Matt Ritchie has quickly become a fan favorite on Tyneside because of his terrific skills, his consistency and the fact that he dropped down a division to join Newcastle when we were in need of a player of Matt’s ability.
Matt also had experience with Bournemouth playing in the Championship and that was also important.
The 27 year-old essentially replaced Andros Townsend who wanted to play Premier League football and it’s fair to say that so far this season we haven’t missed any of the high profile players who have left the club – Andros, Gini Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat or Moussa Sissoko.
Matt Ritchie in action at Loftus Road
Matt has talked today about his ambitions at Newcastle and why he joined the club and starts by talking of the 6-0 win at QPR on Tuesday night:
“It’s nice to have been part of history,” “Although it’s a bit of a shame not to have beaten the record, to be honest, because we went close to getting a seventh.”
“We dominated in the first half and took our chances, and then in the second half we got a real foothold in the game and controlled it throughout.”
“The experience of the game at QPR was the reason I came to Newcastle.”
“I want to have nights like that, and I want to have success and try to be part of something special at this football club.”
“I don’t want to speak too soon because it’s still early days. “But hopefully we’re building the foundations to achieve that.”
“Football changes quickly, and that was only one win,” “We need to keep our foot on the gas now and make sure we continue to get better and progress.”
“The good thing is that we have a good squad, a big squad, and there will be players who didn’t play at QPR who will be champing at the bit to get into the team.”
“Some people will say Tuesday was a bit of a statement. “But we know we have to keep fighting in every game to stay in and around the top of the league.”
“We need to follow the win up now. “We need to make St James’s Park a fortress.”
“We’ve had a couple of good victories there of late, and we need to continue that now with a couple of home games coming up.”
“Hopefully, we can perform well and, most importantly, keep clean sheets and score more goals. “That’s a good chemistry to have.”
“A lot of credit has to go to the back four.” “We scored six goals, but the most important thing was that we kept another clean sheet.”
“That’s a key thing in this league – keeping clean sheets. “With the quality we’ve got up top, we’re always going to score goals.”
“So if we continue to defend well as well, it’ll be a good combination. “The clean sheets are going to be key to our success.”
Those are good words from Matt and he seems to have been paying attention to what Raf has been saying.
It will be interesting in a year or two to see where Newcastle are under Rafa Benitez and how the careers of Townsend, Wijnaldum, Janmaat and Sissoko have fared in that time.
In fact the way things are going it will be very interesting.
It seems that Matt is at the right place at the right time as Newcastle under the very impressive Rafa Benitez are threatening to become a very good team again – and rather quickly.
We certainly hope that’s the case, but the lads need to keep playing all out in every single game including the game at home tomorrow against Wolves.
We need another 3 points in that game.