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Opinion

Is it a problem when this Newcastle striker picks up more cards than goals?

4 years ago
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In Summer 2015, 20 year old Aleksandar Mitrovic arrived on Tyneside to big headlines, a childhood Newcastle fan who had played Champions League football and looked full of potential.

Two weeks later, to a little less acclaim, the 18 months younger Ivan Toney arrived at St James Park, though also a striker that was widely reported to have some potential despite arriving from League Two Northampton.

The discipline problems Mitrovic brought with him were well covered by the media and some dodgy tackles and red card against Arsenal early on, cemented that reputation for many people, particular the newspapers.

A second red card for Newcastle in the meaningless end of season game against Spurs, merely added to that, especially when it meant the Serbian striker missed the first four games of this season.

However, it may surprise you to know, but Ivan Toney looks to have a far bigger issue with discipline than Mitrovic.

Obviously playing away from the main spotlight helps to keep coverage to a minimum but after showing some promise, both as a first team sub and out on loan, you have to worry whether discipline problems could hamper Ivan Toney’s progress.

The bottom line is that as strikers, neither Mitrovic or Toney should be picking up so many cards and suspensions, defenders and central midfielders you expect it to come with the role, but forwards who are looking to create rather than stop opposition?

In his club career, Aleksandar Mitrovic has started 160 club games and came on as a substitute another 43 times.

The 22 year old has scored 83 goals, picking up 45 yellows and 6 reds.

For Ivan Toney, he has played 55 club matches and came off the bench another 44 times.

In those games the 20 year old has scored 20 goals, picking up 24 yellows and two reds.

This season the former Northampton forward has scored a decent five goals on loan for Shrewsbury but that has come with nine bookings, one sending off and two suspension before November!

Maybe Ivan Toney should be looking at Adam Armstrong as more of a role model, the 19 year old Geordie playing 71 times in total – in starts and sub appearances, scoring 23 goals but picking up only four bookings and no red cards in club football.

A big season for all of Newcastle’s players out on loan because no doubt Rafa Benitez will be taking a keen interest in the reports coming back in, with a lot of competition to decide who he will want to keep at the club – especially if United are heading back to the Premier League.

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