Aleksandar Mitrovic, two words Rafa Benitez will hear spoken a lot this season.

Selling the striker to another Premier League club was always going to lead to a potential situation…

Four goals in the opening four Fulham matches ensured the chatter started, especially with Newcastle picking up only one point in their opening quartet of matches and the whole team only scoring three goals.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has now got five goals in eight Premier League matches, Newcastle now on two points from 24 and only six PL goals of their own.

As Newcastle fans, we know the problem isn’t so much selling a striker for £22m (rising to £27m).

It is the fact that then Mike Ashley only allowed the manager to spend £2m on a loan deal forward to replace Mitro.

I think that in the circumstances, my only/big criticism of Rafa Benitez is that if he knew Mike Ashley wouldn’t let him buy like for like (spend £22m/£27m+ on a replacement), then surely it was worth giving Mitrovic a go. Especially as with Ashley refusing to allow money to be spent on buying Rondon, Newcastle then had to agree on West Brom getting Dwight Gayle for the year as part of a swap loan deal.

However, when you really drill down into the Aleksandar Mitrovic stats, his goalscoring record is absolutely extraordinary this year.

The Serbian striker has started 36 games (plus two sub appearances) in 2018 and scored 27 goals for club and country.

In fact, Mitro’s first match of 2018 didn’t come until February, so his 27 goals have come in only eight months, interesting to see just how many he will end this calendar year on.

His latest came on Friday night, Serbia winning away at Montenegro, Aleksandar Mitrovic getting both goals.

For the record, Aleksandar Mitrovic in 2018:

18 Championship starts (and 2 as sub) for Fulham with 12 goals

8 Premier League starts for Fulham and 5 goals

10 matches for Serbia and another 10 goals

Did Rafa Benitez make a massive mistake in selling Aleksandar Mitrovic?

Well, history is written by the victors, so it all depends on what unfolds in the rest of the season.

If Fulham stay up and Newcastle don’t, then no matter how unfair it may be, the sale of Mitro will be seen as an error of judgement.

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  • Paul Patterson

    You can tell we don’t have a game this weekend. His goals for his country don’t count, neither do Championship goals. His goals this season have been good, but look where Fulham are.
    His goals have hardly pulled them away from us.
    This argument is pointless and old hat.

  • Martin Rooney

    It’s not the ghost its the REALITY of Mitro that’s Rafa’s problem.

    • BanJones

      It’s not Rafa’s problem, it’s the problem of anyone who wanted him to stay cos he didn’t – he wanted him gone. Rafa’s problem is that the asset stripper wouldn’t release the funds.

      • BanJones

        as in “Where’s the money gone?”

    • Ram Kishore

      He’s gone Martin, let’s move on

  • GlasgowMag

    These constant Mitro mag articles are starting to haunt me never mind Rafa!! He is not our player, he did not fit into Rafa’s system and basically he is not very good so move on FFS!!!

    • Leazes.

      They are still obsessed with Nile Ranger a player who put on the shirt a handful of times…. I don’t understand some of these articles or the persons motivation for writing them.

      I think some of them are written by media students who are looking for a way into Journalism but have no connection to the club they are writing about…. like Chris Waugh at the chronicle, he was blogging like this before landing a paid job…..

      ….then there is Media Student Jack Lacey-Hatton whose love for United doesn’t transpirer beyond his own facebook page, where he proudly placed a photo of himself wearing the 2013 AON Man United shirt!….

      … Then you have Jonathan Drape Comyn who is on the same course as that guy Hedges banged up for spying in the UAE…. yes I guess it isn’t only media, and foreign affairs who recruit intelligence operatives…. its also Durham University Middle East Studies Lecturers!

      United fans or is it a means into Sports Journalism?…. ideal vehicles for everyone from lowly hacks to those making use of journalism.

      • Wor Lass

        I think it`s pretty clear that Jonathon`s a real fan, Leazes.

        • Ram Kishore

          Leazes won’t accept that Wor lass

        • Leazes.

          I don’t think so… I think he’s first and foremost a soccer fan…. his family are ‘local’ but he’s a journalist who has put himself into character. Might as well be United…. one of them….it was West Ham a few years ago, when he was studying in East Anglia.

          He travels extensively, for the most bizarre reasons his name crops up with Charities which are the other way into the intelligence service…..

          …. if he’s not then he should be!

          • Wor Lass

            Well, he comes from Walker and that`s good enough for me. It`s a real hotbed of espionage out East!

          • Leazes.

            His Dad’s in Dublin waving the flag!…. they’re on the side of good!

            I still think he should apply to MI6 for a job….he seems over qualified if anything.

      • Philippines

        Are you in the next Bond movie?

      • Billmag

        Me old Dad used to say never trust anyone with a 3 barreled name especially politicians.

        • Leazes.

          It can open doors….. the Lacey-Hattons go back 300 years when they gained favour with Royalty and were rewarded with lands in Derbyshire…..

      • Martin Rooney

        You’re the only one to mention him

  • 1957

    Benitez didn’t want Mitrovic so as the manager it was within his remit to sell, you can’t argue with that. Some of us may disagree with that decision but it was made.

    Where Benitez can be criticised is for believing/expecting Big Mike to release the funds generated to buy another striker. Virtually no one on here believed it would happen, so how can a worldly wise football manager who has been in conflict with the owner for the last three windows (and with his previous employers in the past over transfers dealings) fall for it. Is he that gullible or are his principles guided by his £6m contract clause.

    Whatever the reason, for me, we are in a worse position striker wise than if we had simply kept Gayle and Mitrovic…

    • Billmag

      The problem is the supply line it’s been none existent this season as the goals for column will testify, irrespective who the strike force is.

  • Wor Lass

    I always liked Mitro as a player and a character. OK, he`s a bit slow, he did miss chances for us and, in the very early days before he got up to the pace and intensity of the PL, his lack of self-control let him down. But he had a real passion for the club, could hold the ball up and bring others into play quite cleverly and he did score at a reasonable rate if he had a starting run. Having said all that, he`s not our player now and never will be again. I don`t mind reading about him because I like the lad but it`s not going to change anything. Rafa didn`t see him fitting into his system of play and Mitro has been very honest in saying he couldn`t do that. How he does for Fulham, in a system that is basically made for him is irrelevant – especially if they go down.

  • Mrkgw

    Rafa definitely dropped a b0llOCk with this one and deprived us of as decent a striker as we were likely to get. Meanwhile he (understandably given the owner) won’t sign a new deal. And so, we may well be denied both at the end of the day.

  • Clarko

    Add it to the list of mistakes that Benitez has made.

    • Wor Lass

      Clarko! Do your carers know where you are?

      • Clarko

        Look at that, a completely irrelevant response, it’s almost as if there is a list of mistakes that Benitez has made…

      • MadMag83

        😂😂😂 They’re out looking for him with a dart gun and 3 vials of anti psychotic drugs.

    • Ram Kishore

      U only pop up when it comes to Mitro or players signings lol

      • Clarko

        1) That’s not true.

        2) Why would it matter if I did?

        3) Is my comment wrong?

    • Doug Sweeney

      If Rafa had been allowed to get his first choice – Plea – we’d be saying it was fantastic business. Plea superior in ever department to Mitro

      • Wezza

        Yes the one we made a bid of 25M for but the owning club’s president said no such bid was made. I know who I choose to believe!

      • Clarko

        Rondon was Benitez’s first choice, Plea was the club’s preference:

        ‘As part of the deal to secure Rafa Benítez’s number one transfer target’ – NUFC Official site

        ‘Salomon Rondon remains Rafa Benitez’s No 1 summer target – despite renewed links with Nicolai Jorgensen and Alassane Plea’ – Shields Gazette

        ‘Rondon was Rafa Benitez’s first choice striker this summer’ – Independent

        • Doug Sweeney

          The first players we were linked with were Plea and Townsend – look back to before the transfer window opened. These were the guys he wanted in early. The club weren’t prepared to meet the asking price for either so other targets became his preferred targets.

          • Clarko

            1) It’s up to you to find/provide proof for your argument not me.

            2) It doesn’t matter who we were ‘linked’ with first, the argument is about who was first choice and Rondon was Benitez’s first choice.

          • Doug Sweeney

            I actually don’t have an issue with Rondon being Rafa’s first choice. He’s a decent striker and we need to judge him after he’s had a proper run in the team. Similarly Mitrovic should also be judged over this timescale not half a dozen games.

          • Clarko

            1) So you admit that Rondon was first choice then?

            2) I haven’t judged Rondon.

            3) Mitrovic has made 72 appearances for Newcastle, 28 appearances for Fulham and 43 appearances for Serbia, that’s a lot more than ‘half a dozen’ (6) games…

          • Doug Sweeney

            Since Rafa Benitez said he wanted transfer business done early and we got Rondon about 5 days before the Spurs game I doubt he was first choice. More a case of making the best of what Ashley was offering. As to Mitrovic’s I think his worth needs to be assessed after top flight games- the fact that supporters are hugely split on his ability after the 143 games stat you quote says a lot and of course stats only tell half the picture because 19 goals in 72 appearances for the Mags isn’t great.

          • Clarko

            He was first choice:
            ‘The club was pleased to secure the manager’s number one transfer target, Salomón Rondón – and also Yoshinori Mutō, a player the manager wanted in January 2018’ – Fans Forum Minutes

            Where are your numbers to back up ‘the fact that supporters are hugely split on his ability’ because I don’t see any?

            Mitrovic scored 17 goals in his 72 appearances for Newcastle (transfermarkt) however he only played 3836 minutes of football, meaning he scored 17 goals in 42.6 games (one every 226 minutes) which is pretty great…

          • Doug Sweeney

            All you seem to do to support your argument is to quote ‘fans forum’ minutes. So these are the clubs statements – to all intents Ashley and his P.R. people – and just look at their history- lied about Keegan having total control, lie IMO about trying to sell the club, lie about the resources the manager will have (every last penny).
            Are you serious that supporters aren’t split over Mitrovic? Just look at the posts on this article alone. I’ve literally seen hundreds of strikers at the Toon – Wyn Davies being my first – Mitrovic is nothing compared with most of them and the fact people bang on about him to me shows how far we’ve fallen

          • Clarko

            No I have supported my argument with four different quotes from three different sources. Where is your evidence? Oh that’s right you don’t have any…

            I don’t think the views of ~15 idiots is representative of what the Newcastle fan base actually think/feel. The stats say that he’s a good striker, 17 goals in 42.6 games (one every 226 minutes) for Newcastle and 15 goals in 33.2 games (one every 199 minutes) in the Premier League.

          • Doug Sweeney

            Your sources – NUFC official web site – I.e. Ashley’s mouthpiece and 2 articles by journalists? Seriously? Journalists report what they are told usually by a ‘source’ within the club i.e.someone briefing them on behalf of Ashley. Surely you’re not so naive that you believe all that is written in the football columns? A recent example Mourinho will get sacked regardless of the result again Newcastle? Must be true it was in the papers.
            It’s not a great debating point to dismiss everyone who doesn’t share your opinion as idiots. I’m in my 60’s and go to the games with guys the same age- it’s half and half as to our opinion on Mitrovic. Personally I don’t rate him but obviously you do and that’s what makes football so great.

          • Clarko

            Where are your sources? Where is your proof? You don’t have any do you?

            You don’t seem to know how this whole journalism thing works. It’s all about credibility, the journalists have credible sources, sources which have a proven track record of providing good information, just like in this instance, the Shields Gazette reported that Rondon was Benitez’s first choice back in early July, it was then confirmed by the club when he signed in August.

            If you want to question the credibility of the sources I provided you need proof of those sources deliberately lying to their readership or constantly getting the story wrong. Talking about the Mourinho story that was released by the Daily Mirror does not constitute as proof against the the Shields Gazette, the Independent or the NUFC Official site…

            No, I have interacted with every user on this site and they are all idiots and that has nothing to do with whether the rate Mitrovic or not. You not rating Mitrovic doesn’t make you an idiot, your reasoning does.

          • Doug Sweeney

            You seem to constantly refer to sources and proof. So lets deconstruct your argument in a reasoned and constructive way. Lets use the statement we’re discussing that Rondon was Benitez number 1 target.

            At the start of everything only one person knows who is Rafa’s number 1 target and that is Rafa. He then tells Charney via the list of players he’d like to sign. I’ve never read any statements where Rafa has stated directly who his targets are or were. Therefore logically, and I’d say irrefutably, the information has to come from Charnley or someone very close to him who sees the list. This person is the source of the information. The source of the information is NOT, as you seem to think, your 3 different sources. The N.U.F.C. office site has to be quoting either Rafa or Charnley and I think it unlikely that it was Rafa, therefore it’s Charnley or someone he’s told – but Charnley remains the source no matter how many times the information is passed on and to whom. The Shields Gazette and the Independent do not become the source, they report what the source has told them. If this source is quoted by 10 newspapers it’s NOT 10 sources, its 10 newspapers quoting 1 source.

            You have said that if I question the credibility of the source I need proof that this source had deliberately lying to their readership. Since I think it’s a reasonable assertion Charnley is the source lets examine Ashley’s track record – I bring Ashley into this because I very much doubt any statements/information divulged by Charnley aren’t vetted at some point by him. Therefore it follows that your question is ‘provide proof that Mike Ashley has deliberately lied’. Where do I start? Below is an extract form a Journal article in 2009 following the outcome of Keegan’s constructive dismissal case –
            ‘fans will be seething at owner Mike Ashley and a regime which freely admits to lying in official club publications as a public relations exercise.

            No matter how many times it was repeated for public consumption, no matter how many times we were reassured by Ashley or one of his obedient cohorts, Keegan did not have the final say on transfers’.

            Further evidence of lying – an extract from Keegan’s statement after the case – ‘contrary to the public statements made by the club at the time they did not do all that they could to retain me at the club’.

            The Daily Mirror – May 2017 – Benitez met Ashley yesterday, along with managing director Lee Charnley, and Newcastle’s billionaire owner vowed to give the Toon boss “every last penny” of profit generated by promotion.

            13th May 2018 after we beat Chelsea – in the aftermath of the win Ashley re-stated his support for Rafa Benitez and said that “every penny generated by the club” would be available to the Spaniard this close season.

            Finally from the Mag itself yesterday commenting on a media report regarding possible Saudi Arabian interest in the club – ‘always difficult/impossible to tell what is credible or not in the media, particularly where Mike Ashley is concerned. This media report is the same as any other, you pay your money and take your chance on believing how credible it is’.

          • Clarko

            You know when I asked for evidence? I didn’t mean make up your own little story…

            😂 😂 😂

            So you make up a story about how Charnley is the leak (😂) and then you talk about how Ashley is a liar…

            😂 😂 😂

            Nowhere do you address the sources that I quoted, it’s just stupid on so many levels…

          • Ram Kishore

            Just read all the comments on this page. U could find how split the opinion is about Mitro

          • Clarko

            I don’t think the views of ~15 idiots is representative of what the Newcastle fan base actually think/feel.

          • Ram Kishore

            Views are numbers if there is no survey. Views are the next closest thing to a vote or a survey. I don’t see 1000s moaning of Mitro’s sale. Yes, even I was surprised why Rafa didn’t use him or adapt his tactics. But now he’s gone. Only time will answer whether Rafa made a blunder or not.

          • Clarko

            You still haven’t provided any numbers…

            – Mitrovic has 15 goals in 33.2 games (one every 199 minutes) in the Premier League.

            – Gayle has 21 goals in 51.1 games (one every 223 minutes) in the Premier League.

            – Joselu has 10 goals in 52.8 games (one every 317 minutes) in the Premier League.

            – Rondon has 24 goals in 93.8 games (one every 352 minutes) in the Premier League.

            We don’t need time, he has made a blunder, he has made many blunders as our manager.

          • Rafalution 14

            Joining Newcastle United under Ashley is his biggest!! He will be gone in 8 months and then Joe Kinnear, Sam Allardyce can win trophies with Newcastle United.
            Wait!! They haven’t won any trophies and neither has Aleksander messi

          • Clarko

            What do Kinnear and Allardyce have to do with Benitez and the mistakes that he has made? Why does Mitrovic need a trophy to be considered better than Rondon?

            Just as a side note, relegations as Newcastle manager:
            Allardyce – 0
            Kinnear – 0
            Benitez – Soon to be 2

  • Tony English

    Yawn.

  • mactoon

    As pointed out below (Wor Lass hits the nail on the head and makes perfect sense… never thought I would say that 😊)

    The bottom line is he was a yellow card waiting to happen and Rafa didn’t use him so the best thing for the club was to move him on and use the money to buy a player who would fit into Rafa’s style of play. The problem is the club’s unwillingness to spend the money on a replacement. In the fans forum minutes Charnley said they ‘made offers to break the current transfer record’ so why didn’t we trigger Rondon’s £16.5 million release clause??? Utter rubbish!

    And to be honest if Rondon was Rafa’s first choice striker I would question that decision too.

    • Leazes.

      There’s a wage ceiling, which means you aren’t going to get a £20m player (third drawer) … unless he’s overpriced.

      Rondon was loaned only in my opinion because Rafa is definitely leaving in May…. the chronicle will try to say otherwise leading up to the departure to help Ashley sell next seasons tickets….

      …..but in place is something to hit them both….. #IfRafagoes….

    • Wor Lass

      Really?!

      • mactoon

        what?

        • Leazes.

          He finds it strange that its a rarity that agree with him.

          • mactoon

            It was a joke about agreeing with anything wor lass says (the girlfriend)

            But in this instance I do agree with the post

          • Leazes.

            What?

          • mactoon

            Who?

          • Wor Lass

            I get it! lol

          • mactoon

            😃

    • Clarko

      All of your questions are answered in the forum minutes:

      ‘The club discussed a number of other striking options , some of which were well above and beyond the club’s current transfer record, however ultimately the club pursued Salomón Rondón at the manager’s request. The club’s preference with Rondón was for a loan deal.’

      ‘The club explained the release clause fee is just part of a deal, with wages over the period of a potentially long contract and agents’ fees factored in. A loan agreement was preferred.’

      ‘The manager wanted the player and the best deal for the club was to loan the player. The club would not have done the deal it did if the player wasn’t the number one target for the manager.’

      The club didn’t want to pay for a failed 29 year old striker but Benitez really wanted the failed 29 year old striker and so the club compromised and brought him in on loan.

      • Wor Lass

        All of that depends on whether or not you believe “the club”. I don`t.

        • Clarko

          The forum minutes corroborated the reports made by the local journalists during the summer transfer window. Unless you have any evidence suggesting the opposite, you’re just being silly.

          • Wor Lass

            Forum minutes! Don`t make me laugh. The fan members haven`t accepted them as a true reflection of the meeting, anyway. You using comments by Penfold or any other puppet of Ashley to prove your point is like someone quoting from the Bible to prove there`s a God. Do you actually believe that Rafa was asked who he would like his top target for the summer window to be and said, “Salomon Rondon please, Lee.”?

          • Clarko

            The forum minutes corroborated the reports made by the local journalists during the summer transfer window. I do believe Rondon was his first choice, it would be incredibly stupid to deny that with no evidence.

          • Wor Lass

            I`ll give the forum minutes credibility when the ordinary people who were there say that they`re true. If by “local journalists” you`re referring to those finger (of fudge) puppets at the Chronic then you really are in trouble. Anyway, just because “the club” made a statement at that pointless meeting doesn`t actually make it true. Remember, Ashley has actually been branded a liar in court. Also remember “every last penny” …

          • Clarko

            Ashley wasn’t at the fans forum… Null and void.

            ‘As part of the deal to secure Rafa Benítez’s number one transfer target’ – NUFC Official site

            ‘Salomon Rondon remains Rafa Benitez’s No 1 summer target – despite renewed links with Nicolai Jorgensen and Alassane Plea’ – Shields Gazette

            ‘Rondon was Rafa Benitez’s first choice striker this summer’ – Independent

            ‘The club was pleased to secure the manager’s number one transfer target, Salomón Rondón – and also Yoshinori Mutō, a player the manager wanted in January 2018’ – Fans Forum Minutes

            Look, I don’t care if Rondon was or wasn’t his first choice, but that’s what he was, first choice. Do you not think Benitez would’ve said something if the club were lying about him/his work? I do.

            You have no evidence.

          • Wor Lass

            Ashley wasn`t at the fans` forum (that title`s a joke in itself!) but the man who acts as his orifice was, therefore entirely relevant.

            Shields Gazette, Independent, Official club website – where do they all get their info? I`d hazard a guess at K Bishop esq. Enough said.

            As usual, “the club” is playing with words. Number1 target at what stage? At some point he did become the No 1 target but that doesn`t mean he was the one player Rafa most wanted to go for when the window opened – only when “every last penny” was revealed to be exactly that. Every last PENNY.

          • Clarko

            ‘I’d hazard a guess’

            That’s all you do. Guess.

          • Billmag

            He’s been peddling this story for 3 weeks now, anyone that qotes what comes out of that sesspit of management needs certifying.

          • Tony English

            Whenever any obnoxious fact seeker says something like…
            “Ashley wasn’t at the fans forum… Null and void.”
            in response to you saying Ashley has been branded a liar…

            Its worth remembering the findings into Keegan’s constructive dismissal (pasted above) heard that THE CLUB claimed it made untrue statements for public relations reasons.

            It refers to THE CLUB, who at the time were represented by [9]”….the following witnesses…Mr Ashley, Mr Mort, Mr Jimenez, Mr Wise, Mr Lee Charnley, Derek Llambias and Jeff Vetere”.

            They work(ed) for Ashley and are his mouthpiece, and they openly claimed it was their policy to make untrue statements for reasons of public relations.

            The fans forum IS a public relations exercise, therefore any comments made by Charnley, either independently, or on behalf of Ashley, IS open to question.

          • Wor Lass

            Exactly.

          • Leazes.

            Thats a troll as well

          • Tony English

            Yes, as you see Leazes STILL thinks I’m a troll…

            …he decided that on day one, laughably he actually thought I was Clarko…so here I am cleverly trying to discredit my own alter-ego…and I must just be pretending that I despise the current owner and support Rafa.

            Unless Leazes has multiple profiles he can’t have seen one of my post since that day, most of which he would have agreed with, so he should be in no position to have an opinion…unless he himself is a troll.

            Feel free to tell him he’s wrong, you make up your own mind mate.

          • mactoon

            I’d be sceptical of reports by local journalists too.I contacted one of them who confirmed despite asking questions to the club they had received no responses so what they say is based on an opinion.

          • Tony English

            You do realise Wor Lass that your computer keyboard has a finite number of times you can press a key before it stops working?

            And every time you type to respond to him you are reducing the life expectancy of your computer in a needless pursuit?

            He can choose to believe the allegedly misrepresented report of public utterances at a public relations exercise, from the public relations mouthpiece of proven liars, who have previously admitted that they misinformed the fans for reasons of public relations…

            [ Keegan Tribunal case: “26. The Club’s explanation for these statements, which, on their case, were simply untrue, was that they were nothing more than an exercise in public relations…”]

            ..and you’ll never burst his bubble, the only FACT’s he’s interested in are his own, you’re wasting your time.

            I suggest you do something more productive.

          • Wor Lass

            I`m doing this in between grouting an en suite bathroon and cutting stone for a garden wall – a change is as good as a rest, Tony. I wouldn`t mind upgrading my tablet, anyway!

          • Tony English

            So today you’re negotiating a toilet and banging your head against a stone wall….[insert joke here].

        • Wezza

          Yes he does believe the club, hook, line and sinker along with the PR KBA B.S that comes with it.
          He also believes proven in court liars but dismisses the following:

          “The Club admitted to the Tribunal that it repeatedly and intentionally misled the press, public and the fans of Newcastle United.”

          So he believes everything they say BUT the above statement. Double standards. Talk about a troll!

          • Leazes.

            Does he?…. nobody is that stupid….. he’s a bloody troll you wazzock….that’s what trolls do!

        • Ram Kishore

          I do really think Rondon was Rafa’s first choice Wor lass and I do think Loan is a much better option than permanent deal on his case. But still the club should have bought a lb and cam. Other issues in the past may make u suspect the Rondon deal but it seems like a decent one except for not bringjng him early

      • East Durham Mag

        Pure fantasy

    • Ram Kishore

      But I think loan is a much more better option than permanent buy because before we signed we didn’t actually rate Rondon much and his age was also an issue imo. But we should have brought him earlier before the pre season. I suspect the reason why we signed Mitro a bit early was the work permit issue. We may have delayed it further if there wasn’t a work permit Required. Very sloppy

      • mactoon

        we (as in Charnley and Ashley?) may not have rated him but I agree that a loan deal was the best deal for the club because it saved them forking out £16.5 million. If Rafa wanted him they should have bought him, back the manager and he stands or falls on his decisions.

        • Ram Kishore

          Lol we as in fans.. I remember not being impressed when we were linked with him, so were many who are regular.
          I remember it happened sometime in June.

          • mactoon

            Guilty as charged 😃

            I just trawled through my posts at the time:

            “Ashley won’t spend £16.5 million on a 29 year old. For this particular player no I wouldn’t. By just signing Rondon on loan we are actually making the first team weaker. Time to start scraping the barrel for loan deals Charnley. We need to go out and get two strikers to replace those going out. Yet again our transfer policy comes through like a shining beacon of despair”

    • panther

      Rondon wouldnt be any other prem teams first choice, wouldnt even make a list

  • Wezza

    I honestly believe he was told to sell him ages ago and it wasn’t Rafa’s decision. I don’t think Rafa was that silly not to go with him.

  • MadMag83

    He had a good few months in the Championship for Fulham, plays for a Serbian side with some good attacking players, and has had a good start to the season in a Fulham side blessed with players such as Schurlle and Vietto.

    Newcastle don’t have that quality which highlighted his short comings, rather than being able to play to his strengths.

    All in all he was never going to be a success in a poor quality Newcastle team. Put Alan Shearer in this side and he would struggle. It’s hardly the fault of Benitez or Mitrovic, it’s the penny pinching under investment by the pie man once again. You’d be a fool to believe otherwise.

  • wheyayeman

    There is no ghost of Mitrovic numb nuts! There is only the root and branch issue of Ashley. Stop looking around at has beens and never was players!

  • Superdooperhooper

    I see frozen is on telly today. How appropriate. All together now – let it go let it go …..

  • wheyayeman

    Watching the film “Goal” with my 11 year old lad right now – encourage you to take a trip down memory lane to see just how far we have fallen. Mitro wouldn’t have played in the reserves for us at one point!

    • GlasgowMag

      Your right there mate Kelly, Peacock, Cole, Quin all better players in there time than Mitro!!! Difference is now Ashley’s period has brought our expectations down to zero sad really!!!

    • Martin Rooney

      If Duncan fergusdon can play with shearer then mitro would have got in every nufc side

      • MrShack66

        No he wouldn’t have, silly.

      • wheyayeman

        Keep away troll ! Man U message boards are where you belong

      • panther

        big Dunc was class

  • fistsofsteel2

    For whatever reason, Rafa never gave Mitro a chance………he virtually had no playing time for Newcastle under Rafa.
    Rafa for whatever reason behaved in a stubborn, belligerent, and childish way over Mitro to the point that he could have knocked the lads confidence enough to ruin his career – luckily Mitro has shown he has the character and determination to succeed regardless of Rafa’s petulant disregard for him.

    • Ram Kishore

      Yeah u r definitely right, having a player on a team and not giving him few appearances either subs or a start for a long time could impact the player a lot. I suspect that could have been the reason for Merino’s departure.

    • Dillon Tovak

      Get a grip 🙄
      Which one is it? He’s so good Rafas mad not to play him or he’s so shyte that his career would be ruined by some time out the team?

  • Blackburn1066

    He does well for Fulham because they play for him, Newcastle play for Joss. I rest my case.

  • Jamie

    Most of his goals came in the Championship which is a lower standard than the Premier league!
    Fulham play a completely different style to Newcastle United hence the reason they often lose heavily!
    We finished tenth last season without him so let’s move on please……

  • Tony English

    Those who believe that Rafa should have adapted the team to accommodate Mitro highlight his goal scoring record…but how have his goals effect results? And when he doesn’t find the net, how does the team he is part of perform?

    He’s scored 5 goals in 8 for Fulham, great, scoring in 4 games: a win, two draws and a defeat, even in that win they conceded 2 goals. The other four games he played in without scoring? 5-1, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1. So at Premier League level with him in the side, even in victory, you’re conceding shed loads of goals and sit near the bottom of the table.

    For Serbia, 9 of his goals came against those giants of world football Montenegro, Romania, and friendlies against Bolivia and Nigeria. When it really mattered, at the World Cup, he scored 1 goal in 3 games, the defeat to Switzerland.

    Expect the pundits to say “He’s doing great scoring goals in a struggling side”, when it’s fairer to say “He’s part of a struggling team, and in playing to accommodate him is partially to blame for their current position.”

    When Mitro does well, the team doesn’t.

    • mactoon

      I wouldn’t be blaming a striker for a poor defence to be honest. Using your logic and applying Mitros goals to our corresponding fixtures we would have had 3 wins and a draw but it just doesn’t work that way. Rafa simply wouldn’t have changed his defensive tactics to accommodate Mitro which is why he wasn’t being played.

      • Tony English

        I’m not blaming a striker for a ‘poor defence’ that isn’t ‘my logic’ so you can’t apply ‘my logic’ to your point that follows.

        I’m saying the team shape to play to his strengths, allowing him to score 5 in 8, stretches the team and leaves the defenders exposed meaning the team will concede more than Mitro will score.

        You say that’s a ‘poor defence’ I see it as a defence that’s exposed.

        I’ve said this umpteen times on here, ‘my logic’ is that individual players stats are meaningless if they aren’t put in the context of the team and results.

        It’s certainly no exact science, far from it, but if folk are applauding the scoring of 5 goals in 8 games and not mentioning the results or goals conceded, put it in the context of a 38 game season, look at those stats.

        Mitro would walk away with plaudits for scoring between 23/24 goals, in a struggling Fulham team that has only won 4/5 games conceded 99/100 goals and been relegated on 23/24 points.

        • mactoon

          I’m saying that Fulham have spent millions on defenders and they now have a poor defence with the third worst goal difference in the league. Their job is to defend and they cant, his job is to score and he is. The relevant statistic is they have a striker who is capable of scoring goals, we don’t.

          • Tony English

            Their striker is capable of scoring goals, if you adapt the team to provide for him, leaving your back door open to burglars. I don’t dislike Mitro as a player, I just see the problems he brings to the side too.

            If you think it is a defenders job to defend, and a strikers job to score, then you’re 30 years behind the times mate and you’ve lost the argument.

            Have you heard the term “overlapping fullback” or “attacking wingback” is it their job to defend or attack? Or both…….have you heard of “double banking”? Tell me, how does that work if your wide man is permanently 20 metres further up the pitch and his job is purely attacking, how does a defender double bank on his own?………”Playing on the break”, how do you do that if your forward men can’t get up and down the pitch? Surely if their job is just to score, why are they even coming back?….

            …if you were right in your comment that a defender defends, a striker scores goals….none of the above would even exist.

            Millions on defenders? They’ve paid the going rate for mid-level defenders, nothing more.

            **£15m on CB Mawson, £3.6m on CB Le Marchand, £1.5 on CB Ream, £6m on FB Bryan, £3m on FB Christie, £1m on Odoi, and a couple of loan defenders.**

            (**all approx. transfer fees and not converted from Euro’s using the exact exchange rate of the day as approved by self appointed financial ombudsman of the board Clarkarse).

          • mactoon

            my overall point is don’t blame a striker for a defence who are conceding goals. Fulham have problems all over the defence but I wouldn’t apportion any of those problems to Mitro. I would point the finger at the person who bought them and cant manage them.

          • Tony English

            It’s clear what your overall point is, you say “don’t blame a striker for a defence” and my overall point is “it’s a team…everyone had to defend and attack, and in suppling a striker of his ilk, one who cant shift up and down the pitch, they have to play open and risky and will always concede”.

            We can disagree. Fine. Cheers.

    • thewildchimp

      Actually, Jokanovic praised him for his defensive efforts, especially when defending set-pieces. I never saw anyone blaming Zlatan or Drogba when their sides couldn’t play well on the defence. Rafa simply wants his forwards closing in all the time which is something that bulky Mitro can’t do, at least not for the 90 mins. And that’s the secret why Joselu was the last season’s number 1. When it was apparent we had to press for goals – Rafa subbed him.
      I like it when the nitpicking starts (the internationals). But I’m just not in the mood to do the opposite.

      • Tony English

        Jokanovic: “Manager who signs player praises him in the press when questioned” is hardly proof positive of his defensive efforts.

        Defending at set pieces: that’s a read herring. I’m talking about the movement he is able to offer in open play due to being “bulky” as you put it, coming back defending set pieces is a different thing, although he has given away a pen this season (but that can happen to anyone).

        If you read what I said, I’m not actually blaming his defensive qualities anyway, I’m saying in order to get the best out of him he needs to stay further up field, he is not suited to running from deep, so teammates end up playing 10 yards further up the pitch which either stretches the team out (leaving gaps), or if they play tight lines they are more susceptible to balls over the top.

        And are you seriously saying Zlatan and Drogba didn’t have the athleticism and engine to chase down defenders or make runs from deep? Or are you remembering them as 34 year olds nearing the end of their career? Watch clips of them when they were Mitro’s age, go to y-tube and watch “zlatan ibrahimovic running from deep” dribbling from his own half for inter all the way to the edge of the opposition box. That’s a mental comparison.

    • Popnbgd

      Let’s be honest with each other mate …Your statement should definitely be nominated for “The most ridiculous comment in 2018” award…Lad is a dynamite….He has scored few in CL as a 20 year old,he was officially The best player of Euro championship U19,he was a key player when Serbia won WC U20 in 2015,He is a World Cup scorer,He has scored 27 in 37 starts this year and He is only 23….Let’s not even mention NU current strikers options…Beyond ridiculous

      • Tony English

        Yeah, let’s be honest with each other…as per, you’re talking about an individual…I’m talking about team and tactics…something you repeatedly fail to grasp, because you’re either ignorant or stupid or both….he’s your big man crush, that’s fine, as long as your happy…as many many other fans have said many many times, as an individual he is a FAR better goalscorer than what we have – but not necessarily better than what Rafa could have spent his transfer fee on, but we’ll never know….what we can see though, is the teams he generally scores in ship plenty of goals and lose plenty of games, and those stats belong to him as much as his team mates.

  • Realist

    Rafa’s biggest mistake to date. We would of had more than 2 points on the board if he was still here and given a chance that’s for sure. Joselu over mitro, let that register and sink in people. In terms of the future though I think we should let the mitro stuff go, he’s moved on and good luck to lad. I will always remember him for stopping a 7 in a row and the emotion he showed when he scored that goal.

  • Clarence Pants

    you do know the fee was £17m dontcha?

  • Rafalution 14

    After spending 100 mil and with Aleksander Messi where are Fulham now, top of the table ??

    • Popnbgd

      Wherever they are ,they are a bit higher than NU….Your view is very simplistic and narrow minded mate…Fulham were a Championship team that badly needed to buy some quality players in order to be competitive in PL….but I agree with you on one thing…Mitro IS a Messi,in comparison to all of NU strikers…Fulham is less than average PL team with a great striker-Mitrovic…He makes a difference