Rafa Benitez Determined To Further Improve This Talented Newcastle Player


28-year-old Scottish international Matt Ritchie has been sparkling form this season, and ever since he arrived from Bournemouth over a year ago, he’s been one of the best players at Newcastle.

And his work rate for the team is phenomenal – he makes me feel tired just watching him work for the side!

But we see Rafa Benitez man-management in action with the winger as Rafa insists that while he’s played well he can get better and we’re sure he’s drumming that into the former Swindon Town player.

Rafa’s managed the best players in the world so he will know the area of improvement for any player at Newcastle and that’s a real positive for Matt Ritchie.

One huge reason he came to Newcastle was to join Rafa Benitez.

Matt Ritchie in action at Huddersfield this season

Matt has been getting kudos in the press for his excellent performances, but Rafa knows he can get even better.

This is what the manager has said in the Mirror about Matt when asked if he was surprised by Matt’s excellent form:

“Not too much, to be fair, because we knew what he could do,’’

“Our first signings here were Matt and Dwight Gayle and I was asking people with experience in the Championship, and they said, ‘He’s definitely a signing’.”

“When I was talking with Matt, he was very keen to come here. We did the deal and we saw him every day, the passion, the intensity and how competitive he is.”

“We saw all that in his first season here, so it’s no surprise as we’ve seen him every day, playing and training with the same passion, commitment and he has quality.”

“He’s a player who has confidence, he knows his strengths and he plays on his strengths, so I think he’s someone who is doing well.

“But still, believe me, he can do better.’”

Newcastle fans will always remember Matt dropped down to the Championship to join Newcastle and he was great last season scoring 16 goals with 10 assists, and he was our Player of the Season.

It was a significant risk for Matt to come to Newcastle but it has paid off, and we haven’t yet seen the best of him.

We know that’s true because that’s what Rafa has said.

🙂

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24 comments so far

  • geordieviking

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #1

    Didn’t I read this yesterday?
    Or am I hallucinating?

    0
  • toontaff2

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #2

    Jester, you spend an awful lot of time on here, but cannot manage to watch a game, less than 2 hours, broadcast on loads of tv channels, worldwide? Give over!
    People live all over the world, probably do all sorts to be able to watch the Toon, whilst people on here, with families, travel many miles to watch the Toon live, home and away.
    Really looks bad, that you cannot make the effort to watch us, but spend many hours on here, putting forward your opinions and arguing with those of us who disagree with them!

    4
  • Jib

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #3

    magiske sopp til frokost

    0
  • toontaff2

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #4

    Viking – beats another Sunday morning ‘Rafa’s walking’ tale!

    1
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #5

    I suppose you stand by the crap you post toontaff(2)…non the less it’s here to always be referenced too…

    1
  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #6

    I’ll raise the question on here from time to time…

    2
  • toontaff2

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Brighton and Saints away sold out. Excellent effort from our hardcore away fans! Let’s have the Joselu song, loud and clear, on Sky, today, lads. Maybe a version of the Lukaku song for one of our ‘big’ players, too? 😮

    1
  • toontaff2

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #8

    You have to laugh – ManU want CCTV footage to get the fans who sang the Lukaku song, whilst Rooney turning the air blue, swearing numerous times at the ref, is now blanked out on BBC and SKy, but nowt is done about it. Seems we fans should stick to the proper use of the Queen’s English, but the players can get away with bad language, as long as it’s not Shelvey, of course!

    1
  • Krul To Be Kind

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #9

    Jesper

    There’s no shame in putting your family first.

    I too am a family man but when I’m off every other weekend I can watch the matches and disown my wife and kids for a 2 hour period… They get used to having an absent father every fortnight. I have recently started allowing my oldest daughter to have some access to watch the game with me but that is for her own protection more than anything as I’m trying to keep her away from the heartbreak I’ve endured in the past 30 years or so by not letting her get hoodwinked into falling in love with the mighty Magpies too… In fact she’s not allowed to like football, I’m pushing her towards tiddlywinks! !:-)

    4
  • expatmag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #10

    Settle down lads. We dont want any bobby style overeactions now.

    As for todays game, I will be watching it tomorrow live………kick off 1am monday morning here in Melbourne

    Thank goodness I am retired…….lol

    2
  • Krul To Be Kind

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #11

    Thank God we don’t have to wait that long in the UK Expat!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    0
  • toontaff2

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #12

    Jester, I post my thoughts – if people want to argue/debate with me or ignore me, that’s their choice.
    You were trying to be clever, commenting about another poster’s remark re:watching the Toon on tv – and you did ask us to discuss it. My thoughts on the matter are above.
    Seems odd to me that you would rather spend your free time arguing with posters, here, but cannot manage to watch a live match on tv.
    Noted that you also appear unable to converse without using abusive language, whenever a poster disagrees with you. That’s usually a sign of low intellect, pal.

    4
  • toontaff2

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #13

    Expat, you’ll be back in he doghoose!

    0
  • expatmag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #14

    KRUL

    My 12 year old daughter is a diehard Newcastle (soccer), Collingwood (aussie rules) fan, just like her dad. She loves the game and plays for the local girls under 12 team.

    I know my missus will give me “curry” for this but I am going to get my daughter up for the game tonight, esprcially as she is on school holidays.

    Only problem is stopping her cheering when we score, in case it wakes the wife up…..lol

    3
  • expatmag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #15

    KRUL

    Used to it now mate

    0
  • expatmag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #16

    TOONTAFF

    Already planning the next bunch of flowers mate……lol…….might have to add the box of cadburys milk tray too this time

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #17

    I won’t be watching it on principal as I have a problem with Sky, Google etc and their intrusion in our lives.

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #19

    Ha, my arse. All being well I will be pinned to the TV. Predict 1-1, merino

    2
  • Jib

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #20

    Posting this cos I can

    Pos – – – – – – MP/W/D/L/F/A/GD Pts
    22 Sunderland 9 01 3 5 8 14 -6 6

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    0
  • expatmag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #21

    Toontaff

    Yup…..that”ll be me.

    Munster

    Predicting a 2-1 win with a late winner from substitute Gayle

    0
  • Krul To Be Kind

    Sep 24, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #22

    Expat… I’m at the stage of life in football now where if my wife caused me 30 years of hurt I’d walk out but with the strange old mistress that is known as Newcastle it’s impossible… I don’t want my daughter/s falling into a dysfunctional relationship with no way out as I have! I feel trapped I tells ya!!! In all seriousness though the trials and tribulations of the toon has made my life a rollercoaster ride to date!!! Lol

    1
  • Krul To Be Kind

    Sep 24, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #23

    And a rather sadistically enjoyable rollercoaster ride too!!! Lol

    0
  • expatmag

    Sep 24, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #24

    KRUL

    I am a lucky bloke on many fronts. As much as I about off about the missus, she is superb. We have been together 20 years, married coming up 18 years and she is 22 years younger than me, a looker and super intelligent. She is an introvert, a quiet achiever and a real home girl. Nothing pleases her more to see me and our daughter happy.

    As for the kid….she is a chip off the old dad block and apart from my wife, my best mate. I gave told her well, to appreciate the values of life, respect others but stand by your principles……..but most of all and the most important of all

    Love the TOON AND HATE THOSE BASTARDS 12 MILES DOON THE ROAD

    0

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