What is it with Aleksandar Mitrovic?

This is my debut – so be gentle…but I felt an urge to contribute to The Mag for the first time.

I visit the site every day and let things generally wash over me, when it comes to whatever is being talked about, but enough is enough.

What is the fascination for so many people with Mitrovic?

I saw today that the media had been quizzing Rafa Benitez at his press conference as to whether the Serbian striker would be involved tomorrow.

How is that a story?

Surely it would be a story only if he is in the matchday 18, never mind actually on the pitch.

He has done absolutely nothing to deserve a place and in most cases has been a liability.

Thinking purely of ability and what has been shown this season, not transfer fees, wages, or how canny somebody is, or what a character they are…

Dwight Gayle is by a massive distance Newcastle’s best striker, then Daryl Murphy is NUFC’s second best striker by the same distance back to third.

In fact, there is even a case for Yoan Gouffran competing for that third best title instead of Mitrovic, as at least when he was chosen for the specific purpose of running around a lot at Brighton and harrying the defence, he could at least do that, though he did miss that sitter when one on one with the keeper.

I’m still not sure what Aleksandar Mitrovic is supposed to be good at.

He is the slowest striker in the whole of the Championship, never mind the Premier League. His finishing is poor and he hardly wins a header.

If you took away the massive transfer fee & wages and the whole imagery of how he was a boyhood Newcastle fan and is a bit of a lad, what are you left with?

I would love to see him turn it around but in almost two seasons I have seen next to nothing that would suggest he can do that.

If he had been bought in for a few million and without any of the razzmatazz, I think Mitrovic would be out on loan like Riviere, some club at the bottom of the Spanish league or similar.

Rafa Benitez is no fool and only eight starts this season (most of them simply because Gayle was injured) for Mitrovic and the fact Rafa didn’t trust him in the relegation run-in last season, tells you everything.

Let’s focus on the players who HAVE been unlucky to miss out on more starts in the team, such as Atsu, Murphy and others, rather than somebody who repeatedly fails to take their chances.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    well, he`s no fan of Mitro then

  • Simon Ritter

    Agree with all you say here, Ed. First saw Mitro in the flesh at Watford in PL game. He looked slow and heavy, with none of the anticipation a striker needs if he lacks pace. Against Spurs in season finale he was doing fine from my view in the Leazes End until he tried to cripple their full-back, perhaps retaliating against some heavy tackles. That knackered his chance of a flying start to Championship season and he seems to have gone backwards almost every time I’ve seen him on telly since.

  • Billy Ellwood

    I’d echo most of what Ed says. I too would like Mitro to perform. But the last straw for me was his first half against Bristol City.
    Didn’t Ritchie blast him on the pitch for not moving?
    My order of striker talent – Gayle, Murphy, Perez, Gouffran and lastly Mitro.
    He’ll be moved in the summer.
    I’m not saying he’s not tried. It just hasn’t been good enough.

  • Alex

    Good debut, Ed. Totally agree with you……and Rafa does, too.

  • imrevaradi

    The lad simply isn’t good enough.

  • JMS

    I am 66 years old and still can move and run faster than that cart horse Mitro .
    Raffa if he could would play him just to place him in the shop window.

  • MYOFB

    I think you are right. Flatters to deceive for the most part. Some players (Dummett, Gouffran) can put in consistently decent performances and be met with indifference by the fans. Mitro can wander round like an Alzheimer’s sufferer trying to remember where he lives, pausing only to stick his studs into the shins of the occasional passer by, and have some fans acting like they are watching the Serbian Messi.

  • Paul Kay

    I disagree. I’d be surprised if anybody debates the passion this lad shows, and i question your dismissal of his potential. Mitro has shown his strength and drive, he just needs experience to temper a genuine talent. 2 years and this kid will be premier division class. With the right guidance in 5 he will be worldy. Drogba never had pace.

    • Taz

      R u saying we wait another 5 years…….. seems a tad long to me. The words passion and potential are words usually used to deflect from the truth……..ie, .. not very good!!!!!

  • David Pickering

    You could have summed it all up by just saying he is a carthorse, which I have been saying from his debut. Utterly useless signing and basically sums up Carr’s abilities as a “scout”.

  • steve

    In terms of holding the ball up and bringing others into play he is by far our best forward, problem is in the system we play no-one is ever close enough to him.

  • Allan Kidd

    Couldn’t agree more…talentless donkey…some people have said ” but he is young and still learning”…BullSheet…There are dozens of younger players already established in the Football League…he is 22 FFS…get rid of him ASAP.

  • Keeganontherebound

    I agree that he’s been mainly disappointing this season but he had a decent return in the premiership (9 goals I think) for a young player who had just moved to a new country. He is also scoring goals regularly at an international level for Serbia. I think we should keep working with him and try to develop him. Some players take a while to reach their full potential. Drogba was struggling to establish himself in the French league at that age and Vardy was playing non-league football…

  • Taz

    Agree, His job is to score goals….He doesn’t put away anywhere near the amount of decent chances he has. Poor in front of goal but great in a fight, you wouldn’t put hulk Hogan up front wud ya. (Showing my age now). How long can you wait for him to start doing his job?I think we have waited long enough. He drops more points than he gains them his poor finishing and missed opportunities.
    Not sure about your gouffran suggestion though.

  • Wor Lass

    Not a bad debut article, Ed. I understand where you`re coming from and a lot of what you say is factual – he HASN`T taken the opportunity to stake a claim to a regular starting slot and he DOES miss too many chances. He IS slow. However, the “liability” thing is vastly overplayed now. His disciplinary record is skewed in people`s minds becuase ot those first 4 or so games and his stupid tackle in the Spuds game at the end of the season. Those first few games are partly why he is so liked, though, because it was so refreshing to see someone actually desperate to do well for us and trying too hard. As far as the football goes, he is a clever player, very aware of other players around him and holds up play and brings others in better than either Murphy or Gayle, in my opinion. I suspect that Rafa thinks this and would like him to “break through” – but his time is definitely running out. I can see him moving on in the summer because he would fetch a good price.

  • thewildchimp

    What’s with all of the pending comments that never get to be published?

  • Popnbgd

    You are being to harsh on young lad!He is 6 years younger than Gayle and 10 years younger then Murphy!Benitez mistake was whenever Mitro had good scoring run(Like in the beginning of the season-7 goals in 5 games),Rafa was leaving him out of squad for few games and completely killed his vibe and scoring run!!! I am sure that when he finds another club,he will be stellar!