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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Steve McClaren Has A Big Challenge With This Player

10:23 pm, Friday, September 4th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 25 Comments

Newcastle fans have appreciated the enthusiasm and skill they have seen from new signing Aleksandar Mitrovic, but he’s been a bit of a liability in his first few games for Newcastle, picking up two yellow cards and then a straight red card against Arsenal – which lost us the game – and now he’s going to be out for three games through suspension.

The Serbian needs to settle down, but we are afraid he’s already a marked man by referees, and we’ll just have to wait and see whether he can have more control on the field, when he returns.

aleksandar mitrovic recieved red card

Aleksandar Mitrovic sent off against Arsenal
We’d much rather see him scoring goals

It certainly will be a challenge to Steve McClaren’s coaching capabilities and man-management skills.

Former Arsenal center-back Martin Keown has taken a look at Newcastle’s four senior signings this summer, and the £52.6M in net spending Lee Charnley and the Newcastle Board shelled out.

This is what Martin has said in his column in the Mail today:

“I think Florian Thauvin could become a good player but he can be a bit excitable, which is certainly the case with Aleksandar Mitrovic who is definitely a little over-zealous.”

“Newcastle fans love their passion but he needs to stay on the pitch! ”   “We’re only getting cameos with him so far and he needs to spend more time in front of goal rather than talking to referees.”

“Georginio Wijnaldum scored that magnificent header on the opening day and Chancel Mbemba looks like he could become a good partner for Fabricio Coloccini.”

“The players Newcastle have brought in certainly look like they can improve this side and with several long-standing servants leaving the club it almost feels like a new era.”

“They look better organised and more of a team this season, but now they need to start scoring goals.”

That seems to the conventional wisdom about Newcastle so far this season, it’s a well coached side and every player seems to know exactly what’s expected of them,  and our defense in the last two league games has actually looked quite strong.

That’s a nice change.

Aleksandar Mitrovic will have several conversations with McClaren over the next few weeks during his absence from the side.

It will be interesting when he returns to the side, to see if he has learned from his red card episode, which simply cost us the game against Arsenal.

He’s still a young man of course, and  turns 21 in 12 days time and is full of enthusiasm, but that youthful vigor has to be controlled.

We certainly don’t want to see him sent off again this season, and as Steve McClaren has had to say quite a few times this season already, we must keep 11 players on the field if we want to win games.

And we want to start winning games just as quickly as possible, and have Aleksandar scoring those goals for us.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Aleksandar Mitrovic · Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News · Suspensions

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 4, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    Picking up a yellow card for dissent playing for Serbia tonight shows Makro and Costco have their hands full.

  • 2 ZIPPIE57 // Sep 4, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    Christ the kid has a head full of cartoons

  • 3 jimmysmith // Sep 4, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    Of course the flip side to the likes of Sissoko, Mitrovic, Wijnaldum, Thauvin, Mbemba, Perez, Aarons. Janmaatt succeeding is losing them. That is an incredible collection of talent with their best years ahead of them. Bit of a bitter pill to swallow, but if the side is doing well, and the depth is there to replace them, I think the fans would accept the realities of the game and acknowledge that the club was being well run.

    Ashley has made plenty of mistakes, and taken risks that haven’t worked, but that group of players, the strength of the finances and the way the tangible assets of the club are maintained, suggest he’s done plenty right too. The jury is out, but there’s no doubt that Ashley and Newcastle can still do well together and for each other.

  • 4 stan anderson // Sep 4, 2015 at 11:30 PM

    Sorry Jimmy i just dont agree.
    I think they have had a big fright and they now realise the fans will only take so much.
    I do not trist Ashley 1 little bit.

  • 5 Derek // Sep 4, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    I hope Mitrovic gets at least the next few games on the bench. Cisse should be starting until Mitrovic can learn to calm the F down and control his temper.

    Cisse has proven he can score goals last season and I’m sure he’s got many more in him. So far all Mitrovic has proven is that he needs some counseling.

    Hope we sign a decent striker in January so if Cisse gets injured we don’t need to rely on the hot head.

    Still, I think given a couple years of maturing Mitrovic could be a big star. Time will tell

  • 6 jimmysmith // Sep 4, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    Yeah, fair enough Stan, but I don’t believe that Ashley should be trusted or that anyone should be entirely optimistic or anything like it, just that there is room for optimism in the argument,. And further to that, the fans having found their collective voice and now knowing that when they use it, Ashley will take pause is a significant part of why you might safely imagine there is still the real possibility of a workable way forward for owner, club and fans alike, if Ashley did do right and I think he can afford too, and I think he’ be well rewarded if he did.

  • 7 Jail for Ashley // Sep 4, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    Mitrovich will be banned for the next three, hopefully Cisse will show a fight to keep his place, although why can’t two strikers play together these days.

  • 8 the truth will out // Sep 5, 2015 at 12:04 AM

    coz the defense will fall apart and ship boatloads

  • 9 Bobbybee // Sep 5, 2015 at 12:27 AM

    Best way for Cisse to keep his place is by making himself undropable – score some goals in short. If Cisse’s scoring, why would you drop him? All in his own hands really. I don’t care who scores them, as long as they go in on a regular basis. Should help to focus Mitrovic as well.

  • 10 expatmag // Sep 5, 2015 at 12:41 AM


    Cannon and Ball????? More like the Village Idiot and Court Jester

  • 11 stan anderson // Sep 5, 2015 at 12:56 AM

    Just hope you are right Jimmy Smith,we all want the fatman to do well for the club.
    It’s just i dont like the man and what he stands for.

  • 12 jimmysmith // Sep 5, 2015 at 1:20 AM

    Yeah, is he a good human being? It would be ideal to be owned by someone who was, but personally, in the compromised and murky world we all live in, I’d settle for him being a good owner, and leave the question of his humanity to those who are better placed to judge.

  • 13 brklyngeordie // Sep 5, 2015 at 2:27 AM

    Like the the shape the squad is starting to take and if going forward Mitrovic will be the only striker on pitch along with 2 wingers and CAM behind him i think we already have them in the stable in Thauvin, Aarrons, Wijnaldum and De Jong which is why I want to mention Sissoko..

    Sissoko is a good player although i feel he doesnt really have a set position feel him playing wing is holding back Aarons and kind of wish he was CM but doesn’t seem to want to play there which is why I feel if big money is thrown our way for him i’d take it…

    Next few windows need to be focused on midfield and wing backs along with another CB and possible striker think money we get for him could help fund a few areas

  • 14 Magpie Season // Sep 5, 2015 at 2:51 AM


    Just found out we tried to sign Ashley Cole on deadline day but he rejected the deal.

    Source: football365.

  • 15 Magpie Season // Sep 5, 2015 at 2:53 AM

    I have a question.

    Assuming everyone is fit, do you think De Jong will make the first XI?

    How many of you put him in yours?

  • 16 expatmag // Sep 5, 2015 at 3:07 AM


    Apparently the club have denied an offer was made for Cole.

    I would play De Jong behind the striker and move Wijnaldum back.

  • 17 Magpie Season // Sep 5, 2015 at 4:22 AM


    Why deny it? Even at 34 Cole would have been an excellent signing, & to tell supporters we tried to sign him but the player refused, removing any reprehension from club buying only players of resale value; it would have caused more appreciation towards the board from supporters & showed short-term ambition.

    As for De Jong, I just don’t think SM will start him. Who would you drop then, Anita?

  • 18 Magpie Season // Sep 5, 2015 at 4:25 AM


    Does anyone know what is going on with Marveaux? He is on our submitted squad list. Still injured?

    & Yoan, the only player since Alan Shearer to score in 5 consecutive home appearances, Gouffran is another missing person.

  • 19 Derek // Sep 5, 2015 at 4:32 AM

    I agree with expat, I hope De Jong starts regularly in CAM with Wijnaldum in DM.

    Something like
    Sissoko___De Jong___Thauvin

    The only problem with that is when Colback is left by himself to protect our defense against a counter attack if Wijnaldum makes a run forward with the ball.

    If only we bought another decent CB or two, then I’d like to see how Mbemba goes as a defensive midfielder. I think he’d do well there. But for now he is desperately needed as a CB.

    January will be interesting to see whether we target DM or CB for new signings

  • 20 swemag // Sep 5, 2015 at 5:06 AM

    Talking about football these days seems somewhat removed. But you keep it up boys.

  • 21 expatmag // Sep 5, 2015 at 6:19 AM


    I am only going off paper reports regarding Cole. Personally, I am glad we didnt sign him especially on the wages he would ask. I would prefer to see Haidara improve.

    On De Jong. I really want to see us more attacking in a 433 or q 4141 formation. To do this, we need to pick and choose the opposition. Having Mitro/Cisse serviced by 2 wingers with De Jong in behind and Wijnaldum acting more defensive would do me.

    I like Anita. He is doing the fetching and carrying job well and Colback is a battler but neither is the creative force we need and whilst they are useful in protecting the defence like against Man Utd and Arsenal recently, they are not going to win us games.

  • 22 expatmag // Sep 5, 2015 at 6:27 AM


    Marveaux was injured during pre season and is due back to training next week. However, font expect much from him as he is a constant sick note.

    Gouffran is a shame really Pardew spoilt this lad and I was really hoping he would re-invent himself under McLaren as a nippy small forward but it seems he is available for transfer and could yet go out on loan..

    Shame really because I can see goals in him.

  • 23 sing in the corner // Sep 5, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    Agree on Cole. Ashley / club policy of signing players with their best years ahead of them has to be the way forward. Even if its not really for the right reasons (ie. resale value is the bottom line for the hierarchy as we all know). But it works for development, encouraging good youngsters to stay in the club and a longer term view.

  • 24 toon kk // Sep 5, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    We need to play more attacking football, Mc has definitely tightened our defence up, but struggling to get out of our own half and not getting any shots on target spells relegation.

  • 25 Toon-Prodigy // Sep 5, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    Well, Dummett has had a set back and will be out for several more weeks yet. I was really wanting that lad to push for a LB spot.

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