Newcastle United supporters have been pretty irritated in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team throw away a two-goal advantage to only end drawing 2-2 with fellow Premier League relegation candidates Bournemouth on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their meeting with the South Coast outfit off the back of edging Manchester United in their preceding league encounter, a result which saw them end a woeful home run of no wins in eight league games at St James’ Park. And the Magpies took that momentum into their encounter at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as a first half double from striker Dwight Gayle set them on their way to a massive victory, only for late goals from Adam Smith and Dan Gosling to preserve a point for Eddie Howe’s side.
Consequently, there have been several frustrated Newcastle fans in the Tavern in the last few days, many of whom are questioning their side’s inability to see out matches, given they have led each of their last four Premier League games, but have only gone on to win one of them.
In the meantime though, many of our resident Magpies supporters have been discussing the impact striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is having on loan at Championship side Fulham, with several coming to the conclusion that it was a massive error allowing the Serbia international to leave the club in January.
Ultimately, Newcastle have seriously struggled for goals throughout the current Premier League campaign – Saturday’s 2-2 draw at the Vitality Stadium was just the sixth time in 28 games in which they have managed more than one goal in a match.
And with just 27 goals in those 28 league matches, it’s clear that the attacking options clearly aren’t delivering the goods for the Magpies this term, which made the decision to sanction Mitrovic’s departure during January even more baffling.
Yes, the 23-year-old rarely featured under Benitez during the first half of the campaign, which itself is something Newcastle fans were bewildered at, but to stay in the division, the Magpies will need to score more goals than they currently are.
Defensively, Benitez’s men are reasonably solid with just 38 goals shipped so far, the least of any side in the bottom eight, but surely the Magpies need all the help they can get in the attacking ranks to get the goals necessary to guarantee Premier League football next term.
And in just five Championship appearances for Fulham, just three of which have been starts, Mitrovic has already managed to net twice, bagging in their 1-1 draw at fellow play-off chasers Bristol City before the second in their impressive 2-0 success over runaway leaders Wolves last time out.
And with Islam Slimani having yet to make his debut for the club since joining on loan from Leicester City, alongside Mitrovic’s fine start to life in West London, it is looking like an increasingly poor decision to allow the Serbia international to leave the club in January.
And it could be one that comes back to haunt Benitez and the Newcastle hierarchy come the end of the season.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!