Newcastle United fans have taken very quickly to Matt Ritchie, and maybe that’s because he epitomizes the team that Rafa Benitez is putting together on Tyneside.
Matt doesn’t just have the skills, but he’s completely dedicated to the Newcastle cause and works his socks off in every single game for us.
After an excellent first season in the Premier League with Bournemouth, he decided to join second division Newcastle last summer, and that was a real risk to his burgeoning career.
As we have seen with teams like Norwich, Aston Villa and maybe with Sunderland this season it is tough to get straight back to the Premier League once a team is relegated.
That’s because of the huge money to be made in the Premier League these days why Championship clubs are incented to get promoted as soon as possible.
So it was a real risk that Matt took to come to Tyneside, but happily, everything turned out well, and Matt Ritchie is a star at Newcastle United and could be a Premier League star by the end of the season.
Matt Ritchie – epitomizes the new Newcastle
Matt has three assists in the last two games which have given the win to Newcastle, and he has five assists in total this season.
This is what Ritchie has said today as reported in the Chronicle:
“You’d be very naive to look at the table now and get excited.”
“For the fans, they can look at it and be proud, but we’re five games in and have nine points on the board.”
“We need to hit the 40-point mark before we start getting carried away. Like any team, we want to do that as soon as possible.”
“Hopefully, we can continue to perform well. With good performances, come points.”
“Confidence is key, but at the same time we need to make sure that we stick with our mentality and keep our feet on the floor and continue to improve.”
“If we continue to improve, we’ll win a lot of games. We have to make sure we stay focused on the job in hand and not get carried away with looking at the table.”
“At the minute, it looks rosy, but it’s a long season and there’ll be a lot of ups and downs. We need to make sure that we continue to improve and stay focused on the job in hand.”
“I left Bournemouth, which was a fantastic stage and period of my career. I look at that very proudly and have fantastic memories.”
“I made that decision at the time. A lot of people raised eyebrows. We’re back in the Premier League.”
“Last year went to plan. It could have gone so differently, but it didn’t through a lot of hard work from everyone involved.”
“We’re now where we want to be, but by no means have we achieved anything yet. We’re five games in.”
“We need to keep our feet on the floor. If you take your foot off the gas, you get punished.”
“We need to keep our feet on the gas and keep improving, raising the bar and getting better, because we have to keep winning games.”
Lee Charnley and company had to be persuaded to pay the extra £2M last summer (2016) to sign the Scottish International forward for £12M when they thought he was only worth £10M.
In the past, we would have bickered, argued, and negotiated with Bournemouth for weeks and weeks over the transfer fee and ended up not getting him.
Maybe this is a good example of why Ashley and Charnley should be (completely) guided by Rafa’s football knowledge and experience on all transfers.
It doesn’t look like the hierarchy have learned yet with difficulties in this summer’s transfer window.
But maybe we can have an excellent January transfer window?