The Express is reporting today that Steve McClaren is a worried man after Aleksandar Mitrovic picked up the 47th yellow card of his career, playing in the 2-0 win for Serbia against Armenia on Friday night.
That’s for a lad who is still only 20, and his red card for Newcastle last Saturday against Arsenal was the 6th red card of his career, and he picked up tow yellow cards in the first two games.
Mitrovic will now miss Newcastle’s next three games, and while the club make a big deal about how we check on the character of players we sign, we assume Newcastle also look at their discipline on the field.
Aleksandar Mitrovic in action for Serbia
Steve McClaren has said he doesn’t want to take away the edge that Mitrovic has in his play – but that will not be much good if the lad keeps getting himself sent off while playing for Newcastle.
We had too many players miss games last season for picking up red cards and too many cautions.
A red card has two immediate effects – one is that Newcastle will likely lose that game, and then he will be suspended for a number of games, depending on whether he got two yellows or a straight red.
After paying around £14M for the young striker in the summer, we want to keep him on the field, and it may be the Newcastle head coach reverts to starting either Papiss Cisse or Ayoze Perez as the lone striker up front, and then bring on Mitrovic in the second half as a sub.
That would give Aleksandar time to acclimatize to English football, while at the same time he tries to be more disciplined in the types of tackles he puts in.
And it would also tend to restrict the damage to Newcastle if he gets himself sent off – at least it will not be after 16 minutes as it was against Arsenal.
Aleksandar’s discipline is proving to be a big challenge for Steve McClaren and the coaching staff at Newcastle – that’s for sure.