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Assistant Manager Heaps Praise On Meticulous Newcastle Man

4:53 pm, Monday, September 5th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 53 Comments

Rafa Benitez knew exactly what he was doing when he brought in Bournemouth’s 26 year-old winger Matt Ritchie on July 1st, once he knew that Andros Townsend wanted to leave Newcastle for Crystal Palace.

Matt has been great for us so far this season,  not only on the field of play – but he’s a great lad too with a terrific attitude.

And that has not gone unnoticed by Scottish officials either,  with Matt playing well in Malta yesterday in Scotland’s very good 5-1 win in their first World Cup qualifier.

matt ritchie scotland malta

Matt Ritchie in action last night in Malta

Manager Gordon Strachan has already said he thought Matt was brilliant in the game last night.

But now it’s his assistant manager Mark McGhee who has been praising the Scottish International, who was born on the English south coast in Gosport.

This is what Mark has said on the Sky Sports Jim White show:

“He’s been terrific,”

“I’ve said it before, he’s one of these boys who is meticulous in the way he prepares.”

“He’s one of these boys, you know – he’s got muscles in his eyebrows. Everything about him is athletic.”

“He’s brilliant as a character as well – and loves coming and playing for Scotland.”

You know we’d even hazard a guess that Matt had a really good game last night – and he is most likely already seeing the benefits of Rafa Benitez’ coaching.

With his great attitude, his obsession to improve his game and his obvious natural ability and athleticism – Matt Ritchie could become some player for Newcastle and for Scotland in the years ahead.

Hope so.

Comments welcome.

Tags: International break · International News · Matt Ritchie · Newcastle News · World Cup 2018

53 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    What a shame he never opted to play for England, would be great if he took Townsends place after he left for footballing reasons.

  • 2 lochinvar // Sep 5, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    ” Muscles in his eyebrows” – does he soak them in Irn Bru ?

  • 3 ZIPPIE57 // Sep 5, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    Already forgot Andros who?
    Ritchie is a class act who will only get better

  • 4 FollowFollow // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    I’m not surprised at this praise being heaped on Ritchie. The only surprise is how we got him to the Championship.

  • 5 LGFUAD21 // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    Now now.

    No hard feelings towards Andros from me. He playing in a top league and you can’t kid yourself, most of our players would rather be up there.

    Kudos to Matt for taking the step down with us though.

    Imagine if we had both. Then we’d be a team. Good replacement for a good player that shouldve gone to the Euros on the back of his efforts here.

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:12 PM


  • 7 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    It’s the way he done it, talked about how great the manager was, how he felt he was here to get us back up blah blah, then forked off at the first offer. Fair enough for Lpool or West Ham even. But for Palace and football reasons???

  • 8 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:22 PM

    Gaz 44, on other thread, I remember a link in the Chronicle with Xavi, but I’m sure that was before Ashley came. Allardyce was in charge. It could have carried over when he arrived, who knows.

  • 9 LGFUAD21 // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:28 PM


    Yes football reasons like I want to play at a higher level.

    He’d just started getting regular game time in the league.

    He tried when he was here. I dont think you can begrudge him for leaving. If you werent a Newcastle fan you wouldnt either.

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    That’s my point LG, he went and joined a manager who plays anti football, why didn’t he just keep his mouth shut about staying instead of getting people’s hopes up. He will get absolutely tortured if we meet Palace again soon.

  • 11 welshgeordie9 // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    The best British player in Europe is going to score tonight.

  • 12 clinath@ed // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:34 PM

    Does anyone know if he’s ever played as a no. 10? With the wingers at the club now, and his ability to use both feet, and athleticism maybe he’d be a good fit!

  • 13 welshgeordie9 // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    I wonder if sissoko will regret leaving us when the season ends, I suppose someone has got to keep the bench warm.

  • 14 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:38 PM

    Is that the one that looks like Cornelius welshie me auld mucka?

  • 15 welshgeordie9 // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    Jail, dosent matter what he looks like when he’s a class player, besides he probably say the same about you.

    Ha ha ha

  • 16 Rotonda heights // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:46 PM


    imagine if xavi had played for fat sham. the short pass master supreme, in amongst the land of the hoofball giants.

  • 17 Tsunki // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    I suppose it’s a good moral filter, if an aspiring international player can’t see the value of an opportunity to work under a top coach who could refine his game at a big club, albeit in the championship and of course not without graft and commitment, then he’s better off seeking premier league shop window at an also-ran club trying with relegation under a shambolic embarrassment of a ‘coach’. And we’re better off without him and his mentality. I also would have thought nothing of it if Andros hadn’t been swooning over the great Rafa and what a big club Newcastle are etc etc puke gag..then on the first bus down the Smoke.

  • 18 Tsunki // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Tbf I think he’s cuter than that more like Caesar.

  • 19 Tsunki // Sep 5, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    Doesn’t Bale have his own clothing brand? I’m sure I’ve seen his face on t-shirts for yonks now. Must have started the firm when he was very small.

  • 20 Tsunki // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Do Wales have a match tonight Welsh? If so, are they playing?

  • 21 Belfast // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    The place is on it’s knees at the moment.

  • 22 Belfast // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    They play Moldova Tsunki. I’m gonna give the Serbia Ireland game a shot myself.

  • 23 Tsunki // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    I think Welsh is too preoccupied to take a blog beating I’ll try later. I agree Belfast yer Serbia game is the better option.

  • 24 Ron Knee // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Republic of Ireland XI: Randolph, Coleman, O’Shea, Keogh, Whelan, Long, Brady, James McClean, Hendrick, Ward, Walters

    Serbia XI: Rajkovic, Rukavina, Gudelj, Nastasic, Ivanovic, Mitrovic, Tadic, Mladenovic, Milivojevic, Kostic, Vukovic.

  • 25 bettyswallocks // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Welshie….. Bale is indeed a great player but he should score more with his heed .

  • 26 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:14 PM

    Rotonda, it’d have been more crimes to football.

    We were linked with Luis Enrique fairly heavily at one or two stages before then.

  • 27 SUTTY1978 // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:28 PM

    I remember when Keegan had a deal agreed for Sweinsteiger to come for £3m but Dennis Wise wouldn’t go for it

  • 28 SUTTY1978 // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    I take it Cairan Clark must be injured? Surely he isn’t that shit that John O’shea can get in a team ahead of him on merit?

  • 29 sing in the corner // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Come on mighty Mitro

  • 30 Ron Knee // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Clark is on the bench.

  • 31 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    I’m detecting “Sissoko” has replaced “Carver” on Ed’s keyboard? I had better not speak too soon. Perhaps he can get them both into one article? Even one sentence. A prize for anyone who can come up with the best suggestion for one typical Ed sentence that would include the two.

  • 32 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 7:52 PM

    Serbia look good…… and are sky using a camera from a satellite!??

  • 33 hibbit // Sep 5, 2016 at 8:12 PM

    Blackley and Brownlie

    seen your post the other night but for some reason the site would not let me post
    how did the boy do ?
    i know he’s very disappointed at the moment 3 clubs want him on loan but forest said no
    what do you think of him ??

  • 34 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 5, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    He’s got a good strong physique, strong runner with the ball, good movement, always looked a threat. I was impressed by him. He was unlucky not to score but I understand he had a good record at u18s. He put a couple of dangerous crosses in too. Forest look a strong side.

  • 35 Tsunki // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    He could have gone with “Tottenham swoop for Newcastle midfielder – Sissoko pictured in car very shortly to become Spurs player”

  • 36 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    The simian Galactico scores again for the Taff’s.

  • 37 Ron Knee // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:21 PM

    Enter Murphy.

  • 38 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:23 PM


  • 39 Ron Knee // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    And he scores!

  • 40 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    great flick on just before aswell

  • 41 Ron Knee // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Enter Clark.

  • 42 Novocastrian66 // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Quiet on here tonight. Does anyone think we should have a winter break in England? Personally Inthink it would be a bad idea.. If the mega clubs want one it will be only to preserve their self interests. Let’s face it it’s not as though we have horrendous winters.

  • 43 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    All those internationals and he hasn’t scored. One week with Rafa….. Mitro will be watching that and aiming to play a blinder if he gets on against Derby.

  • 44 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    murphy 1-0 mitro

  • 45 Our Toon // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Good evening for us, mitro gets some much needed minutes, looks well off the pace so minutes today did him good. Murphy got his first goal for Ireland, simple header, not much movement and horrible marking but he’s done his job.

  • 46 Our Toon // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:40 PM


    Winter break will only lead to the prem clubs taking players around the world and competing in friendlies for economic reasons, like most of Europe does now. No winter break, it’s a myth!!

  • 47 Our Toon // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    Murphy long way off mitro’s international record for goals

  • 48 Novocastrian66 // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    Our Toon: Agree and what about the rest of the country outside of the Premier League. How would they fit their fixtures in? Premier league squads have enough players to manage the rigours of a 38 game season now more than ever. There was more justification for it when I was young. The first division was a 42 game season and pitches were like ploughed fields and quite frankly the winters were colder than they are now. But now I just don’t get it. I also don’t buy the bullshit that it would benefit the national side.

  • 49 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    it was in jest ourtoon as it was built up as the 2 against each other

  • 50 Jail for Ashley // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    Mitro is a long way off Murphys Championship goals so a bit of competitive rivalry about to begin.

  • 51 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    murphy is definately faster than mitro tho would’ve liked seeing him start

  • 52 welshgeordie9 // Sep 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Awesome night tonight, God scores two goals for Wales and Murphy scores for Ireland, best way to silence the moaners who say he’s not good is enough is to put the ball in the back of the net, well done Murphy, competition between him and Mitrovic is going to be Interesting.

  • 53 manxpie // Sep 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    thank god no injuries for once for us in the internationals thinking just of the top of me head we’ve lost 3 years for 3 players from them nearly 2 in the last year! i was dreading ritchie getting crocked,

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