Matt Richie Explains Rafa’s Analytical Coaching Methods

Matt Ritchie is quickly becoming a real fan favorite  on Tyneside and he scored his first goal of the season with a penalty last night against Reading and he put it away in great style.

The way we opened the Championship season was unthinkable – two successive defeats to Huddersfield Town and Fulham, but last night the team looked good in the second half and we got our first win.

matt ritchie huddersfield

Matt Ritchie – that’s why Rafa is the manager

Ritchie feels the influence of Rafa Benitez in training and in analyzing the team’s performances is starting to pay dividends:

“We certainly didn’t lose the first two and just wonder why.” “We analysed, the manager analysed, and that’s why the manager is the manager – because he’s so good at it.”

“The way we analysed, we worked hard during the week on some triggers and we showed in our play that we looked like we had good structure in attack.”

“We built attacks well, we counter-attacked well as well.”

“All in all it was a very good performance, but it’s very early days.” “It’s 3 points, but we need to go again on Saturday because Bristol are a good side.”

“Everyone around the football club knew the expectation, and it’s only human nature to feel that.”

“It’s how you deal with it and I thought we dealt with it.”  “There were some big question marks over us after not winning the first two games, and we’ve answered those, hopefully.”

“It’s going in the right direction, and hopefully we can continue to win games.”

“Games come thick and fast and it’s great, especially when you’re on the back of a win when confidence will be high.”

“We need to work hard in training and  go there (Ashton Gate) and put in a good performance.” 

And it gets no easier for Newcastle and they will have to be ready for a monumental battle on Saturday with the news that the h=game at Bristol City will be played in front of the biggest crowd at Ashton Gate for more than 20 years.

The redevelopment of Ashton Gate stadium was started two years and it was finished before the start of this season and the new renovations resulted in an increased capacity up to 27,000 fans; the stadium is shared with the rugby team.

21,000 tickets have been sold so far and the full away allocation of 2,500 tickets have been snapped up by Newcastle fans.

Bristol City would like nothing better than to beat Newcastle on Saturday and we must get our act together quickly in the first 45 minutes.

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • JamesToon

    Aug 18, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #1

    Going up to the Bristol game, hope the lads put in a good performance!

  • BeeGuy

    Aug 19, 2016 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #2

    Reading was not convincing, but with some confidence, they could snaek a win, which would really turn on the jets.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Aug 19, 2016 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #3

    No doubt in my mind, we”ll beat Bristol and balance the books.

    If we can’t beat these teams then we would deserve to stay down.

    My predictions were for Shelvey as MOS and Goufron as top scorer, I’m still confident for no. 1 and still see no.2 as an outside possibility. He can certainly do a good job for the team.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Aug 19, 2016 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #4

    Any way that’s my comment for the week as I wend my weary way to bed.

  • Big Archie

    Aug 19, 2016 at 4:26 AM

    Comment #5

    Ed – its not that we need to get our act together quickly. We need to keep it together.

  • Jib

    Aug 19, 2016 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #6

    Having met with NUFC the Inter people have moved on to meet with Sissoko’s agent.
    As suspected by a few on here the sticking point with any Moussa transfer is agent driven it would appear.

  • firebug666

    Aug 19, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    Comment #7

    Every game for us will be difficult, every team coming against us this season will be at their very best, every player will be playing out of their skin.

    For us it is going to be a long hard slog, if every game is a cup final for the other teams then they only have to play at their best against us twice, we however have to be at our best every game.

    Our away form has been poor of late, and we have already had a wake up call as they put, now we need to rub the sleep from our eyes and get up and at them.

    Tough game tomorrow but I fancy us to edge it.

  • Jib

    Aug 19, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    Comment #8

    Sporting Lisbon are chasing Bas Dost the Wolfsburg Dutch striker.
    It would appear his people are talking to Leicester and NUFC as well (he would earn more in England)
    If you rememember last Summer Mitro was courted by the Portuguese first but we hijacked the deal.

  • Tsunki

    Aug 19, 2016 at 7:06 AM

    Comment #9

    We’ve been linked with Bas Dost for so long he’ll be Bus Pass soon.

  • Jib

    Aug 19, 2016 at 7:13 AM

    Comment #10

    Thing is Tsunki for all those shouting for a big handy lad who puts hissel about he fits the bill perfectly

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 19, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #11

    Tsunki – bud-dum-ting!

  • Lindisfarne

    Aug 19, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    Comment #12


    Only one transfer, but the Benteke sale would indicate that it is not ultimately a sellers market. £35M for Sissoko is a target that will need to be shaved to facilitate the movement of a non-playing footballer.

  • Jib

    Aug 19, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #13


    I think there is a sub-plot .

    MS changed his agent from the Mondial agency to Bakari Sanogo and I don’t think NUFC likes the way his new agent goes about his business.

    Just to confuse everything there is a Morrocan defender called Mehdi Benatia on loan to Juventus from Bayern Munich – his agent is called Moussa Sissoko and he is very vocal on Twitter and I sometimes wonder if some quotes by the press are wrongly ascribed.

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 19, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #14

    Well tomorrow we’re playing on one of the Championships bigger pitches backed with great toon support. All we need is to show some bottle and determination to remove the failure to win away from home. It would help the cause if we stop giving daft goals away just before half time. We need to remove the failure to win away.

    Reading many you would think that following our first win that we’ve cracked it. This is a long term project . We were relegated because of a lack of investment. That translates into Benitez inheriting a failing academy, outdated training and coaching facilities and a sporadic player recruitment policy; which left us with an unbalanced limited squad.

    The team have lacked the bottle and determination to win away from home and that means we require a totally committed team performance.The window is still open and we lack a LB, creativity and ST capable of holding the ball up front.

  • Jib

    Aug 19, 2016 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #15

    Massadio Haidara doesn’t seem to be holding back in training – which is good news.

  • Mag52

    Aug 19, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #16

    Yes, we are the team that everyone in the championship will want to turn over.
    I don’t think the bookies did us any favours by installing us as favourites before a ball had been kicked, but anyway.
    We managed it under similar circumstances under Hughton, although that team, imo, had a bit more steel in it than we have at the moment. Still early days though.


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