Matt Ritchie is an excellent example of a player Rafa Benitez loves to train.
He is talented, disciplined and has a yearning to become a much better player at Newcastle.
Matt’s also positive, but with his feet firmly on the ground and of course he’s a hugely popular player with the fans and works his socks off for the team in every game he plays.
Matt has started all 11 league games this season, and we have made a good start to the season with a decent 14 points out of the first 11 games.
Matt Ritchie – we must keep improving
Matt has talked to the Chronicle today:
“It’s a tough question to say whether we would have taken this at the start of the season or not,”
“It’s football, and you always want more, both personally and for the team. Everyone wants more, everyone wants to keep striving, and everyone wants to get better.”
“If we were sitting in third in the league, we would still want to get better and we’d still want to improve.”
“We are where we are, and we need to continue to improve and raise the bar. We need to continue to create chances, and continue to defend well and press well.”
“We need to continue to have a good shape and be compact, all the small things that we work on during the week.”
“We have to get better at all of those things, and if we continue to do that, we will be picking up points.”
“We have to keep a level head,” “If we had have scored at the other end in the 90th minute and won 1-0, I’m sure all the conversations would have been very different.”
“That’s what the Premier League is. It’s tight margins, and we know that.”
“The manager knows that too, and with the experience he has, there’s probably no better person for us to be listening to.”
“He knows, and he tells us all the time, that it’s a long race and you can never be too high or never be too low.”
“We just have to continue to try to get better and with that, we’ll be picking up points.”
“It’s a big game, but they’re all big games – whether it’s Manchester United or whoever. This league is tough.”
“It’s going to be a tough game.”
Newcastle are in just a little bit of an uncomfortable situation at the moment after losing both of our last two games 1-0 to Burnley and Bournemouth – two games we could have won with better defending.
And now we have Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, and we have won only 3 times there since the second world war ended – as pointed out today in the Chronicle.
Yes – it will be a tough game, but it would be unbelievable if we can win on Saturday.
But I’m up for miracles these days, and if we play at our very best and the defense is strong it’s possible.
What do you think?