When Newcastle brought in Aleksandar Mitrovic, he came with a reputation.
Bit of a lad, puts himself about…just what Newcastle need.
Within seconds of his first appearance in English football against Southampton, he was in the referee’s book.
Next up he did the same against Swansea when coming off the bench.
At Old Trafford, Mitrovic confounded his critics with a faultless performance in terms of discipline and almost won the game, a superb header from the only decent cross that came his way, rebounding back off the crossbar.
Saturday saw the Arsenal game plan work to perfection, crowding and jostling Mitrovic, starved him of service and support, Andre Marriner did the rest after the Serbian striker accidentally/deliberately caught Coquelin.
Whether it was a red card or not, Mitrovic put himself (and the team) in jeopardy and the fact that Mark Noble has had his red card from Anfield on Saturday, suggests that Steve McClaren didn’t follow up his claims that he was going to appeal the Newcastle player’s dismissal.
Coming with a bit of a reputation is one thing but Aleksandar Mitrovic’s is surely of world record proportions.
Can there be any 20 year old striker with a disciplinary record that gets anywhere close to the Newcastle striker?
Including the three cards he has picked up in England, Mitrovic has now accumulated at the age of 20, a total of 46 yellows and 6 reds.
That would be a horrendous record for any player, even a midfielder who was constantly expected to tackle, but for a striker whose main job is to get on the end of crosses and put the ball in the next…?
In club football alone, Mitrovic has 40 bookings and 5 sending offs already.
The new signing has got a very decent scoring record (when not suspended) but he needs to have a good look at himself and channel his energies into scoring goals and winning football matches.
Yes we want him to be physical but not reckless and stupid.
Like Andre Marriner, so many referees have massive egos in this country due to the profile they have thanks to the spotlight that is constantly on the Premier League.
Sadly, with the cards Mitrovic has picked up already, he will already be on every referee’s radar and will be an accident waiting to happen.
With so much resting on his broad shoulders, let’s hope that Aleksandar Mitrovic learns fast.
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