NUFC legend Malcolm Macdonald has defended Rafa Benitez’s decision to leave Aleksandar Mitrovic out of his side, explaining just why he believes the Serbian striker isn’t nearly as good as so many Newcastle fans think he is.
As you may have gathered by now, Superman isn’t Mitrovic’s biggest fan, however I can’t help but feel he’s delivered a few home truths about the Serbian outcast here.
Don’t get me wrong, I think he deserves his chance in the side given our very ordinary pool of strikers at present, but bits of what he says aren’t wrong.
Here’s what he’s had to say to the Chronicle in his ruthless rant about the Mitrovic this week:
“It’s frustrating because to score goals you go out and play football but Mitrovic wants to fight, the pitch that he should be on should actually be square with three ropes right around it.
“He’s nearly 7ft and do you ever see him win a ball in the air? You don’t because he’s wanting to fight and scrap with the centre-halves. He’s wanting to grapple – he’s looking to have a fight. He’s not looking (A) to win the ball and (B) to score goals – he’s not looking for that. He doesn’t think it.
“Benitez is not playing him because the guy doesn’t accomplish anything at all. He’s more likely to get sent off than score goals – you don’t want that in your side, particularly at the top level.”
Macdonald then suggests that so many NUFC supporters are mistaking his idiocy as passion, suggesting he’s rather start fighting with the centre-back marking him than make genuine attempts to win the ball and get into the box:
“The crowd are misreading Mitrovic; they think it’s passion, it’s not it’s sheer laziness on his part that he would rather have a fight than jump, win the ball, land and sprint into the box.
“It’s alien to him. He doesn’t do it. You’re never going to score goals on a truly regular basis unless you think about them; Mitrovic never thinks about them.
“I don’t think he can cut it in the Premier League. You can’t get a leopard to change its spots and Mitrovic has done it now for too long to change. I don’t think he learns anything and is prepared to listen.”
I must say, there’s parts of this that I can really relate to from my time watching Mitrovic at St James’ Park over the past few seasons.
It’s a harsh assessment, but I imagine there’ll be a few NUFC fans who’re reading this thinking they couldn’t have put it better themselves.
I stand somewhere in the middle. I don’t think he’s nearly as good as some groups of NUFC fans seem to believe, however I do believe he should have been given a chance in the last few weeks when we’ve been crying out for change.
Here’s what Supermac had to say about the 23-year-old over the summer – he really doesn’t like him!
Malcom MacDonald on Aleksandar Mitrovic..
Some very harsh comments here!
(Video via @ChronicleNUFC) ⚫️⚪️
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) July 8, 2017
Let us know your thoughts on this all – where do you stand on Mitro?