot of your inherent problems.
You also have to look at the management of the player and indeed the team, you don’t end up 19th after 21 games by accident.
I do think that Steve McClaren has been largely making it up as he has went along this season, reacting to situations and trying to put sticking plasters over the obvious weaknesses in the squad, as well as trying to cover up his very limited tactics.
Whatever the case with the other signings, it appears obvious that Steve McClaren has got his way with the recruitment of Jonjo Shelvey.
It remains to be seen whether he will succeed in getting a proper goalscorers who can play with, or as an alternative to, Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The rest of the season could just be a springboard for both McClaren and Mitrovic to be successes at Newcastle United but at the moment it is finely balanced.
That extra goalscoring striker who can take a bit of the responsibility off both Mitrovic and his manager (head coach etc etc) would undoubtedly help massively tip the odds in terms of escaping and moving on from the current mess.
Steve McClaren on Aleksandar Mitrovic against Manchester United:
“You have got to admire his courage – because of the way he grabbed the ball, as if to say ‘no one is taking this but me’.
“That is the kind of character I like – taking responsibility.
“He is a young player who has come into the Premier League but he has shown that he has got the character.
“I think all strikers, they thrive on that (service) – he thrives on crosses and a certain amount of balls into the box.”
(To feature like Sam, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)