After drama at Wembley former Newcastle United pair head back into Premier League with Fulham
After a 368 days season, ex-Newcastle stars Scott Parker and Aleksandar Mitrovic are back in the Premier League.
A season that started in front of 14,823 at Oakwell in a 1-0 defeat to Barnsley on 3 August 2019, ended in front of not a single paying customer at Wembley last night.
A dramatic tense game playing for what is always termed the most valuable prize in football (the difference in money between Championship and Premier League), went into extra time with the game still goalless.
Aleksandar Mitrovic was introduced in the final seconds of normal time, coming back from a hamstring injury and clearly nowhere near fully fit.
It took an outrageous goal to set Fulham on their way, as in the 105th minute a stunning 40 yard free-kick caught the Brentford keeper out, left-back Joe Bryan finding the bottom corner as the goalkeeper expected a cross from distance.
Winner of the Championship golden boot with 26 goals, Mitro couldn’t add to that, however, he played a key role in what turned out to be the winning goal.
Bryan playing a one-two with the former NUFC striker before scoring his and Fulham’s second.
Brentford scored in the final seconds but the Cottagers emerged 2-1 winners and back into the Premier League at the first attempt.
A great effort from former Newcastle midfielder Scott Parker to turn around a demoralised squad and get them to bounce back into the top tier.
Interesting to see how he gets on with his possession slow build football at the higher level, where more pressure is put on the ball and caught in possession far more likely to be punished.
One thing for sure is that the Fulham owner will support Parker in the Premier League, as he did with a serious spend when they were promoted two years ago. With some added quality they could just become a surprise package next season.
As for Aleksandar Mitrovic, Newcastle fans will look on with interest to see how he gets on.
Mitro will never be the type of striker to do loads of work tracking back but in terms of scoring goals, you can’t say he has been a failure in England.
His goalscoring record in the Championship for Fulham speaks for it self.
However, playing in two Premier League relegation seasons, Mitro score nine in 22 starts for Newcastle in 2015/16 and 11 in 37 starts for Fulham in 2018/19.
The Serbian striker averages a goal every 152 minutes in the Championship (better than a goal every two games) and a goal every 261 minutes in the Premier League (better than a goal every three matches).
With Gayle, Joelinton, Carroll and Muto managing only six PL goals between them in 2019/20, despite not being Aleksandar Mitrovic’ biggest fan, I would certainly swap him for that lot!
However, with Steve Bruce’s ultra defensive tactics leaving the lone striker so isolated for almost all of last season, it would have been difficult / impossible for any forward to score many goals.
Aleksandar Mitrovic goal record
11 in 37 starts (0 appearances as sub) for Fulham in 2018/19
10 in 22 starts (18 appearances as sub) for Newcastle in 2015/16 and 2017/18
Total of 21 PL goals in 59 starts (18 sub appearances)
21 PL goals in 5,485 minutes at an average of a goal every 261 minutes
38 in 58 (3 appearances as sub) for Fulham in 2017/18 and 2019/20
4 in 11 (14 appearances as sub) for Newcastle in 2016/17
Total of 42 Championship goals in 69 starts (17 sub appearances)
42 Championship goals in 6,395 minutes at an average of a goal every 152 minutes
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