Calls for Aleksandar Mitrovic to be returned to the Newcastle United starting XI have been loud and prominent in the light of Newcastle’s poor recent form. However, Aleksandar Mitrovic, alongside his on field flaws, is also having a hugely negative impact off-field within the Newcastle fan base.
It can certainly be said that Mitrovic’s goal scoring antics for Serbia this season may have warranted a starting spot and this may be correct. However, when he has been trusted by Rafa Benitez this season, namely the West Ham game, Mitrovic needlessly elbowed Manuel Lanzini and got given a subsequent three-game ban, putting him out of crucial games against Swansea, Stoke and Brighton.
This lack of trust is evident and feeds itself into the stands and then onto social media. The almost constant call for Mitrovic to be in the team week on week is bit by bit dividing the fans and thus this negativity seeps its way onto the field. Sure this isn’t Mitrovic’s fault, his infectious passion is well received among most at St James Park, however, it is this personality trait which means that fans now put him on a pedestal above the rest of the side.
This debate has now led to Newcastle fans needing to choose between Rafa Benitez and Aleksandar Mitrovic. The trust between manager and player is now almost non-existent and so it is not a case of when Mitrovic will be given a chance, nor even if he will be given a chance, it is now a case of when Mitrovic will leave the club.
It is an unfortunate probable end to Mitrovic’s career at Newcaste as, at times, it has shown great promise. However, the negative atmosphere his lack of appearances is causing on social media and then in the stadium whenever he remains sat on the bench for 90 minutes means, for the good of the club, Mitrovic needs to go to allow another striker to come in and provide what Mitrovic has been lacking thus far: goals.