Star Shows Courage – Why I Joined Rafa Benitez And Newcastle

After a few games when he was off-form a little bit Matt Ritchie has come storming back and has scored a brace in each of the last two games to make sure we have not yet missed top goalscorer Dwight Gayle, who is out with a hamstring problem.

That’s exactly what you want to see in a team – somebody else stepping up to the plate when one of our top players get injured .

Matt is already a very popular guy on Tyneside after he committed to Newcastle in the summer and dropped down a division  to play at second division Newcastle United.

Matt Ritchie after scoring against Rotherham on Saturday

That’s after he had reached the pinnacle of his career at Bournemouth by helping them get promoted to the Premier League for the first time ever and getting two successive promotions after he joined the south coast side in January 2013 from Swindon Town for £400K.

So let’s not underestimate the courage Matt showed in joining Rafa Benitez and Newcastle.

Matt has often talked about why he joined Newcastle and the Rafa revolution and this is what he said in the Match Day Program for Saturday’s game against Rotherham United:

“I worked all my career to get to the Premier League, and I got there.”

“I had to think about the situation, but the opportunity to come to a football club like this, with the squad that we’ve got, with the manager, and the club’s going in the right direction.”

“It was a fantastic opportunity, and I want to be part of something special. “The main thing was the size of the club.”

“The history the club’s got, the potential the club’s got.”

“It’s still a massive club, but it’s about the potential it’s got to kick on again in the future and have an era like it’s had in the past.”

“It would be fantastic to be part of that.” “Hopefully, we can continue the way we’ve been going this season and start that off again.”

“The manager’s showed faith in me, which is important. As a player, you need to feel like you’re going to be part of something.”

“I feel that, and I’m really enjoying it.”

Matt is one of the big success stories at Newcastle this season and he already has 10 goals in 30 appearances for us.

And Rafa certainly rates Matt highly as he had this to say about him yesterday in the Chronicle:

“In any team, to have players with quality and with the commitment that Ritchie has can always make the difference.”

“It depends on the level as to whether you can player higher in the division or not.”

“But the way that he works and the passion that he plays with means he can play in any division.’

Comments welcome.

7 comments so far

  • nut meg

    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #1

    He’s out just now with a hamstring injury, return unknown according to transfermarket.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #2

    I’m not convinced by borrow. He maybe quick, but only effective on the counter. In a league where every team sits back & parks the bus against us, he won’t do very much. Only time he will be good is when we defending a lead, & opposition throwing themselfs forward. The most I would do with this guy, is “borrow” him.

  • hibbit

    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #3

    anybody think there’s any mileage in this Tom Lawrence link in the Mail only 1m can that be right ????

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #4

    Thanks, nut meg!

  • toontaff2

    Jan 24, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #5

    Montero started last season on fire. He got Janmaat sent off. Then nothing?
    Is Barrow as good as Obertan on ‘roids?
    Are any of the linked players proper left wingers?
    We could end up with Dummett at left wing at this rate!!!

  • toontaff2

    Jan 24, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #6

    Tom Lawrence is a decent player, highly rated at Ipswich, on loan from Leicester, makes Ipswich tick.
    Attacking midfield/No. 10- did not think he was a winger.

  • Mister Tuff

    Jan 24, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Benitez did suggest there might be activity towards the end of the window.
    However, with Sammy coming back, and the press speculation about left wingers I am now thinking there is going to be minimal changes to the team players.
    I’m thinking that there will be no direct replacement for Gail -if he gets injured and the back up will be either Murphy or Mitro -who will need some decent crosses from which to flourish. Hence trying to get anybody,literally anybody who can play on the left – and on loan – so they can be binned if need be in the summer.
    Then in the summer, assuming we go up – a better calibre of player can be purchased.


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