I have been lucky enough to see every game at the World Cup so far. Earlier today I watched Serbia’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica. Much was said about the performance of Aleksandar Mitrovic, especially on social media. Quite rightly, most people highlighted the big chance that Mitrovic failed with in the second half, in which he went through on goal but struck the ball straight at Navas. Granted, he should have buried it, but I actually thought that he was the best player on the pitch… by a good distance too.

Everything that Serbia did well, went through Mitrovic. His hold up play was second to none, he won his fair share of headers, and he was as strong as an ox all day. All things we know he can do, but on top of that, he looked like he had an extra yard of pace and was tricky with the ball.

Yes, he missed a big chance, but this is nothing new. Mitrovic’ discipline has never been that much of a problem for me. If anything, the one thing that has frustrated me most about him is the amount of half-decent chances that he misses. I simply go with the idea that if Rafa doesn’t like him then that’s just the way it is.

Talk is that we are looking for 20 million for Mitrovic. Let’s say that we do get rid of him for 20 million, who are we going to bring in?

I watched the Denmark game yesterday and saw Jorgensen for the first time, a player who we were apparently close to signing. All I saw was a player similar to Mitrovic who wasn’t as good as Mitrovic. Jorgensen lacked strength, pace, and was completely isolated at times. I am sure most people who watched that game yesterday would have to admit that Peru were by far the better side, despite the scoreline. Likewise, I saw the same thing with Slimani, a ‘less good’ version of Mitrovic, albeit we didn’t see that much of him!

I could understand Rafa wanting rid of Mitro if he was wanting to bring in a different type of player… maybe he wants a player who is going to do all the running and press the backline, or a player like Gayle who is going to get in behind. Yet it seems, based on the countless links so far, that Rafa wants to bring in a player of a similar physical mould to Aleksandar Mitrovic.

It is this that I don’t understand, especially given the restricted time frame this summer because of the new transfer window and the World Cup.

If you are to believe Lee Ryder in the Sunday Sun this morning (I know the guys at the Chronicle don’t know anything that is going on, but humour me) then Newcastle can’t bring any real players in until they have sold the likes of Sels, Mbemba, Mitro, Merino. This is more amusing after Chronicle ran several stories saying Newcastle would have £70+ million to spend this summer.

Anyway, it is likely that Newcastle wont be able to sell Mitrovic until Serbia are knocked out of the World Cup. Given their win earlier, you would now expect them to reach the knockout stages. So that is at least until 6th or 7th of July. That would leave Newcastle only one month to bring in a replacement striker? It doesn’t seem likely and quite frankly it doesn’t make any sense at all.

Nothing to do with Newcastle United so far this summer makes any sense at all. If this summer turns out to be anything like last summer, then we will start the season with a sub-par side.

Rafa has his hands tied behind his back by Mike Ashley, but what the Mitrovic issue proves to me, is that sometimes he really doesn’t help himself.

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  • SuperDesHamilton

    Strikers are meant to score goals

  • paul mclaughlan

    Howay man Mitro, start burying them chances. You don’t want to spoil fattys summer.

  • Leazes.

    Did you miss the second calamity on 85 mins when he somehow made a hash of it in front of the keeper? He doesn’t have pace and he’s not a predatory goal moocher and against premiership elite or National teams he falls short…. that was the Mitro I watched the season before last.

    • Mrkgw

      But, does he really fall short Leazes, he has after all scored Premiership goals before? Quite a drawn out saga this and it will likely rumble on until the regime get their loot.

      On another note, anyone seen Jezza lately? He isn’t pro Mitro but hasn’t popped up in related discussions for a while. Maybe he is part of a current World Cup squad having previously hidden under a ‘Discuss – Jezza’ alias…….

      • Leazes.

        As far as I can remember yes he has scored but not against top clubs …. really a third rate striker, if Liverpool or come in for him I’ll reassess my view!

        Jezza no idea maybe he was someones alias and he’s forgotten the log in?

        • TheNutJob

          😂😂😂

  • dave.bruce

    Sorry when did you get your pro licence i belive you you know more than RAFA

  • wheyayeman

    Come back Jezza all is forgiven

  • Jonathan Gibson

    Mitro is garbage, rafa absolutely right selling him which it looks possible to get a premium figure that would have been laughed at the season before. Newcastle invariably are a counter attacking team that rarely enjoy more than 40 % posession, we need searing pace up front, king from bournmouth who netted 16 season before last in PL fits bill for me, fits MA criteria too.

  • Wey aye man

    Totally agree, Jorgensen was terrible yesterday, horrible touch and offered nothing. Centre forwards should bury chances people say? Is that wot Gayle and Joselu done this season? Joselu wouldn’t score goals in the northern league. Mitro has scored nearly 30 goals for club and country since January. Mitro offers so much more and a decent number 10 behind him would bring out the best in him. Sorry to say it but mitro will leave Newcastle and do really well somewhere else

    • TheNutJob

      dodged the bullet there, whoever scouted Jorgenson wants the bullet

  • TheNutJob

    I like Mitro, his passion for the game & the love of Newcastle but he lacks the pace for the premiership & you have to bury the chances he had.

    • Geordiegiants

      I think that’s the problem, we all love him and his passion. The problem is most people are struggling to separate passion for ability.

      • Reggae86

        Totally agree. Can’t get sentimental because he’s a likeable character

  • Billmag

    So it’s the last game of the season we need three points to stay up it’s the 88th min and Mitro misses a chance like he had today Jonathan would you still think the manager doesn’t help himself.

    • TheNutJob

      would Hoss score it ?

      • Billmag

        Not on about hoss he didn’t play much after Xmas anyway.

        • TheNutJob

          well you`re on about Newcastle strikers & he`s one of them.
          i`d sell the lot to tell you the truth but the funds aren`t there to replace them

          • Billmag

            The author was on about Mitro and the manager not helping himself by not picking him, so do you think we would have been any higher in the league with Mitro in it.

          • TheNutJob

            i don`t rate any of our strikers but what i do know is that Mitrovich is far superior to Joselu

          • Billmag

            He was bought as a stop gap everybody knows that, Rafa has put Mitro in the shop window because if he had stayed here he wouldn’t have been.

          • Geordiegiants

            Superior???? Howare Nut, that’s flattery at its best. Slightly better by a cats whisker would of fitted better.

          • panther

            He would hve contributed a hell of a lot more

          • Billmag

            And you know more than the manager do you.

          • panther

            I know hes a much better player then Joselu

          • Billmag

            I’m not disputing that I will ask you the same as I have asked Nutty do you think we would have finished higher than 10th with Mitro.

          • panther

            probably, better chance with 11 men than 10 and a half

    • Duh

      He might have been sent off by then

      • Geordiegiants

        Good chance

  • TheNutJob

    I hope you haven`t been reading Ryder of the ronnie Jon lad,
    he says Rafa has a list of 50 strikers
    😂😂😂

  • Natturner26

    Mitro oozes class at every level. The teams he are in win and score goals. He won the free kick that Serbia scored today. He has also become a much better finisher and will surely score in this World Cup. I rank him below Ronaldo but better than anyone we’ll get to replace him. Frankly, the Newcastle fans calling him third rate are idiots.

    • Billmag

      Rubbish, two glorious chance’s today and missed them both and it was a worldy free kick and nowt to do with Mitro.

    • Sickandtired

      You been sniffing the hippy crack?

    • TheNutJob

      must have been a close call with CR7, was it
      😂😂😂

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Hello Mitrovic, didn’t know you posted on here

    • Albert Stubbins

      I’m assuming you’re talking about fat Ronaldo in 2018?

      • theoriginalbomberman

        R9 would probably still be a big step up from Joselu lol

    • Duh

      Yeah saying he is 3rd rate is outrageous, he’s second rate.

    • Geordiegiants

      What a belta statement that was. You been on the drink all day for Father’s Day? 🤣😂🤣😂🤣

  • GlasgowMag

    First time I had watched Mitro since he was put out on loan. Nothing has changed my opinion to slow and not a natural goal scorer dreadful misses today time to get rid!!!

  • TheFatController

    We saw that he is neither a clogger nor a top finisher. He’s a good striker worth £15m of anyone’s money that play balls into the box.

    And for that level of player, he proves that you’re a better player when not playing than when you are. So when you don’t play for your club you’ll get a load of coverage …once you start playing you become ‘just another of our players’.

    • JonMag

      i`ll consult my lawyer on that one

      • TheFatController

        I’m saying he’s an average player benefitting from not playing for a team that has poor strikers…

  • JonMag

    7 yrs ago we signed Demba Ba, the last real striker we got under this Fat [email protected]
    tenure. think about it, 7 long years !

    • gallowgate26

      We got Loic Remy afterwards but only on loan… the only striker of a similar calibre as Cisse was an enigma. It depends whether you count a loan or not.

  • NUFCDan

    Mitrovic played OK, but he showed why he would (and did) struggle at PL level. Compare his performance to a player Rafa actually did want in Hernandez and it was night and day difference.

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      Not sure what you’re talking about… Hernandez mucked up two massive moments for his side today. Played well but not sure what you’re watching to be honest.

  • TheNutJob

    that`s all me bets down today, betvictor will be sending the bailiffs oot
    😠

  • Geordieguy

    We’re dancing on the head of a pin here. None of our forwards are good enough at premier league level. None would get into double figures regardless of service . They’re all deficient in one way or another. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation

    • Andy Mac

      But one of them is at least top scorer in the PL with 9 goals ?

      • Geordieguy

        Yeah perez who we aren’t even discussing here

        • Andy Mac

          Perez scored 8 PL goals this season

  • gallowgate26

    You think Jorgenson and Slimani(!) lack pace compared to Mitrovic? Are we supposed to take this drivel seriously?

  • Andy Mac

    It’s not the deal maker as far as Mitro/Toon are concerned but the guy has/had an affinity with the fans and wanted to make it here in front of 50k screaming Geordies.

    How many decent centre forwards/strikers do you know, apart from Shearer, that actually wanted to be here to play on the centre – SJP – stage ??

    • Rich Lawson

      Good point but I would include Sir Les in that small group ? (shameful on/off/on move to Spurs)

  • The Vicar

    Agree totally.

    Sometimes Benitez screws up, as he has done with Mbabu and is doing with both Mitrovich and Mbemba.

    No one ever gets everything right. If he gets two-thirds of his decisions right then Benitez will be well ahead of nearly all EPL managers.

    • Duh

      He is not necessarily saying mitro is no good, he is saying he does not fit into his system. That might be his lack of discipline, his attributes/style of play or a combination of both.

    • theoriginalbomberman

      Don’t forget the disgusting way he treated a 16 year servant in Tim Krul last season all the while crying that he needed a proven Premier league keeper.
      It’s the Rafa Benitez way to be fair. Far too many former players have came out and said what a poor man manager Benitez is that there has to be some level of truth in it. (Xavi Alonso, Ryan Babel, Yossi Benayoun, Dudek, Steven Gerrard just off the top of my head)

      • Damon Horner

        I reckon Krul has done some big damage to his new when he picked up that injury. If he has, giving him a two year deal and a loan spell to get some games in is quite fair.

        • theoriginalbomberman

          Yeah except Rafa allowed a top former/ possible future again international keeper who is only 28 to go permanently to an at the time relegation rival. I get the feeling that Rafa doesn’t like the Dutch if I’m honest. He basically replaced all of the ones in the team with cheaper and or less solid Spanish alternatives. Vurnon Anita out for Manquillo, Joselu in De Jong out.

      • robbersdog

        Gerrard said nothing of the sort; in fact, he was very complimentary about Benitez in his autobiography.

        • theoriginalbomberman

          He complimented his tactical prowess but has often stated he’s a fairly poor man manager and would have a go at him even when he did well.

          • robbersdog

            No, he didn’t say that. These are his exact words…

            Our working relationship was ultra-professional and his frostiness drove me to become a better player. I had a hunger to earn a compliment from him — but also a hunger to let him know he really needed me as a player. We were like fire and ice. Passion surged inside me, while Rafa was the strategic thinker.

            Sounds like Rafa knew exactly how to handle Gerrard and get the best out of him. The flip-side of this dynamic is Steve McClaren who, as England manager, referred to him in public as Stevie G, and, by all accounts, praised him to the heavens to his face. But Rafa got a tune out of him, whereas McClaren didn’t.

            Gerrard also states in his book that there were some players at Liverpool who Rafa DID praise, so, quite clearly, he treats each player as an individual, and adjusts his ‘man management’ accordingly.

            Oh, and by the way, you’ll also find players who claim that Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola are poor man managers – Yaya Toure being the latest in regard to the latter. They tend to be the players who those respective managers dropped, sold or simply didn’t rate. It comes with the territory. Rafa’s record in management speaks for itself, so stop making things up in order to justify your personal dislike of him.

      • Tony English

        Krul has had a serious knee injury for two years, he only managed 5 cup appearances last year unable to displace an ok (but not amazing) keeper in Mat Ryan from Brighton’s first team and he’s moving on again, Rafa gambled in letting him go after assessing his injury record.
        We DID need a quality keeper, which Krul wasn’t last season or the season before when unfortunately he was a croc picking up wages, and unfortunately when budgets are tight you have to be ruthless and move folk on.
        You remember Roeder buying Obafemi Martins to replace perma-injured Michael Owen, meaning funding was short for other parts of the squad, which lead to an imbalanced squad with too many strikers and no one to win the ball or pass it to them….and ultimately relegation.

  • Dillon Tovak

    Mitros two misses were pretty bad but he played pretty well all round.
    One thing is for sure we dodged a bullet with Jorgensen.

    • Leazes.

      Pity we didn’t dodge Mitrovic.

      • Dillon Tovak

        What else would they write about on The Mag if we hadn’t signed him?
        Oh yeah, Aston Villa.

        • SuperDesHamilton

          Or Sunderland,

    • HarryHype59

      The idiot Clarko, reckoned he was worth £18m .

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Would back Gayle to score more goals any time than Mitro .

    • Blackburn1066

      He is a cart horse works hard and gets in there but but the brain stops there, its a shame but we need better

    • Mxpx

      In rafas system perhaps but in any team that plays attacking football then no mitrovic is going to score more

  • Thom Ridley

    The sooner he is sold the better. Not because I want rid of him, I actually quite like him. But just so these articles stop.

    The fact is Rafa doesn’t want him in the team. We don’t know his full reasoning, but that’s it. Move on.

  • Nunatak

    Like mitro but he wasnt great today, best player on the pitch? Really? He was decent but milos……- savic was fantastic and the old boys matic, colerov, and that fella wot played for chelsea were the guys that controlled the game (apologies for spelling ive had a few ales)

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Colerov, the love child of Kolarov & Ashley Cole

  • Damon Horner

    23 year old striker with 9 PL goals. Check his career record for suspensions and then say it’s still no problem.

  • pedrodelgardo

    “Rafa doesn’t help himself” check out his CV and have some humility.

  • Donald Dong

    Mitro was never really that bad but United needs a better front man because they are competing in PL. Although there were a few who don’t like how Rafa hasn’t given Mitro a second look, United hasn’t yet received any attractive offers for him either which means he is work in progress.

  • Desree

    We have a dig at professionals who have won stuff, ie Mark Lawrenson, for being clueless. Then our own fans write stuff like this, who have never managed a club or played the game at any level other than on a playstation.

    Then we complain when the media say our fans are a bit clueless and are dreaming.

    The world cup is the best place to get fooled by players. Mitrovic should have been playing out of his skin yesterday, he did a couple of good things, like t he run for the goal he should have scored.

    But as other writers have said, why do we keep having this debate?

  • Sumit Sengupta

    I don’t think Mitrovic was the best player in that game. He was pretty ordinary compared to Savic and some others. And even if he improves a lot later on, if the manager doesn’t find him suitable for his team, why should he keep him? Better to let him go so that he can pursue his dreams somewhere else.

  • Mxpx

    Unless we’re willing to attack teams then playing mitrovic is pointless HOWEVER I’m bored of sitting 10 men behind the ball I’d love us to sign Kennedy and townsend and go at teams next season but it’s not the rafa way

    • Gallowgatefan

      It would be the pardew/mcclaren way tho…

  • Wor Lass

    What this thread, once again, proves is that when most people on social media take a position on an issue they`re very unlikely to change. That miss is all the knockers need to confirm that he`s no good while his link-up play is evidence for his supporters that he`s a good player who should figure in Rafa`s plans. I like him but admit that he lacks real pace and missed too many chances for us but all that`s irrelevant. If Rafa`s not interested then he needs to go and the sooner the better (Mitro, that is!).

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      That’s about the size of it. Flank him with two pacey attackers and he’s very useful, leave him to plough a lone farrow then he hasn’t the pace to do it.

  • MadMag83

    Best player on the pitch? Did you watch the same match? It was clearly Milinkovic Savic.

    • Desree

      I am watching the highlights. If Mitrovic was playing for England there would be picture of a turnip with Mitros face super imposed.

      • MadMag83

        Had Kolorov not scored that wonder free kick, you’d have to think Mitrovic would be getting it in the neck.

    • Gallowgatefan

      Agreed

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    Comparing two players over a single game and judging their future potential on the basis of 90 minutes and then coming to the conclusion that Rafa doesn’t help himself is a massive disconnect. I think a job as a junior scout is all you can possibly aspire to JD-C

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      what two players? and i didn’t make any statements based on only one game.

      i think a job as a junior proof- reader is the best you can hope for.

      • Angelswithdirtyfaces

        I only wish I had had the chance to edit your poorly written piece with all its illogical speculation

  • WrongToon

    The issue with Mitro irks me. I know that the Championship is different to the PL – just look at Gayle’s record – so Mitro’s 12 in 20 needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but from the games I did watch, I saw a player who was more disciplined, more tactically aware, and better all-round than he was with us initially.
    Rafa is stubborn, but is also capable of learning from his mistakes. He tinkered with the team so much early in the season, and results were inconsistent. Once he settled and started putting out the same XI week after week we started seeing improvements.
    I’d love to think Mitro will get a chance in pre-season to show Rafa that he’s matured as a player, but I know the most likely situation is that he’ll be off for as near £20m as we can get. I can’t help but think that being left with Gayle, Joselu, and £20m in the bank, we’ll be a far weaker side.

    • Damon Horner

      Personally I think that’s a highly overlooked factor. Rafa won’t play him for a reason but nothing suggests the reason hasn’t been addressed with his loan spell and run of games and goals. He might come back as a player more to Rafa’s liking.

  • thewildchimp

    Well, Mitro’s effort wasn’t very good, but Navas’ save was. He caught the ball
    when it was behind him. Like most kids, Mitro sometimes lacks composure
    and rushes things. For me, Kolarov was the main man, simply because of the sublime free-kick that decided the game. Should be noted that it was Mitro who won it, and ran some decent 10+ yards before the ref finally stopped him after the third consecutive foul. His touches were brilliant, however, finishing leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Gallowgatefan

    Has anyone considered that we play in a different way to Serbia/Fulham? Also, Rafa sees/saw him every day in training and knows his character and how he fits in with the group so maybe sees something we don’t.

    He does look better for Serbia/Fulham but needs to do it in premier league where for us he has let the team down on numerous occasions. How long do we wait on him, how many chances?