The latest article to be highlighted in our new Debate of the day feature is: ‘Bit controversial…Benitez thinks that Mitrovic is a Championship striker and is being proved exactly right’.

Every article we publish on The Mag, fans are invited to comment at the end of it (it only takes a minute to register and then you can comment on anything you read on here).

There are some great conversations between supporters commenting on what has been written, not always agreeing with the author…

We are now regularly picking out an article that has produced interesting debate afterwards.

Sometimes the comments can be more interesting that the initial article…but not everybody reads the comments, so we thought some of the conversations deserved a bigger audience.

The article highlighted today has already had 49 comments and the basis of the article, is that journalist Ian Ladyman has claimed Rafa Benitez thinks that Mitrovic is only a second tier level forward and is being proved right.

Some lively comments coming from Mag readers on both sides of the debate…

(If you want to read the original article and/or leave your own comment (or you can do it at the bottom of this one…) go HERE):

Comments after ‘Bit controversial..Benitez thinks that Mitrovic is a Championship striker and is being proved exactly right’:


‘I also disagree with that Mail journalist’s point of view.

You are right in that Rafa did not play him much at all.

Had he done so, then we may have been in a better position than we are right now in terms of goals.

Yes, I’m one of the pro Mitro brigade but lets face it, he is better than Joselu and arguably Gayle albeit, they both offer something different, which is why Mitro should never have been farmed out in the first place!’

Paul Patterson:

‘He’s found his level and we are doing better in recent weeks without him. That’s all that matters.’

Mike Adam:

‘We have been shut out 12 times this season!!!

And our manager continued to march out the same two stikers who can’t score match after match expecting different results, that is “insanity”.

Especially when there was a third option on the bench who could be played, and who has pretty much scored at every level he has been given steady playing time.’

Anita kick up the hoop:

‘The big, huge, massive difference is that Gayle and Joselu are proven over their careers to be nothing better than third rate forwards .. in their late 20s they have peaked beneath the top level.

Mitrovic is 23 and was bought because he has potential…, he isn’t the finished product BUT he’s already a proven international striker and has scored goals consistently at every level…

His future is still full of promise and given the fact that our club persuaded him to sign for us on the basis that this was the best place for his development, it seems silly that a section of our support and a large chunk of the Rafa bedazzled media seem intent on running the lad down in order to prove Rafa right at the expense of the player and the club …

Why don’t we see articles hoping that the 23 year old prospect comes good and becomes a NUFC hero ? … it’s baffling.’


‘Bring him back to Newcastle right now and play him and he will become a bonafide premier league football striker and prove it, in my honest opinion.

There’s not one person who is being honest could say that Joselu is a better striker or stronger player or better holding up the ball or bullying defenders, etc than Mitrovic. And we all know that if played, Mitrovic would have scored a good amount of goals in the right system.

The issue is, Joselu does something better than Mitrovic. He’s willing to sacrifice his small striker potential in favour of a cautious type role, something I’d hazard a guess at, that Mitrovic wasn’t willing to do and has faced the consequences of those actions.’

Whickham Robbie:

‘Watching the Fulham v QPR game now .

Sorry, changed my mind, Mitro is Not Prem standard .

Good first 10 mins then poor, walking about disinterested.’

Paul Smith:

‘Gayle was scoring every week (in the Championship) up until he got injured and when Mitrovic did come into the team (normally due to Gayle being injured or a heavy schedule) he didn’t match or better Gayle’s standards.’


‘If he scores twenty goals between now and the end of the season, there’ll be people here saying he’s rubbish. Why don’t we just wait and see what he does in the World Cup? I personally hope he does well, but if he’s not up to it, then it’ll be apparent.’

Toad Hole Joe:

‘Mitrovic is our best striker, why can’t people see that??!?

Regardless of how hard somebody works off the ball, regardless of how quick someone is, Mitrovic has time on his side and WILL improve, whereas Joselu and Gayle have already peaked and both found their levels. Both would never hit more than 10 goals a season in the premier league , Mitrovic could potentially hit 12-15 on current form and his level ( as his level now ).

If we let him go , there’s no doubt in my mind he’d score goals and his value would soar. We would lose out again, lose – lose.’

Dillon Tovak:

‘I think there is no doubt Gayle is better, he scored 23 in pretty much half a season in the championship.

Neither are really who you want starting in the Prem though.’

Steve Toon Toon:

‘Gonna get slaughtered here but rafa says he doesn’t fit in….. doesn’t do enough in training and the backroom staff all agree…personally I like mitro but I really trust Rafa’s judgement more!!!

So he’s gone on loan good luck to him hope he is the man that puts Sundlind doon and hes still a toon player after all.’

Harry Hype59:

‘Mitro may well be Championship standard!

However the same can be said of Gayle.

Hoss, is league 1 level.’

Stevie B:

‘We never played to his strengths at any time so it’s pointless judging what he was and wasn’t at Newcastle.

It’s like playing peter crouch on the shoulder of the last man then dropping balls in behind which he inevitably won’t get to due to his lack of speed then turning round n saying he’s rubbish.

Whip consistent crosses into the box then judge them type of target men.’

  • Damon Horner

    Mike Adam, “shut out 12 times” by this time in our last relegation season when Mitrovic was leading the line in the main, we were shut out 13 times by the same period. Either not a statistic which is as bad as it sounds or evidence Mitrovic might not improve it.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Lies,damned lies and statistics……..Mitro was playing with a lot better quality players(on paper)at that time too…

      • Damon Horner

        That’s what’s most ironic about this Mitrovic “situation”. He scored 4 goals from open play in his first 6.5 months for McClaren, this was a more attacking biased manager with more attacking biased players, had he delivered for McClaren then mean old Rafa wouldn’t have been here to drop or mistreat him!

        • Kneebotherm8

          Very fair comment….

        • 1957

          I’ve mentioned this before, one of McClaren’s former players said at a Sky Sports promotional event I attended, Steve is a fantastic coach and you would leave training with a clear idea of what he wanted from you only to turn up for the match and find two hours before kick of he changed his tactics. The younger Boro players didn’t have a clue what was happening at times and the senior players had to try to pull everything together on the pitch. If he did them same at Newcastle, in the absence of any leaders on the pitch, it’s no surprise it went badly.

          • Damon Horner

            Plausible to an extent but couldn’t see it happening all the time to the point of mass confusion? Highly likely if he is panicking possibly. I don’t hold the manager fully accountable for the relegation though. Lascelles spoke up for a reason.

    • thewildchimp

      He only started in around half of the games.

      • Damon Horner

        for McClaren? Check again.

  • NUFCDan

    Doesn’t suit our system, the one that has so far worked at keeping our heads just about above water all season with a pretty cr*p team.

  • Mike

    I trust a successful managers judgement

    • Graham Chapman

      Yep, agree, none of us are standing every day at Benton watching their progress, there must be something about Mitro that Rafa wasn’t convinced about

      • TheNutJob

        If that`s the case what does he see in Joselu, does he convince at Benton then just can`t do it in an actual match ?

        • Wor Lass

          Thats the question, all right!

        • Mrkgw

          Quite right!

          • Desree

            Is Charlie Austin still gonna sign

        • Graham Chapman

          I completely agree that Joselu isn’t the answer, as of now we don’t have an answer. But the Gayle and Mitro episodes in the Championship prove that you can sparkle in that league but be second rate in the Prem. Second guessing your next question, no, I don’t have a Saviour up front. Lets just hope that Rafa pulls something out of the bag up front like he did between the posts.

      • phildene

        Rafa didn’t get any money to spend hence Joselu, Stokes 3rd choice striker. Rafa had to utilise the small amount he got, so he did but was expecting much, much more after being told there’s money available-£11.7m! Rafa was lied to yet again!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Rafa want`s a striker who has pace plus technical ability, there isn`t one at Newcastle.
    he doesn`t suit Nufc`s style of play & i`m sure he`ll go to a club that will play to his strengths, meanwhile we`ll have to settle for Gayle & the Hoss.
    My guess is all 3 will be off in the summer if Rafa stays

    • Nut

      Have to say I completely agree with you on that.

    • Cockneytrev

      Arnautovic , imo would fit into rafas style of play,, strong, technical, can hold the ball up and can play as s loan striker,,if West Ham get relegated and we stay up it might be worth a punt on him,, but then again he would cost over £5 mil so Ashley won’t sanction it,,

    • Cuh

      If he wants a striker with pace, he goes and buys Joselu and Slimani?

  • Haitchdee

    The bookings and sending offs didn’t help his cause .Hope he scores loads of goals and gets a dream move . Shame the Fat lad will get the money .

  • Nut

    Given time he may or may not prove himself but let’s be honest here, it’s not you or me he needs to convince it’s Rafa, a seasoned and experienced top lvl manager. If he does that then he will play for us, if he doesn’t he will move on.

  • Wor Lass

    Just imagine what the Mag could have done with this format when HBA was here. We could have had comments about comments and argued about what we`d already argued about until the cows came home. And we still wouldn`t have agreed at the end of it!

    • Mxpx

      Agreed there are some similarities the massive difference between the two scenarios I see though is it was clear that Ben arfa was more important to the club than pardew with mitrovic and rafa it’s really not clear one way or the other he might score 15 for the season but that could be negated by how many extra we concede

  • Toon

    What utter garbage. There you are use that quote next article…

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    It doesn’t make any difference how good he is technically – it is all down to the relationship with the manager. If he doesn’t follow orders, is unreliable, doesn’t have the right work rate or positional sense that the manager wants or goes AWOL on the pitch then he ain’t going to play. There was a recent interview with De Boer, who said when he went to Palace there was a group of players who wanted to do things but only in their own way, another bunch who wanted to work his system and tried to fit and others who just wouldn’t follow instructions – so the player dynamic is a pretty crucial. Japp Stam had a major falling out with Fergie at the peak of his form and abilities – and major contribution to the Manure side of that era, but Fergie got shot of him, after the falling out… There is no way his on pitch discipline helped his cause, and he just doesn’t seem to fit the Rafa system. He’s the gaffa and that is just how it is. All managers make mistakes in team selection and in transfers, but they carry the can. Mitro didn’t work for Rafa, and just has to go. Great for him to kick start his UK career in the Champ.

    • Down Under Mag

      It’s not just relationship with the manager but how he actually fits into the managers tactical setup, which sadly Mitro just doesn’t. He may be a better technical striker than Joselu but the one thing people need to remember is Joselu fits into the tactical plans better because he runs hard off the ball and keeps things tight. Mitro wouldn’t do the same graft and that for me is the main reason he hasn’t been given a chance.

      • Cockneytrev

        Arnautovich would be perfect for us,,,

  • Desree

    Mitrovic is our Niall Quinn.

    • Paul Patterson

      Niall Quinn was decent in the air . .