Thursday, March 22, 2018

Newcastle United need to be patient with Mitrovic

Give him time and he will shine / Image via

Give him time and he will shine / Image via

The Serbian striker requires to be dealt with care and should be given one thing Newcastle United fans are lacking at the moment – time.

Coming off from the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on the 2nd January 2016, the Magpies have just extended their poor run from the end of 2015 stretching to three consecutive defeats which saw Newcastle United drop dangerously low.

Steve McClaren’s side are currently occupying the 18th place and are first below the relegation line with 17 points to their name so far in the Premier League season and patience is one thing they cannot afford at the moment.

Fans are rightfully worried as their team have gone without a win since the middle of December and Newcastle will need a swift change of fortunes if they plan on surviving the hectic schedule and making the cut come the end of the campaign.

Particularly upsetting aspect of Newcastle’s game so far has been the chronic lack of goals.

Steve McClaren has invested a lot of money in bringing fresh blood to his squad, bolstering the striking department in order to improve the scoring exploits, but the Magpies have so far been limited to just 17 goals.

Much of attention has been placed upon the summer arrival from Anderlecht Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been brought for the fee of £12.7 million.

The Serbian striker has scored just three goals in 16 appearances for Newcastle United with his last goal coming in December against Tottenham, but the young star has made more of an impression with his temperament than his performances during his first couple of months in England.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been met with high expectations, which have only been emphasised by the ongoing problems in the team, but Steve McClaren will have to be careful with his volatile star, as Mitrovic is the kind of a player who does not always react to pressure the way he is expected to.

Serbian Mario Balotelli as he had been referred to as during his time back in Serbia will have to show maturity and to take responsibility if he wants to make it on the big stage. And judging by his own words, Mitrovic so far looks ready to dive in head first.

“It is very difficult in the dressing room, the fans are disappointed as well, we need to stay together and I believe in this team”, Aleksandar Mitrovic was quoted before the match with Arsenal.

Another ninety minutes without getting on the scoresheet have urged Newcastle United manager to make a statement and seemingly take a dig towards his forward.

Steve McClaren thought that if Newcastle had had Olivier Giroud on their side, they would have comfortably won the game against Arsenal which could be interpreted as the way to undermine Mitrovic, or an effort to wake him up.

With Riviere still unavailable and Papis Cisse out for the next two or three months, Steve McClaren has got only Mitrovic as the genuine striker in his fold.

However, to expect from an inexperienced 22-year-old to be the immediate answer to Newcastle’s goalscoring problems in the wake of the hefty transfer fee can be at least viewed as unprofessional.

More so if we know that McClaren’s team formation has left MItrovic starved of service for most of the games so perhaps core of the problem could be searched elsewhere.

Mitrovic needs to start scoring goals, that is what he was brought for in the first place, but McClaren also needs to handle his striker with care during his formative months at St James’ Park.

If given the proper support both from the coaching staff, his teammates, but also from the stands, Aleksandar Mitrovic could go on to become one of the Premier League’s best strikers.

The Serbian possesses all the physical attributes required to succeed in England, but will have to be given time to adapt to his new surroundings.

Mitrovic will have plenty of chance to earn his stripes as Newcastle head into the hectic January schedule with the FA Cup game against Watford on 9th January first in line. The Magpies will then host Manchester United in the Premier League and are given the 4/5 odds to claim the maximum three points against the Red Devils.

Another home game against tough West Ham United will follow, with the trip to Vicarage Road closing the January programme and Aleksandar Mitrovic will be given enough playing time to start producing and proving the doubters wrong.

Will he succeed?


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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