Aleksandar Mitrovic a blistering 5 goals in 203 minutes – Ominous for Newcastle United
Fulham fans were overwhelmingly in favour before this international break, of Aleksandar Mitrovic becoming the main focus for goals in the final seven weeks of the relegation run-in (see comments below).
After the events of the last week, those Fulham fans will find it incredible if Mitro doesn’t start away at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has fallen out of favour this season with Scott Parker, only two Premier League goals all season and they came in his first start of the season against Leeds back in September 2020. Parker has only given the Serbian striker 10 PL starts so far this season, two months since the last one and indeed only two since Christmas 2020.
Mitrovic was a second half substitute just before this international break, coming on during the 2-1 home defeat to Leeds.
With others struggling to score, the case for Scott Parker playing Aleksandar Mitrovic in the remaining eight Fulham matches is surely straightforward.
The last week has seen Mitro score in all three World Cup qualifiers for Serbia, actually scoring five times in a run of 203 minutes on the pitch.
A second half sub against Republic of Ireland last Wednesday, Mitrovic scored twice in a 3-2 win, Saturday saw him score again to help Serbia to a 2-2 draw against Portugal, then last night it was his two goals that defeated Azerbaijan 2-1.
Two superb goals as you can see below, one with his right and then even better with his left – go to 0.07 and 0.35 to see them (appalling music to go with the excellent strikes from Mitro).
There is no doubt that Aleksandar Mitrovic really comes to life for his country, he is now on a run of scoring 17 goals in a period of time where he has started only 16 games, in the process becoming his country’s all-time top goalscorer.
Scott Parker would love to bottle that Serbia form / spirit but regardless of that, will surely start Mitro on Sunday and hope his international (goalscoring) form will run over into this key Premier League weekend and the visit to Aston Villa, as Newcastle take on Tottenham. If Fulham win and Newcastle don’t, Steve Bruce and his team will drop into the relegation zone.
For Newcastle fans, many of them have felt for some time that destiny is pointing to the final day of the season at Craven Cottage and their former striker to determine the relegation issue, NUFC supporters can only too easily imagine the headlines if / when it is Newcastle United fan Aleksandar Mitrovic who sends United down..
Fulham fans commenting via their Fulham Web message board about Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of their defeat to Leeds on 19 March 2021 just before this international break:
‘Anyone else think Mitrovic is going to play a key role in the run in and will score a few crucial goals that will save us.’
‘Can Parker please give Mitro the next 9-10 games.
What Ruben has done with all his minutes, in the attacking third, is really poor. No goals, no assists, no threat. Mitro’s tally two years ago, playing alongside lesser players, was solid. He can score in this league. He can give us a threat on set pieces. We actually had a decent number of corners vs Man City. And how much will we truly lose defensively playing Mitro vs Maja? Maja has two tap ins for us. Mitro could’ve scored that rebound from Reed’s shot just as easily. Parker continues to miss this one trick. The lineup vs Man City was brilliant for 45 minutes, but zero goal threat. To expect a clean sheet… not happening. Bringing Mitro in at halftime at least would help us retain possession. Give Man City something different to contend with. Sadly, I don’t see Mitro or TC getting much chance during this last push. They remain our best attacking and creative players, willing passers, finishers from beyond the penalty area. And we need goals.’
‘I agree, RLC is a glorified show pony, more content with his flicks and tricks. As a big unit, he offers nothing in defending or attacking either along the ground or in the air. He spends more time on his back side hoping for free kicks. He makes Cavaleiro look World class in comparison and that’s saying something.’
‘I keep hoping against hope that every time RLC starts a game he will suddenly become fit and interested, and will suddenly spark into life, but once the game starts, he offers absolutely nothing to our cause. I think that Scott, who has won me round at the moment, can see something in RLC that no one else I know can. Like most of us, I was prepared to give him time to make a full recovery, as after all, he had looked like a very talented England International,but that time is now long gone, and the sooner he returns to Chelsea the better for us all.’
‘Look at it logicaly,Mitro had lost form so we took in Maja,yet both were on the bench.We effectivly played with no forwards.City must have thought it was xmas.No need to defend as the likely hood of us seriously causing their defense any problems was remote.It took them 45 mins to work it out ,and we know what the result was.why get in a forward to cover Mitro,if you dont play either.’
‘What a load of tosh, Mitro loses the ball constantly and wouldn’t be quick enough to be in the right place for tap ins without being offside. I’m not a massive fan of RLC but believe he offers us more overall. Mitro has not scored in 22 games,for a number 9 not good enough to stay in the premier league.’
‘I believe playing Mitro is our solution to remaining in prem and must start giving him more game time now… our best striker over past few seasons consistently scores for Serbia got a gut feeling he will return to form and get amongst the goals again if given more serious game time. Worth a try now Scotty goals win games! This strange season has become fascinating if not nail biting after our poor start we’ve all seen such massive improvement in our defence and even the media have recognised our turn around in performances. Just got to get our goal scoring sorted and we’ll be fine. Are now in the ascendancy and need to turn these good performances into wins and points. Got the hope and vision for getting the job done now and holding onto our decent players to enjoy our new stand watching ongoing PREM football!’
‘Everyone knew Mitro lacked the speed for this league, however knowing that why didn’t Parker get shot of him during the closed season and bring in someone like Toney ? He didn’t and now refuses to play the guy. It’s true that Mitrovic hasn’t scored for 20+ games, but how much playing time has he actually had? Not a great amount, through injury, loss of confidence and therefore form, Covid etc., yet he plays RLC . RLC has scored once in all the pitch time he’s had and that was a deflected effort.’
‘Mitro should definitely start against Leeds on Friday.’
‘Lets hope when the new season starts we have rid ourselves of Mitro, it would save columns of print deciding if this guy will ever be fit and if so what he may or may not do.’
‘Speed was never Mitro’s forte.
Give him some service in the box starting friday, Leeds defence almost as fragile as ours was in the first 10 games. Don’t forget, he got two at there place and his hold up play as good as any body in this team.’
‘Exactly, give Mitro a proper service , ie decent crosses and he will score!’
‘Parker wants all action players, Mitro does not fit that model and Maja has not got it yet. Mitro is an old fashioned striker who does nothing but score goals. There are a lot of those kind of strikers in the Championship very few in the PL where they are too much of a liability and easy to defend against.’
‘I understand the loyalty people show towards Mitro i don’t believe he’s the same player this season,weather it’s COVID, confidence or fitness.’
‘If Newcastle lose their game in hand, we only need to match Newcastle results and keep our goal difference as well as beat them on the final day.’
‘We beat Leeds and Brighton beat Newcastle we are out of the bottom three with our fate in our own hands. If the results go the other way we are in a lot of trouble again. The balance of our season is on a real knife edge as it is not just our results it is everybody else’s results as well.’
‘I am hoping that we win our next 4 home games to bring us up to at least a total of 38 points, which may or may not save us from going down, but when you look at our home record it is staggering to see that we have only scored 3 goals in our last 10 home games. I’m therefore very sorry to say, that unless we start scoring at home again, starting on Friday, and we will need a real change of fortune to do that, then I’m afraid that the trap door is starting to open.
Looking at our home fixtures against Leeds, Wolves, Burnley and Newcastle, they will all come to stop us scoring, especially Burnley and Newcastle, so the signs are not good.’
‘Even if we don’t start scoring at home or continue our form, it could well be a race to the bottom 3 with Newcastle! they can’t score either and they have a weaker defence. We just need to get our nose ahead of them until the last game.’
‘Desperately need a fit Mitro. And stop looking for Newcastle and Brighton to slip up. Only way to survive is to start winning games.’
‘In my opinion, if we are going to stay up this season, and it’s still only an outside chance, then we should never again, take the field without either Mitro or Maja, or even both, as we must score goals to win which is obvious.’
‘By my reckoning 6 or 7 more points keeps us up.’
‘I went through the remaining fixtures trying to be realistic and came up with at the end of the season:
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