Our Man Of The Match Could Become Newcastle’s Best Player

Newcastle lost Andros Townsend through his escape clause in his contract when we were relegated and he was sold to Crystal Palace for  £13M to continue his career under Alan Pardew after being coached to play some of his best football by Rafa Benitez.

But we replaced  Andros with Bournemouth player Matt Ritchie before Newcastle allowed Andros to leave the club and Matt has looked a very good player for us.


Matt Ritchie in action against Fulham
Great game from the 26 year-old winger

In fact this lad could become a star player for Newcastle and could even turn out to be our best player this season.

He was great in the second half on Friday night and was unlucky not to have scored and he put the cross in that was clearly handled after 35 minutes and we should really have had a penalty – but didn’t.

Matt got 64% of the vote and was easily our Man of the Match.

But other players who had good games for Newcastle were right-back Daryl Janmaat, who seemed to pledge his future to Newcastle before the game.

Daryl was very prominent on Friday night in moving forward down the wing but also the Dutchman defended very well too.

Daryl could be made into a very good right winger one day and he can be a big player for us this season – we appreciate his positive attitude.

New arrival Grant Hanley (6%) has quickly forced his way into a starting position and he looked strong and commanding at the back and very vocal – which was good to see.

The hard-working Vurnon Anita playing in the strange position of right wing got 4% of the vote.

Central midfielders Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey, when he came on late in the game (too late?) – also looked good.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player Against Fulham

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Comments welcome.

60 comments so far

  • Oleg G

    Aug 7, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #1

    I have my own poll on Sissoko, with much more interesting answers 🙂

    Check it out and vote please!


  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #2


    I was just the first to vote on yours 😀

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #3

    I went “sell for not less than 20-25 M”

  • Average_Contents

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #4

    I went for keep him, fine him and stick in the reserves 🙂

  • Average_Contents

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #5

    Mackems definitely reside on this blog.

    I mean, 29 votes for Colback.

    C’mon, someone’s taking the p1ss.

    And anita 4th. Wtf is that all about?? The ball was like a fcuking hot potato everytime he got it.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6


    Thats what I like about you. So forgiving and understanding 😀

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #7


    Shelvey – you could be right. If he does not fancy him then we will have to find/sign a player like him who can pass open up defences cos at the minute we ain’t got one – maybe Siem DiJong if we can get him on the pitch

  • gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola)

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #8

    We sell Mitro,

    It would be tickets for the season. He is the EXACT type of player we needed vs Fulham, Physical, Strong, hold up play…exactly where we lacked, Gayle was blown away had 3 touches of the ball so was Perez.

    No 9 for Gayle…Please… I have even MORE respect for Mitro for not wanting the number 9 shirt.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #9

    Signing 8 players and still looking like we need at least another 4 players as a minimum to make us look decent shows how much of a mess Carr and Charnley made of the club over the last few seasons

    Players that maybe looked average in the premiership are not going to work in the championship like Perez , Colback and Anita as its a lot more physical and the referees allow a lot more leeway

    Its actually tailor made for the likes of Tiote to play in the middle next to Diame

    Could we not just offer Tiote a new deal to keep him for a season or 2? Rafa seemed to get the best out of him last season

  • Oleg G

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #10

    YouCouldn’tMakeItUp // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM


    I think I can be less politically correct than Ed, so my answer have more emotions in them.

  • gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola)

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #11

    Yeap, need gutsy, bulldog type players not to mean they are dirty.
    Also need a CM like Cabaye who distributes.

    The day he went we started looking like a joke. You cannot run a midfield with no brain or creativity with passes. We have none.

    We need a CM player/s like Milner/Cabaye/Henderson/Lee ( cannot believe he came relatively good at Liverpool) To be Shelvey is never going to be there, full of crap and tires easily.

    I just don’t see this group playing with the current midfield setup its a joke really.

  • Oleg G

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #12

    Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Don’t forget that argubly, we have at least 3-4 players who weren’t in the line up for the game at all, who can start in the first 11.

    Mitro, Tiote, Krul, Mbemba (No, not Sissoko!!!).

    And also strong players like Mbabu, de Jong.

    Gamez and Shelvey can also play in the first 11.

    Benitez need also to find the right 11. Sometimes it takes 4-5 games.

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #13

    According to whoscored our man of the match was Hayden.


    I didn’t think he had an outstanding game and all the overall ratings are poor. What is slightly surprising is that we had more passes and more completed passes, plus more possession and shots. Just shows that we were lacking quality and knocking the ball around in our own half to no effect.

  • Oleg G

    Aug 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #14

    We will probably need to buy a creative midfielder and a strong forward.
    Maybe an LB.

    But the team is good and strong already. But gelling time and finding the right formula, sometimes takes time,

    Oh, and I forgot that we also have Diame!
    And Clark has a lot of experience too (he is not the best, but still not a bad player).

  • Slank

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #15

    Charlie @ 7

    A few days ago I was discussion with another blogger (perhaps you !) about Shelvey and we both agreed that under certain conditions he would be ideal.

    Away from home where teams will go all out to attack us thereby leaving themselves exposed at the back to a quick counter attack Shelvey would be ideal as he can deliver a quick forward pass to feet which Gayle, Perez and Ritchie would I’m sure prefer than a lofted hopeful ball.

    Against teams at SJP who park their bus I’m not too sure Shelvey has the skills to unlock massed defences.

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #16

    Out of all the new signings that played against Fulham, the only player i was a little bit disappointed with was Gayle, thought Hanley and Hayden were good and for me Ritchie was our best player, first game anyway, that’s always going to be the hardest.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #17

    Don’t think it was me – but I agree with you away from home -Shelvey and the counter attack.

    My only problem with Shelvey is his head does not seem to be in the ‘right place’ half the time.

    If he reproduce the performance he had against West Ham then he would be a brilliant in this league.

    Here’s hope!!!

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #18

    Will be glad when Mitrovic is back, need his height and strength, that was missing Friday.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #19

    also TOON’s long ball tactics second half did my heed in – we must have the smallest squad in the league and we hoof it airborne to Perez, Armstrong, Gayle -howway man have some sense

    Only time we looked like scoring is when we got the ball out wide down the flanks bur alas the ball in was not the best

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #20


    Would you rather have Bony? Only 13m!

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #21


    trouble is nitro is a certified loon and always a red card waiting to happen. plus at 55 I am quicker than him and he does miss some real sitters.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #22

    Bring back big Andy Carroll. It is time!

  • hibbitt

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #23

    if Bony would come i would take him
    BUT its a might big IF !!

  • FollowFollow

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #24

    Andy Caroll. Get 25 games out of him. We’re up.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #25


    yes i didn’t get all that long ball s—e. not really rafa’s style at all.

    I think the fact is as has been proved over several seasons now is that with players of the ilk of colback and dummet we are still in problems.

    We are screaming out for creativity yet shelvey is too slow and de jong is a perma crock. Forestieri and knockaert would change things a lot, as would a competent left back.

  • hibbitt

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #26


    i know i will get some stick from a lot on here but i’m not sold on Perez a lot of huffing and puffing but no end product

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #27

    mitro makes carrol look like a greyhound and choir boy rolled into one.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #28


    you’re not alone, i find perez’s losing the ball so much really infuriating, after previously been quite a fan of his.

  • Oleg G

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #29

    Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    losing the ball so much?
    You mean in the game against Fulham?

    That’s it? Only because of one game?

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #30

    Still think Dummet is ok as a defensive LB option. He had a poor game on Friday but usually wingers get nowt off him. We clearly need more than that from a starting LB, though. A specialist LB, a creative winger, and a Goal scorer needed before september.

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #31


    there’s nothing wrong with playing quick mobile strikers, rather than lumbering target men, as long as they get service. they never got any decent through balls or situations where they could run in behind because their runs are never spotted.

    we have lacked someone with vision, who can play a reverse pass for so long now.

  • YouCouldn'tMakeItUp

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #32

    Perez is not consistent, he can do great things, but he needs to do it more. There is hope for him, because he keeps going and keeps trying. I think it will come.

  • emperor

    Aug 7, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #33

    Hanley was shit, looks slower than williamson, his distribution is woeful . Played aimless long balls and took very long to release the ball.
    Dumett looks shaky even at this level. Colback offered absolutely nothing.
    Playing Gayle & Perez as 10 & 9 in the championship isnt the way both are lightweight. I would rather see mitrovic & Armstrong partnership.
    Finally Ritchie looks quality good energy sharp accurate passing.

    janmaat mbemba lascelles anita
    ritchie shelvey diame aarons
    arma mitro

    That would be my team this season

  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #34


    quite like the look of that, but at some point arma has to show us what all the hype is about.

  • hibbitt

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #35

    hindsight is a wonderful gift

    Mbemba injured
    Diame not match fit
    Mitro banned for 4 games
    if these players had been available Rafa might have picked them but they were not

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #36

    Perez – been off the boil the last nine months or so – to busy preening his hair and maybe’s listen to the hype that Barcelona et. al are after him.

    Needs to knuckle down and show the attributes that made him a crowd favourite.

    Andy Carroll – would have him back now – might be able to show Mitrovic how to lead the line being aggressive without the weekly bookings and sending off’s

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #37

    Probably a bit pointless to weigh into the Mitrovic debate again, as everyone seems to be set one way or the other. Anyway, here goes. OK, he’s not quick, but that doesn’t make him a “carthorse”. He moves intelligently, he’s strong, and he is very good in the air. That header that shook the crossbar at Man.Utd. comes to mind. I think he’s a capable finisher. A lot of the chances he supposedly should have scored from were half-chances in my opinion. Apart from his honeymoon period Cisse was worse in terms of missing those sort of chances. His goals per time on the pitch ration last season wasn’t that bad, better than Carroll over his Premiership games at Newcastle I’m told by a mate, but stand to be corrected on that. Obviously the discipline issues were a problem, but I’m prepared to say that immaturity and over enthusiasm came to bear. I’d be disappointed in Rafa if he took the soft option to unload him rather than work to improve him. Who wouldn’t have rather had him in the box on Friday night looking to get onto Ritchie and Janmaat’s crosses and giving a bit of muscle instead of the two little pixies? OK, that’s unfair, but you know what I mean.

  • hibbitt

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #38


    Andy wont be heading north any time soon
    likes the life in london now
    to much of an essex boy now

  • Toon Tang

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #39

    I’m coming home Newcastle..

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #40

    Being small doesn’t negate crosses as a viable strategy.

    Our 2 best chances came from low crosses. Ritchie and Aarons missing from 10 yards out unmarked. We just did it with the requisite quality all too rarely.

    Nothing annoyed me more than seeing Janmaat get into a good position only to float one over to the back post as if Mitrovic was playing.

    Very simple things like that are just common sense, yet personnel on the field not matching the tactics was the theme the other night.


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