Aleksandar Mitrovic believes he is now at a club that are playing to his strengths as a target man.
In what appears to be a criticism of Rafa Benitez’s tactics, the Serbian says he feels that, for the first time In England, he is able to show what he can do. Speaking in an interview with the Telegraph, he said:
“In England, this [at Fulham] is the first time that I really feel comfortable in the system and in the way we play. I think the manager and my team-mates, they all know my strengths and try to use them in the best way that they can. The result was that I scored a lot of goals and we won games.”
Some fans on Twitter were irritated by Mitro’s comments:
Why does he even care anymore, he ain’t our player. He needs to concentrate on the job he has at Fulham.
— Danny Brown (@DannyBroooon) 16 August 2018
Aye, unfortunately we didn’t attune our tactics to lazy, slow and reckless centre-forwards. #nufc
— Liddane (@liddane) 16 August 2018
A quality player can adapt
— philip cummings (@CummingsPhilip) 16 August 2018
If Mitrovic had been a world beater, maybe Rafa would’ve been more inclined to adapt to suit him, sadly he wasn’t, so couldn’t expect Rafa to change for him,
Shame Mitrovic couldn’t adapt to suit Rafa’s style of play
— Tom Howarth (@Sirbobbyliveson) 16 August 2018
Your strength certainly wasn’t discipline
— Vince Lightning (@Spaghetti_Capo) 16 August 2018
He expects the team to create about 10 chances for him so that he can score 1 of them then. He missed some sitters last season esp in playoffs
— A B (@Jap_Si_24) 16 August 2018
Surely any player of any worth learns to adapt, and not expect the team to adapt to home.
— GPM (@Geoff_NUFC) 16 August 2018
Didn’t realise the whole team were supposed to mould themselves to him must be the new Messi
— Wendy Mann (@wm_mann) 16 August 2018
Others feel the 23-year-old may have a point:
I think Mitro is correct but Rafa’s decision is final. Still a young lad, I am sure he will go on and make a half decent career.
— KevLew (@Kevlew833) 16 August 2018
He has a point
— Gav Downey (@gavdowney1) 16 August 2018
Sometimes things just don’t work out. Although Mitro’s all or nothing playing style got him many admirers among supporters, it was clear from the outset when Rafa arrived, he just wasn’t a good fit for the manager’s style of play.
As the Serbian international says himself, he just wasn’t able to adapt to what the Spaniard wanted, and he found a club in Fulham who were prepared to utilise his physicality and aerial prowess more.
We will see this season whether he has the talent to score goals in the Premier League after scoring a hatful for the Cottagers in the Championship, but there shouldn’t be any hard feelings on either side. We got good money for the player and Mitrovic now has the regular first-team football he wanted all along.