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Amusing punchline to Steve McClaren comments on Aleksandar Mitrovic

4 years ago

It is just over two years since Steve McClaren was sacked by Newcastle United.

Almost as unbelievable as Mike Ashley giving him the job at Newcastle, Derby County took him back despite sacking him the previous year for failing in the Championship.

After failing once again in the Championship with the Rams, they once again gave him the boot last March (2017).

Since then, Steve McClaren has proved unemployable as a manager at any decent kind of level, which has meant sadly, we have to put up with his views in the media.

The former NUFC head coach was at St James Park when Aleksandar Mitrovic arrived in summer 2015 – but with Mike Ashley giving Graham Carr the power on who was signed or not, Steve McClaren had no say on who came on.

Nevertheless, Mitro was one of four young players (Thauvin, Wijnaldum and Mbemba signed as well) from weaker leagues who arrived for relatively big money.

However, a combination of the chaotic transfer policy and McClaren’s equally chaotic management of the team, ensured Newcastle were heading for relegation.

Steve McClaren has popped his head back up in the media and has commented on the position surrounding Mitrovic.

He says that the Serbian striker is prospering because he is now at a club where the management believe in him and where he is ‘loved’.

It is ironic then that Steve McClaren’s final downfall at Newcastle United, involved Aleksandar Mitrovic, and gives us an insight into the then Newcastle coach’s poor decision making.

Newcastle weren’t in a great position back in early March 2016.

However, they were actually doing ok at St James Park, it was the away form that was dismal, especially with Wijnaldum failing to turn up week after week on Newcastle’s travels.

Leading up to the Bournemouth game that proved to be McClaren’s last, Newcastle had actually drawn 3-3 with Man Utd, then beaten West Ham and West Brom, Mitro scoring against Man Utd and getting the only goal v West Brom for the victory.

Yet for the key Bournemouth game at home, Steve McClaren amazed everybody by starting Emmanuel Riviere who hadn’t had a start all season, dropping Mitrovic.

Newcastle were poor that first half and Riviere predictably abysmal, Bournemouth led at half-time and eventually won 3-1, Mitrovic replaced the French striker at the break but the mood of the match had been set by McClaren’s tactics and team selection.

There was a happy ending though as at last Steve McClaren got the sack and Rafa Benitez came in…

Steve McClaren on Aleksandar Mitrovic:

“He came in as a young boy at Newcastle United.

“He needs to be loved, he needs to be believed in, trusted.

I think Jokanovic, being Serbian…I think they’ve got that connection.

“Once you get the best out of him, he is not only a good player outside the box, bringing other players into it, he also scores goals.”


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