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He’s Well Liked – But Can This Player Make It At Newcastle?

1:16 pm, Sunday, October 9th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 56 Comments

We thought by now that Newcastle’s Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic would have scored a lot more than the one goal he’s scored in six appearances for the Magpies.

Of course he got off to a slow start simply because he was suspended for the first three games after receiving his second red card of last season with just 20 minutes to go in our final match at home to Tottenham.


Aleksandar Mitrovic after scoring only goal at QPR

Here’s our goalscorers so far this season with Dwight Gayle doing well at the top with 7 goals.

Dwight Gayle22022
Mat Ritchie12416
Ayoze Perez7411
Yoan Gouffran527
Aleksandar Mitrovic426
Mo Diame336
Daryl Murphy516
Jonjo Shelvey505
Christian Atsu505
Ciaran Clark213
Jamaal Lascelles303
Isaac Hayden202
Grant Hanley101
DeAndre Yedlin101

Rafa Benitez seems unwilling to start the Serbian but brings him on as a substitute and when he does come on Mitro offers a physical presence up front and seems to spur the side on too.

Rafa has Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Perez, Daryl Murphy and Aleksandar as out-and-out strikers, but he hasn’t yet fully decided how he wants to play them – or who he wants to play.

Rafa usually plays one striker up front in his usual 4-2-3-1 formation and recently Mo Diame has been playing in the number 10 role although Ayoze can also play in that role.

But there have been recent calls for Rafa to play two strikers up fornt in a 4-4-2 formation – at least at home – which would possibly enable us to get more goals.

Mitro certainly has the passion and he just loves things at Newcastle, but he must start putting that ball in the back of the net when he gets his chances, which he cannot be accused of doing so far this season.

However, if there’s one man who can get the best out of the 22 year-old striker – it’s Rafa Benitez – and Mitro is still young.

Let’s hope we see the lad smashing in those goals once the season starts up again next Saturday, when we are at home to Brentford.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Aleksandar Mitrovic · Championship · Management · Newcastle News

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Nobody can question Mitrovic’s commitment, he just needs to channel it better, shall we say. I’d like to see us start with two up front myself, but Rafa has his own ideas – FACT. 🙂 (loved his fact attack on SAF and Manure). At home I don’t think we need two holding mids anyway, as one good un will do. 4132 would be my slight adjustment, with more emphasis on attack. Would even like to see Big Murph with Gayle up front, or The Gouff playing the #10 sometime. The only problem is I ain’t Rafa and don’t get to choose. As long as we keep winning, I’m happy to go with Rafa’s choices.

  • 2 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    I don’t worry about Mitrovic.

    I just look at Fernando Torres.

    Before he arrived at Rafa’s Liverpool he was a 1 in 3 goalscorer – under Rafa he was transformed into a 1 in 1.5 player.

    At Chelsea and Milan he fell back to 1 in 6 .

    Now back at Atletico Madrid he has returned to 1 in 3.

  • 3 TOONALE // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    I would play him at the center of the defense.

  • 4 geordieboy83 // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    Where would people recommend to try and sit. Getting tickets for Cardiff and am taking the wife and my boy he’s just shy of 4. Will be his first ever game and my first in 8 or 9 years. To say excited is an understatement the boy says he wants it to be super loud so all who attended feel free to oblige

  • 5 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Geordieboy, the obvious answer is the strawberry corner mate, but tickets ain’t easy to get, especially in groups like your own. Anywhere in the gallowgate and he’ll get his chance to make some noise. There’s a smaller singing group on level 7, but trust me, if you get vertigo, don’t bother. 🙂

  • 6 Kabul Fish // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    Bobby – cheers for that ?
    Not fussed on the butties lol but looking forward to beer and footie. My wife got tickets in Leazes End

    geordieboy -I have only ever been to games at Bar1892 but have always enjoyed it with the family 🙂

  • 7 Kabul Fish // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    expat – yeah Melbourne sounds great ?
    Quite a few work colleagues have settled over there doing our base trade (refrigeration & air con) and they luv it. Someone has got to keep the bar & beer cold lol

  • 8 Kabul Fish // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    shud b 🙂 not a ? ha ha

  • 9 geordieboy83 // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    Kabul and Bobby

    Thanks to both, I used to frequent in the gallowgate many years ago and loved it as a bairn. Yeah I don’t want to be too high as I think he will get restless if he can’t make them out properly and he will freeze. It should be interesting though as whenever he watches the telly he has a tendency to say he doesn’t want the black and whites to win. Just the blacks (referee) or greens (keeper) bless him

  • 10 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Geordieboy, just realised how young your lad is. If you go in the corner he’ll see nowt because everybody stands up. Maybe not ideal. Tickets for a group would be hard anyway. I think either the leazes or gallowgate would suit your purpose. The platinum club offers good views, but less atmosphere and there’s dead people in the east stand. 🙂 Wherever you site though, you’ll get a feel for the atmosphere and there’s no real restricted views either. Wherever you get, enjoy it mate. Bring us some good luck eh? 🙂

  • 11 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:42 PM


    Glad to see you are keeping up! 🙂

    Further to my comment to Offkey about sleeping at 6 degrees angle.

    If anyone wants to check it out, Google ‘Inclined Bed Therapy’

    Apparently it greatly improves blood flow whilst sleeping and alleviates a whole load ailments.

    Trouble with Mitro is that he tries too hard imo to mix it with defenders, a bit more subtlety in his play perhaps or get Shearer to teach him how to play dirty without getting caught.

  • 12 geordieboy83 // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Cheers Bobby

    Well I’ve seen 10 league games and 4 cup games in my life and we’ve amassed 30 points and reached the next round 4 times so without blowing me own trumpet haha

  • 13 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Bill, shame on you! What would Shearer know about dirty play, he was an angel. 🙂 The problem for any player who only gets cameos is that they try too hard to put 90 minutes into 15, or ten. Impossible to judge really. He’ll get his chance no doubt and when he does, he needs to stake a claim. One more pointless red card and I could envisage Rafa pulling the plug on him.

  • 14 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Serbia at home to Austria today at 19.45
    Suggested line – up is:-

    Stojkovic – Ivanovic, Nastasic, Vukovic – Rukavina, Kolarov, Gudelj, Milivojevic – Kostic, Tadic, Mitrovic

  • 15 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Geordieboy, that’s the sort of luck we need mate. Buy a season ticket!! 🙂

  • 16 geordieboy83 // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    On mitrovic I love the lad. If I had a choice of somebody a bit better or somebody like him I’d pick him as he loves the club, and plays like I would play if I had the chance too in the shirt. Blood and guts. His passion overides him at times but he’s still so young. He’s barely entering manhood so to judge him now would be mental I think. I don’t think robin van persie truly showed what he was capable of until he was in his mid to late 20s

  • 17 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Jib, strange how Serbia struggle when you see that lineup. Lots of internal wrangling by all accounts. Bit like the Dutch I suppose, loads of talent but just couldn’t stand each other. 🙂

  • 18 geordieboy83 // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Sorry tell a lie I’ve seen 11 league games. Forgot we lost to Wimbledon at selhurst park, but I remember Wimbledon had 6000 fans and we had 14,000 I think it was. Not bad for an away day so the result didn’t matter

  • 19 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 9, 2016 at 1:57 PM


    Now that is a very strange statistic, you are either very young and selective or just selective.

    Either way you really need to attend more matches and hopefully maintain your lucky charm rating. 🙂

  • 20 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM


    Ah a bit late with my post, never mind that’s still a good ratio, so yes go to more matches. 😉

  • 21 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Geordieboy, I think everyone loves his total commitment and clear love for the club. His enthusiasm is palpable and when he scores you can see what it meabs to him. Just the sort of player you want in any team. Rafa’s philosophy is teamwork first and foremost and I think he has concerns about Mitro ‘s temperament. Nothing that can’t be fixed though and I’ve every confidence Rafa will be working on it daily.
    Anyway, just realised – slightly late – that England are on (cricket). Think I’ll watch the run chase, so later chaps.

  • 22 geordieboy83 // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:03 PM


    I wish I was very young mate, still classed as a young man but not in my 20s any more haha. Nah mate I’ve been very lucky in some of the games I’ve seen. Beaten Man United 3-0 when big dunc scored a screamer, when we Beat them 4-3 at St James, when we beat sheff wed 4-2 in our first premiership season and Alec mathie scored a world. I was about 9 and swore it would be the best goal is ever see. Seen some crap aswell like Cambridge United in the cup won 6 or 7-0 I think but I fell asleep. Beat Everton 3-2 that was a good un

  • 23 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Oh Dear Bobby
    Stokes out for a duck
    26 for 4
    We’re doomed I tell ye !

  • 24 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    I must get one of those Bangla Deshi tiger outfits !

  • 25 Toonces // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:39 PM


    That’s interesting. My gieflfriend and I just picked up a pair of tickets for the Cardiff game. We bought in the platinum club. Since we are coming over from the US, I didn’t mind spending a bit more for that section as a one off game, but also, there were not a lot of seats left together in the prime areas. I suspect the platinum club had a few left because of it being a higher priced area. Good luck with your ticket hunt!

  • 26 Munster Mag // Oct 9, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Bobby as I was saying in summer, mitro isn’t mobile enough to be the 1 in 4231. I want to see Rafa be less cautious and move to 4132 at home but he is stubborn! Mitro/Murphy are needed I feel and then we can hurt teams more but will it happen? I think most fans expected us to be leading the race by now, and losing twice at home and struggling to control the game v Rotherham wasnt really expected. We have better players but aren’t seeing them in a consistent attacking format yet

  • 27 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    Quick update whilst drinks are taken. Looked like a disaster at 26/4, but joss butler has come in and scored a quick run a ball 20ish. Still lots to do and advantage Bangladesh, but whilst butler is there it’s game on. Back to it.

  • 28 JP...from The Rock // Oct 9, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Mitro is way too slow and is not a natural finisher to ever become a hige success in my eyes. He is passionate but also wreckless and puts us under the cosh with stupid fouls and such contantly. I would love to see him succeed with is but I don’t see him scoring many goals and for a striker that is what you’re paid to do. I see him a bit like a Kuyt or even Heskey in that he opens up space for others to score with his knock downs etc. Mind you I hated Heskey lol. Just think we should all lower our expectations of the big Serb. I would mich prefer a Gayle and Murphy partnership as both would be more of a threat in front of goal. Wish Mitro can be the success story that we all crave but I really doubt he will ever be more than he is now. Though he is still very young, but if you can’t acore goals in the championship what good are you as a striker in the prem? Still can bring the beat out of anyone and if he starts him regularly I could be pleasently surprised to see Mitro banging them in. Only time will tell if I am right I guess.

  • 29 Essex Geordie Bill // Oct 9, 2016 at 4:08 PM


    Platinum club, Gold club, changed a bit since I used to turn up at the turnstiles and pay my half a crown.

    Are there a silver, iron, lead and tin clubs as well for the lower classes.

  • 30 lesh // Oct 9, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    Given Mitro’s lack of emotional control and his propensity for collecting cards, I wonder if Rafa feels he can’t trust the lad enough to start him in games? It was noticeable that even celebrating goals and wins, he’s won’t to be a tad overzealous.


    If you’re suffering insomnia, it must be because you’re excited at the prospect of the day to come. Just like Christmas Eve when you were a bairn. 😀

  • 31 lesh // Oct 9, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    * …. he’s won’t = he’s wont.

    Auto correct’s too keen to correct what shouldn’t be corrected.

  • 32 Mister Tuff // Oct 9, 2016 at 4:40 PM

    Gayle was lucky he did not sustain whiplash injuries when Mitrovic pulled him back. He did not see it coming and did not brace himself. Bit of luck there I think.

  • 33 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    Oh well, can’t win them all i suppose. Nine down and looking glum. 🙁 On the upside, this will make it 1-1 going into the decider. All is not lost.
    Sorry munster, missed your post earlier. Nothing to worry about yet mate, not with where we are. We haven’t got a truly prolific striker amongst our lot, and I think Rafa wants the goals sharing around. Not sure he trusts Mitro either, which makes selection awkward. Like to see Murph given a game myself. He looked the part in the cup game, holding the ball up and winning more headers than Mitro does. We’re well placed though and no need to worry. 🙂

  • 34 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:03 PM

    Decisions decisions. Wales on the other channel, but England’s last wicket stance is having a go. 32 of 26 balls, but one miss hit and it’s curtains. 193/9 chasing 239. Outside chance at best, but still unlikely…

  • 35 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:12 PM

    Problem solved. England lost. Nice goal from Bale though, cracking header.

  • 36 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:12 PM

    Gareth Bale
    Who else ?

  • 37 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    When he comes on Paul Dummett is wearing number 22.

  • 38 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:31 PM

    Jib, giz a clue mate. Reposting, when i try to highlight the text, i only get one word to cut n paste. I’m on a samsung tablet. How do you highlight the entire text in order to cut?

  • 39 WWSBRD // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:36 PM

    At this point I’d be surprised if Mitro becomes a big successs, I just don’t see him being up to it in playing quality or mentality tbh

  • 40 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    WWSBRD, aye, if he can’t cut it in this league it doesn’t bode well. If Rafa isn’t going to use either of the big lads, it beggers the question as to why he let Arma go on loan? Like to see two strikers on Saturday anyway, but I doubt it will happen.

  • 41 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:43 PM

    I don’t know what you cursor button configuration is but generally on a tablet if you have a right and left button facility – hold down the left whilst moving the right to cover the text you want to copy.
    Failing that get a cheap mouse with a usb connection and use it just for copying and pasting

  • 42 Rotonda heights // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:46 PM


    ”Enable us to score more goals”!!

    4 v Reading
    4 v Norwich
    6 v QPR

    That’ll do me.

  • 43 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    No buttons mate, all touchscreen. Somebody who’s got one might help me out. Not that important really, but the amount of times I miss the bus…! I’m sure there’s one or two other things I’d like to cut n paste as well. 😉

  • 44 WWSBRD // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:50 PM

    Aye this should be when he is starting every game not barely featuring. Him and Murphy are good option off the bench but I doubt either will start often

    As for Armstrong he needs to play and he wouldn’t here regardless of Mitro and Murphy. Gayle is top dog and Rafa is a fan of Perez so no need for him to be here

  • 45 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:56 PM

  • 46 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    I’m happy where he is, just that he went out because of the number of strikers ahead of him. If he’s not keen on two of them, there’s only two ahead of him. Did you see the cup game? Murphy was a real handful for their big defenders, yet we’ve not seen him since. Still, third and only three points off the top, he’s getting most things right. 🙂

  • 47 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    Also this Bobby

  • 48 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    cheers jib, sounds simple enough… see how i get on when required. 🙂

  • 49 simon376 // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:07 PM

    Anybody at the legends game today? What was the score?

  • 50 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    Nice one jib. Even i can manage that! 🙂

  • 51 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    Georgia back in the game. 1-1 Look capable of nicking another as well. Fortunately Wales always have Bale to bail them out.

  • 52 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    NUFC 2 MAN U2

    Shearer scored one I think

  • 53 Jib // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    Probably the last time you’ll ever see this

  • 54 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Simon, finished 2-2 with shearer scoring.

  • 55 NUFCPaul // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Shearer scored from an assist by Scott Sellars. Everyone saying Big Al still has the golden touch.

  • 56 Bobbybee // Oct 9, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    Beat me to it jib. Never really been a fan of none competitive games for some reason. With nothing on the result, it’s just a kickabout for me. Like pro celebrity games. Why? Still, as long as some people enjoy them long may they last.

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