Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Serb's Wastefulness Is So Striking and Set to Cost Him His Place; THE AGENDA: Will Rafa Benitez Select Dwight Gayle Instead of Misfiring Mitrovic? Newcastle United Boss Rafa Benitez Will Surely Turn to Dwight Gayle When the Magpies Host Aston Villa on Monday Night, Argues NUFC Writer Chris Waugh

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Serb's Wastefulness Is So Striking and Set to Cost Him His Place; THE AGENDA: Will Rafa Benitez Select Dwight Gayle Instead of Misfiring Mitrovic? Newcastle United Boss Rafa Benitez Will Surely Turn to Dwight Gayle When the Magpies Host Aston Villa on Monday Night, Argues NUFC Writer Chris Waugh

Article excerpt

NO matter how hard he tries, Aleksandar Mitrovic just cannot escape the spectre of 20-goal Dwight Gayle this season.

Every time the Serbian plays his performances are compared to Gayle. He has big boots to fill.

Back in October, during an impressive spell while Gayle was sidelined, the 22-year-old scored four goals in all competitions and looked like he may even keep the former Crystal Palace striker out of the side - but Mitrovic (inset right) just does not appear to hold manager Rafa Benitez's trust.

He was barely used during the final weeks of 2016, then he was dropped from the squad completely for the trip to Blackburn Rovers before a deep cut to Mitrovic's knee saw Daryl Murphy usurp the striker in the pecking order.

Newcastle's Oxford United FA Cup horror show was also epitomised by Mitrovic's woeful display in which he missed three excellent chances as well as a penalty.

Unfortunately for the Serbian, he was similarly wasteful at Carrow Road.

Benitez could even have dropped Mitrovic for Gayle in Norfolk but the Spaniard decided the Championship's top scorer - returning from a recurrence of a hamstring problem - was only ready for a place on the bench.

Instead Mitrovic, who bagged the winner at Molineux on Saturday but came perilously close to being dismissed and was hooked at half-time, was given another start.

Given the Serbian netted twice off the bench during the devastating injury-time defeat at Carrow Road last April, Benitez was clearly hoping for Mitrovic to replicate that performance.

To be fair, Newcastle had coped well during Gayle's absence results-wise - collecting 10 points from a possible 12 available.

Given that Mitrovic did score his first club goal since October against Wolves, Benitez decided to reward the forward despite admitting before the game the 22-year-old still needs to learn how to control his temperament.

Unfortunately for Benitez, his decision to start Mitrovic did not pay dividends. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.