In management you often get what you expect, so in football management if you think one of your players is a really good player the chances are they will play very well for you – and vice versa.
And since Rafa Benitez came into the club a short 11 days ago he has said he thinks Aleksandar Mitrovic – our £13M signing from Anderlecht last summer – has massive potential.
Rafa thought that when watching Newcastle on TV before he arrived and he still thinks that after training the 21 year-old over the last week or so.
Not only that but he has said Mitro can score the goals for Newcastle to survive, if only the team can provide him with better service.
Aleksandar Mitrovic after scoring a vital goal for Newcastle after 83 minutes
So it’s not all that surprising that Mitro has had two good games for Rafa Benitez, and he is easily out Man of the Match in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Sunderland, in which Aleksandar got the sensational equalizer with a glorious header at the back post and the fans blew the roof off St. James’ Park.
That followed great work down the right wing by Gini Wijnaldum and a beautifully flighted cross from the talented Dutchman.
Mitro got 30% f the vote and showed his commitment to the Newcastle cause as he seemed to dance with a Newcastle supporter after scoring – as they both fell down.
Mitro ripped his shirt off and swung it around in the air to pick up that yellow card, but it was worth it.
And maybe with a little luck we could have had a second goal, but our boy was knocked out for an instant late in the game and the Newcastle doctor Dr Paul Catterson followed FA guidelines and prevented him from playing on and we finished the last few minutes with 10 men.
Aleksandar fought on the touch-line with Dr. Catterson to get back onto the pitch, but once he was told of the rules after the game he issued this apology to the Newcastle doctor:
“I didn’t know what the procedure was. I didn’t know the rules.” “I apologized to the doctor after the game because I knew I had to come off after being knocked unconscious for a few seconds. I’ve been through the examinations, my head is fine.”
That goal from Aleksandar could be a really vital goal for Newcastle this season, because it prevented Sunderland from gaining 3 points on us on Sunday.
Second in the voting was Andros Townsend (20%) who made his first start for Rafa and had a good game as he ran at the Sunderland defense and third was goalkeeper Rob Elliot (17%) who produced one world-class save in that second half that kept us in the game.
Rob has simply been a revelation for us this season and if we do survive we have to give thanks to the Irish Intentional, who is making a name for himself in the Premier League this season since he came in for the injured Tim Krul last October.
Chancel Mbemba was fourth in the voting with 9% and it was great to have him back in defense and he made a huge difference at the back.
Again we had a number of Newcastle players who had good games on Sunday – but as Rafa Benitez has said – it’s still not good enough and the team will need to do better.
We hope they do a lot better in future games starting a week on Saturday at Norwich City.
A win in that game could even see us on our way to safety.
Howay The Lads!!