Supporter hits the nail on the head when addressing Aleksandar Mitrovic’s rise to form at Fulham

A fan-written piece by Joe Donnohue – a Newcastle United fan whose had his say on Aleksandar Mitrovic’s rise to form at Fulham:

It’s no surprise that Mitrović is scoring for fun at Fulham. He’s a striker with pedigree and is tough to handle. In a league where aggression and attrition wins football matches, Mitrović is thriving.

After all, it was only ten months ago that Newcastle were playing in that division, where Dwight Gayle managed to score 23 goals despite playing roughly half of the season. His wavering form in the Premier League indicates that the step up should not be underestimated.

Fulham are an exciting, enterprising side. The likes of Ryan Sessegnon and co have been scoring aplenty this season. Let’s not forget Slavisa Jokanović’s men did the double over Benítez’s conservative Newcastle side during the Championship-winning campaign of 2016-17.

Despite being one of the more attacking teams in the Championship, Fulham seemed to be distinctly lacking a target man, a no. 9 to put the ball in the back of the net. Aleksandar Mitrović has proven to be that man, and it is of little surprise.

When you consider the stylistic differences between Jokanović and Benítez’s sides it is easy to see why Mitrović has seemingly upped his game. Fulham are a top team in the Championship, and often find themselves in the opposition half. Playing against weaker defences, Mitrović has thrived, perhaps due to the fact that he is given more time on the ball or afforded more space in the box. Causing havoc inside the penalty area is his bread and butter, something he’s rarely given the chance to do at Newcastle due to the simple fact that Newcastle are not in the final third nearly as much as Fulham are in the Championship.

In the Premier League, Benítez insists of ‘defending from the front’, and with the meagre squad at his disposal it isn’t difficult to see why this is necessary. While Mitrović may be scoring for fun against the likes of Sheffield United and Bristol City who are top teams in the Championship, it is an altogether different story asking the same player to do a defensive job against a Chelsea or a Liverpool where he will see very little of the ball and be required to be an influence 30-40 yards from goal.

At Fulham, Mitrović is privileged in the sense that he is playing in a system that suits his strengths and doesn’t expose his weaknesses. Every Newcastle fan knows he is a good finisher, that is one of his main attributes. Given the run of games that he needed, he’s up and running, scoring regularly, not snatching at chances.

However, at Fulham he is getting plenty more chances to score, just as he did at former club Anderlecht. At Newcastle, he will not be afforded that luxury, not because of Benítez but because of the calibre of opposition.

By Joe Donnohue

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

3 thoughts on “Supporter hits the nail on the head when addressing Aleksandar Mitrovic’s rise to form at Fulham

  1. Yeah, but we aren’t playing the top teams every week.
    The bottom half of the Prem is of much the same standard as the Championship (which is why the bottom 10 teams are all nervously trying to avoid playing their football there next season).
    Surely there was a role for Mitro against the likes of Palace, Southampton, Brighton etc.?
    We can surely play an attacking game against opposition of that standard?

    I like Rafa, and I understand he wants his players to follow his instructions, and that probably Mitro regularly failed to follow Rafa’s orders, which is why he was binned, but I still think that Mitro is not the best piece of man management from Rafa.

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  2. Don’t see what Gayle or joselu offer in defence? Infact this is a bit dumb just after Sheffield utd manager praised Mitro on attacking and defensive play but of course any striker should do better when playing more attacking, that common sence.

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  3. Rubbish.
    The reason he’s doing well is he’s playing in the Championship, and that’s it.

    Lets not try to complicate it, or give him some kind of superpowers.

    That’s his level – Championship. That’s it.

    Same a Dwight Gayle.

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