Excellent Comments From Matt Ritchie About The Newcastle Squad


Newcastle fans got several pieces of good news during the game at the London Stadium last Saturday.

First of all, we won our first game in the last ten, and then we scored the most goals we have scored in a game this season.

The 3-2 win equaled the 3-0 home win against the Hammers earlier in the season – the start of a 3 game winning streak.

We also moved 3 places up the table and above West Ham into 15th place in the league table, and out of the relegation zone.

YES!

Henri Saivet and Mo Diame came into the central midfield because of injuries to Hayden and Merino, and both players played well, and both scored a goal – and their individual performances in the circumstances were excellent.

Henri’s goal was a stunner from a free kick from all of 30 yards out.

Matt Ritchie and players celebrate first win in 10 games

And both Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie hit the woodwork in the first half.

At some point, both these players will start scoring again, and that’s the third time in recent games that Ritchie has hit the woodwork.

Here’s what Matt has said about the Newcastle squad and these are excellent comments from the former Bournemouth man:

“I think the group that we’ve got is very competitive,” “Training is very competitive. We’ve got a good group.”

“We’ve got players that haven’t played as much as they’d have liked. Henri’s come in and scored a wonderful free-kick.”

“It’s the sort of thing we’re going to need.”

“It’s not just 11 players. We need a squad of players, and everyone to be pulling in the same direction.”

“It’s fantastic that everyone’s involved.”

“I think the performance was very good, although, throughout the season, we’ve performed well.”

“And there have been games where you could probably take a point, or take all three, and we’ve been on the wrong end of those turning points.”

“I don’t think anyone thought this season was going to be easy. There was always going to be ups and downs, but it’s the way we react to the downs.”

“The past couple of weeks have been tough for everyone involved at the club. Results haven’t been the way we’ve wanted them.”

“But we showed resilience, and it was great to share that with the fans. “Hopefully, we put a smile back on their faces and they can have a Merry Christmas.”

“You’ve seen already this year that the Premier League’s a ruthless place, and that if you’re not at it, you’ll get beat,”

“We need to make sure the desire, above all else, is breathing throughout the team.”

We have a huge test tomorrow night at home to Manchester City when there will be one flag flying to honor Rafa Benitez.

Pundits are really upset and disappointed the Newcastle fans have stuck with the manager through such a terrible string of results.

But we are not daft and know a great manager when we see one and the fans are right behind Rafa.

Manchester City have won 18 or their 19 league games and have won 17 games on the trot.

It’s time that streak was broken.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Manchester City?

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Comments welcome.


82 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #1

    We have been awful at times during this run, Bournemouth second half and Watford but we’ve been unlucky as well, if Gayles perfectly good goal had of stood we’d have murdered Bournemouth, if Joselu had of at least hit the target against Watford our heads might not have dropped. That showed great team spirit to beat a West Ham team on their recent form.

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #2

    Young Mag, from previous.
    I don’t think I’m missing the point at all. He might have a great attitude, on 25/40K a week I wouldn’t expect any less. But he hasn’t had a look in for 19PL games and has been told he’s for sale. I can’t see how that one free kick changes that.

    0
  • Nufc 4ever

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #3

    After a great win on saturday lets not get to carried away with saivet. He played on saturday out of necessity and gave a horrendous ball away for first goal. Hes been here two years and deemed not good enough by Rafa and loaned out for a year. No takers in summer window for little money tells you his worth. If he becomes a regular relegatioñ beckons we need far better players one swallow doesent make a summer

    0
  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #4

    Merinos passing was awful when he first played, got caught on the ball a lot. Reverted to that form when he came back. I dare say saivet will sharpen up after some torrid beatings ha ha

    You never know he might turn out as well as this guy –

    https://youtu.be/aXbwyXZqK3s

    2
  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #5

    Ladies and gentleman i give you –

    Fabric Pancake.

    🙂

    1
  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #6

    A good performance against Citeh – one in which we aren’t beaten by an area code – will be a galvanising thing, and we will get a quick turnaround playing them again soon, would be good to put in two stifling performances and nick a point from one of them. Squad morale would perk up somewhat.

    4
  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #7

    Oh no, not rëlêgåtìóñ!

    🙂

    1
  • AncientC

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #8

    A little bit of perspective, imagine being told this time 3 years ago (when the club was on the slide) that the club would be managed by Benitez; going up against Guardiola, with the possibility of becoming one of the wealthiest backed club’s in the world at the end of season.

    8
  • AncientC

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #9

    I say “at the end of the season” but hope that 6 points from the next 3 games would secure the transfer of ownership. Stoke certainly should not be feared.

    3
  • martoon

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #10

    Tsunki – I agree, with the best will in the world we’re probably going to get beat tomorrow – it’s how we perform that matters!

    1
  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #11

    It’s a free swing so I expect Benitez to conserve who he hopes will prevail against Brighton, Stoke…

    But i hope whoever turns out against city acquit themselves well.

    1
  • hibbit

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #12

    give the lad credit for his performance on saturday by all means, but try and be realistic about him, he’s no world beater never will be and if an offer comes in he’s gone
    if we want to improve players like him are just not good enough !!

    2
  • YoungMag :P

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #13

    But you are with that comment.

    ‘because of that one free-kick’

    It’s not just about that.

    Attitude is very important, benitez has complimented him. He could be gone in January and that’s OK. But I think we’ll be seeing him more. A run of games could be good for him and the club.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #14

    It’s tempting to say their run has to come to and end sooner or later but it will more likely end away to Liverpool or Chelsea. Saying that it took a last minute wonder goal to beat Stoke a few games back. If they get the same luck as us in front of goal, a sympathetic ref and the crowd buzzing, you never know.

    2
  • hibbit

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #15

    even on an off day city are light years ahead of us but stranger things have happened!!

    just going to go and enjoy the occasion and hope that one day that could be us

    1
  • Nufc-83

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #16

    I am still holding out a glimmer of hope on Saviet. Physically he was great (pace, strength, jumping). His positional sense and discipline was also excellent. The big problem was his passing and awareness was so poor across the full game not just their goal. He never really showed for the ball which tells me he has little confidence in his passing ability.

    I hope that was just rustiness as if so we could have a good player. Wouldn’t it be great to actually have a player who can consistently threaten on free kicks (not sure if he can but the lad obviously believed in his technique).

    2
  • Tsunki

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #17

    Young mag – I’d be wary of putting faith in a Saivet return from the doldrums. He and Rafa knows this is more shop window than anything else. He’s basically kept himself at the required fitness level and maintained his wage-drawing capability since being signed, and then consigned, by the mighty Steve-O McC. He’s getting gift-wrapped.

    0
  • YoungMag :P

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #18

    I understand that Tsunki.

    I’m just saying don’t rule him out. Not until he is gone anyway.

    1
  • Nufc 4ever

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #19

    I still say Rafa sounds confident regarding window opening. Why would he say he is confident in Ashley to spend when he has shafted him twice. He knows exactly what is happening he would have been sacked by fatman after horrendous run. He would have left if he thought Ashley was still going to be in charge

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #20

    In fairness I was talking bollocks after a few too many vinos last night although in fairness I was only asking a question not making a statement. The Leicester game gave a great answer re the squads state of mind. Glad to stand corrected!

    0
  • c-dog

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #21

    the caliber of player carr was bringing from France toward the end were not good enough and I think saivet fits into that category. I think he should start vs. city based on his last performance. And if you think that about saivet you’d have to go with more of the same with regards to big mo. These 2 could hopefully give Shelvey/Hayden/Merino the kick up the backside they need to raise their game.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #22

    No offence Munster but you have used every stat, statement, opposing fans comments, pundits views, ex players books, anything you can to discredit the manager before throwing in your signed photo claim. At least mad eyed captain catchy is straight up about his intense dislike of the guy.

    3
  • Dragon64

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #23

    Well city tomorrow if the stars are aligned correctly we may get something out of this. It is the time of daft results and one could be toon v city ya never no here’s hoping ?

    0
  • Tinman

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #24

    Munster, in all fairness that is a fair comment, particularly if one has enjoyed a fair old amount of vino

    1
  • c-dog

    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #25

    Too much of the creature, haw!!!

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #26

    Nufc4 ever,
    Not sure about sacking him mind, he let Pardew and Carver take us to the last game or two and was at least two games late in sacking McLaren who really should have been sacked in February. Saying that he does tend to sack the managers we don’t want him to.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #27

    Of the club had of acted on Graham Carr’s recommendations his successes would have eclipsed his failures in to insignificance. Bony, PEA, Van Dijk, Matip, Wayama, Remy.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #28

    Young Magpie,
    What I’m trying to say is that he’s been unfancied for almost two years now. Three injuries and suspensions have ensured he started. One free kick hasn’t unearthed a gem.

    0
  • toonbrother

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #29

    I can’t help but feel Ritchie’s reactions to refereeing decisions are so over the top and exaggerated
    he is good at looking busy
    but contributing nothing of real significance

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #30

    Jail you’ve always had a one eyed extremist view about rafa loyalty to the point where you cannot accept any questioning of him in any way shape or form. I’m not remotely anti rafa but have never seen any logic in fawning over him to the exclusion of fair debate ré tactics and team selection etc. That’s our difference . Like u I’d like to see him armed with better players.

    4
  • toontaff2

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #31

    There you gan, Jesper – Munster’s admitted to being the blog drunk 😆

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #32

    Ritchie needs competition for his place, if we had two wingers to equal or better than Ritchie we could afford to drop/rest him more. I’d like to see Aarons sold and a more reliable better quality winger brought in. How’s Knockeart adjusting to the PL.

    0
  • toontaff2

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #33

    Well, after the Christmas Day kick about, I’m back in the trench, tin hat, fixed bayonet and all! 😆

    1
  • Munster Mag

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #34

    I think we can rattle city. We have done it before to good teams, eg Chelsea.

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #35

    Give over taff

    1
  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #36

    it’s a weird thing about Saviet. A lot of people may have gone and hidden, he didn’t and showed a lot of cojones. Sometimes it just needs something to break for you to get you up and running when you’ve been lurking in the shadows for so long.

    It’s funny how munster’s not so thinly veiled attacks on Rafa always come with just enough of a rider as to cover all bases when still constantly dissing a triple European trophy winning manager.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #37

    Munster,
    I’ve never once said he’s not immune from criticism. I just don’t agree with those that back stab and whine purely as an alternative to what they see as fawning over him. Every time you compliment him it has a backhanded undertone.

    1
  • toontaff2

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #38

    RH, there are plenty lurking in the shadows!
    Munster, you’ll have to predict a 6-1, if you want my title! 😆

    1
  • Jib

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #39

    I’m not sure people have it right about Henri Saivet.

    He was bought by McClaren in the same intake as
    Townsend and Shelvey.

    When Rafa came in that March he was
    largely ignored for the failed relegation fight.

    In our Championship season he was at St Etienne
    who regarded him well enough to play him 35 times

    Rafa was clearly planning on keeping him for cup teams
    however the defeat to Forest in the EFL cup put paid to that.

    He has been a squad fringe player but I don’t think he has
    been as disregarded as some on here think.

    1
  • toontaff2

    Dec 26, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #40

    Kevin De Bruyne has been ill, apparently- he’s certainly their best player and possibly the best player in the PL. Rest him, Pep 💡
    Hopefully, they’re expecting easy win, whilst we’re fully PUMPED and ready!
    Had to get a sprout reference in!

    1

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