As I watched Joselu running around aimlessly for another 90 minutes on Saturday, my thoughts drifted towards Aleksandar Mitrovic…
I wasn’t at the Augsburg match willingly, instead it was because my daughter wanted to go and so I took her and a friend along.
Friendlies aren’t the best of experiences in any circumstances, but when you are struggling to score a goal against a bang average lowly German club, it means you even more think about anything but the kickabout you are watching.
Newcastle actually weren’t terrible in the first half and had a few chances but as per last season, I always think that Joselu never looks like he is going to get a goal.
I was never the biggest fan of Aleksandar Mitrovic but I must admit, having seen quite a bit of his time and 12 goals at Fulham, then his World Cup adventure, I do think he has maybe matured and looks a more complete striker.
Yes, he could have scored a few more if taking his chances in Russia but I did think his overall game looked a lot better than what we saw most of the time when playing for Newcastle.
As always, I will say first of all that anything Rafa Benitez does, I am fine with, but I do wonder if just maybe he should have changed his Mitro stance.
If we were a normal club and selling the Serbian and a number of others, would then have helped towards four or five proper signings coming in, including a £20m/£25m new striker, the fair enough sell him.
However, with Mike Ashley once again playing Rafa Benitez for a fool and giving him a pittance to reinvest back in the team, just maybe keeping Aleksandar Mitrovic made the most sense.
Salomon Rondon looks like he will arrive any time soon but even to get that, Rafa has had to agree to flogging Dwight Gayle.
Rondon has a record of averaging eight goals a season in three Premier League seasons, I hope he can do the business but I do worry as to whether we have actually downgraded on strikers…
That is without the then further worries of in the absence of Mitro and Gayle, what happens if Rondon then gets injured?
Back to Joselu appears to be that answer.
I can’t help but think this sale of Mitro is going to come back and haunt us, especially with Fulham showing ambition to bring in plenty of other major signings.
My mood wasn’t helped when checking out the official Fulham site this morning, to see what was happening with our former striker.
Unlike Newcastle’s transfer activity, Aleksandar Mitrovic made his first start on Saturday since moving back to Fulham and promptly scored a very good goal after three minutes and then added an assist on 16 minutes, the Cottagers eventually drawing 2-2 with Celta Vigo.
I am now daydreaming again, though this time remembering Joselu yesterday. Yes he tries his very best but last season taught us that/he is nowhere near good enough.
I still can’t believe that he is still here and we are almost certainly going to have to rely on him this season.
If Aleksandar Mitrovic is at the same time firing on all cylinders and scoring goals at Fulham, it is going to be a constant itch that won’t go away.
Comments included in official Fulham match report from their 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo:
‘Fulham concluded their pre-season preparations with a 2-2 draw at a sunny Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.
All the goals came in the first-half with Aleksandar Mitrovic reintroducing himself to the Fulham faithful after just three minutes when his low strike opened the scoring.
Celta Vigo named a strong line-up which included Iago Aspas as part of a dangerous front-three with former Fulham man Jozabed named among the replacements.
Mitrovic opened the scoring in the third minute of the game when he spun away from the Celta defenders and rifled a shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.
After some more fine footwork from Mitrovic, the Serbian found Kamara on the right and the forward pulled the trigger on the edge of the box, nestling his shot in the bottom left-hand corner of the goal in the 16th minute.
Mitrovic was once again at the heart of the action when Cairney’s eye of the needle pass almost reached his outstretched foot but the ball just eluded the big Serbian.
Six minutes later it was Mitrovic using his size and strength in the opposite box to bully his way to getting a low powerful effort off, it fell the wrong side of the back-post.’