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

9:57 am, Sunday, August 7th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 60 Comments

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.

Tags: Championship · Man of the Match · Matt Ritchie · Newcastle News · Other News · Poll

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Oleg G // Aug 7, 2016 at 9:58 AM

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

    Check it out and vote please!

  • 2 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM


    I was just the first to vote on yours 😀

  • 3 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:01 AM

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

  • 4 Average_Contents // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:20 AM

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

  • 5 Average_Contents // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    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.

  • 6 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:26 AM


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

  • 7 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM


    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

  • 8 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    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.

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

    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

  • 10 Oleg G // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    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.

  • 11 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    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.

  • 12 Oleg G // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    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.

  • 13 Lindisfarne // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    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.

  • 14 Oleg G // Aug 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    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).

  • 15 Slank // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    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.

  • 16 welshgeordie9 // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    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.

  • 17 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    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!!!

  • 18 welshgeordie9 // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:11 AM

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

  • 19 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    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

  • 20 Ron Knee // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:15 AM


    Would you rather have Bony? Only 13m!

  • 21 Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:40 AM


    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.

  • 22 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Bring back big Andy Carroll. It is time!

  • 23 hibbitt // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:44 AM

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

  • 24 FollowFollow // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:48 AM

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

  • 25 Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:49 AM


    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.

  • 26 hibbitt // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM


    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

  • 27 Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM

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

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


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

  • 29 Oleg G // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    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?

  • 30 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    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.

  • 31 Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:56 AM


    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.

  • 32 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    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.

  • 33 emperor // Aug 7, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    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

  • 34 Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:04 PM


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

  • 35 hibbitt // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    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

  • 36 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    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

  • 37 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    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.

  • 38 hibbitt // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:17 PM


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

  • 39 Toon Tang // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    I’m coming home Newcastle..

  • 40 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    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.

  • 41 hibbitt // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    thats a no brainer Mitrovic should have been one of the the first names on the sheet but Rafa never had the chance of picking him because of his 4 match ban

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    From much earlier. No you’re not the only one doubting Rafa, Munster and Cyprus have been banging that drum since the debacle at Leicester in his first game.

  • 43 toon kk // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    We’re in the championship, forget Andy Carroll. Although we need someone with his power. I thought we looked a very lightweight team tbh. I’m not so sure we’ll walk this league like most seem to think.
    Early days though.

  • 44 Goofy // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    We should play with 2 strikers at home. Not feeling the 2 defensive mids, Pardew and Mclaren tried it (not that they are in the same league as Benitez) it doesn’t work.

    Ritchie and Mitro would make a good partnership, Ritchie has played upfront for Scotland. Aarons on the left with Janmaat on the right ad Anita at RB.
    I don’t think it’s a case ofsquare pegs round holes, Janmaat is better going forward and Anita is a really good RB.

    Colback needs dropped, Diame and Shelvey could be a solid midfield. Hoping Mbabu can keep himself fit this season so Dummett can be saved as a back up CB, he’s not a LB.

  • 45 Toon Tang // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    On mitro, I think it would be absolute madness to get rid of him. We’ve all seen glimpses of what he can do, he just needs a solid consistent season in the chumpionship to establish himself as a leader of the frontline.

    Bag some goals, feed the lickle strikers, hold the ball up to relieve pressure, win a few tussles, stick a few sly elbows in… Repeat until we win league, continue it into the prem.

    Piece of piss.

  • 46 emperor // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:31 PM


    I thought arma looked quite lively when he came on with his direct running at the fulham players

  • 47 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    hibbitt – well if course that’s bleedin’ obvious if you don’t mind me saying. The point I was trying to make was that he is exactly the type of player we need, and he is worth persevering with rather than trying to find someone else at a minute to midnight which is just about where we are.

  • 48 hibbitt // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    next 3/4 buys will decide the season they are the missing pieces to the jigsaw puzzle the cement that will hold this this team together
    key players still need to be bought

  • 49 martoon // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Perez love his little flicks & tricks. When they work he looks like a world beater but when they don’t he looks pants like on Friday night!

  • 50 Hail Wor Ashley // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Nah, Carroll is back in Newcastle every chance he gets. Don’t know where you got the impression otherwise. Think he’d come back in a heartbeat, even for a slight paycut and dropping down a division.

    In an alternate universe he went on to be the true heir to Shearer’s throne, just like he should have been had Liverpool not given us such a heady offer. Can remember thinking he was just that at the time, finally another Geordie no9 super hero! Was 11 in 19 that season, Shearer-like stats, was genuinely awesome and unplayable as been the Toon main man actually gave him the boost it simply doesn’t to the likes of Gayle/Mitro.

    Gone before the story had barely started. Reckon he’d love to come full circle and pick up where he left-off.

  • 51 Rotonda heights // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:46 PM


    it doesn’t help any of our strikers, arma or anyone else, that we give them little to no service.

  • 52 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    toon kk

    yeah I know we will not get Carroll but boy do we need someone like him – any suggestions ???

    as walking the league I had us down to finish second on 96 points – behind Norwich who have been in this position before with the same manager.

    but we’ll wait and see what how we play with Diame and Mbemba in the team and hopefully Mitrovic.

    Still need a front man and a playmaker and a winger as Aarons – juries out for me two many tricks and no end product – bit like Perez at the minute to!

  • 53 OneAlanShearer // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Word from Newcastle United sources: The Magpies have no interest in selling Mitrovic. That’s unequivocal.

  • 54 Moonraker15 // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    I reckon Ritchie cold be the signing of the season and I can’t understand why he wasn’t the first name on the team sheet for Bournemouth. I was and am seriously disappointed with the performance at Fulham but to be honest when I saw Colback and Anita in the team I knew we wouldn’t create much! However we’ll have Diame and hopefully Clarke in place of Dummett, who looked scared every time he got the ball, against Huddersfield and a good wi against them is a must, then same again against Reading and we’re up and running! Happy days!

  • 55 welshgeordie9 // Aug 7, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    QPR look very sharp today against Leeds, Charlie Taylor hasnt impressed me so far.

  • 56 welshgeordie9 // Aug 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Ron Knee

    Sorry for the late reply, yes i would have bony here, he would have so many goals from our creative players and also he’s very good at setting others up as well.

    Bony and that Brighton player and that would be us done in the window.

  • 57 Moonraker15 // Aug 7, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Omg I can’t believe some on here are doubting Rafa. If he can’t dig us out of this we can all give up. It’s people like you “doubters” that give us Toon fans a bad name. Ffs the man has success everywhere he has been, even Chelski where they disliked him! Give him time please!!!

  • 58 JP...from The Rock // Aug 7, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    We need Rafa to go for flair players ASAP. Is there any news on the transfer front? So sick of hearing of that twat Sisso.. And of no incomings.

  • 59 The overrated Frenchman // Aug 7, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    hibbitt@48 – we can agree on that. Even if Mitrovic stays we need another lead the line type striker. One way or another Mitrovic will miss games.We absolutely need a creative midfielder. I’d like to think De Jong will have a role to play but he has been so unreliable physically it’s hard to be confident. Ritchie looks great, but Aarons is still hit or miss for me, so I think another winger type is needed. So that’s three at least, and as you say I think they need to be players who will genuinely improve the quality of the squad rather than just taking a number. We already have a handful of players with a squad number who are really just “fillers” as it is.

  • 60 robertsleftfoot // Aug 8, 2016 at 6:58 AM

    i wonder if players like Shelvey are booting the managers door down this morning saying here if you think Colback brings more to the team than me then A) sell me to the first club that will have me and B) your footballing brilliance clearly isnt as good as everyone thinks…..

    Sorry to these Colback is a hard worker, tries his best shit….. The lad is and has been from day 1 simply nit good enough to start for our football team

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