Matt Ritchie scored the winner against Arsenal on Sunday at St. James’ Park, and while he found it difficult to score goals earlier this season, he seems to be rekindling his goal-scoring form at the right time.
Matt cost us about 10M from Bournemouth, and he has been an excellent signing for us.
He scored a fantastic 16 goals with 9 assists in the Championship last season and is a starter again this season.
This season he has 3 goals and 5 assists so far.
Matt has talked about how he has improved since he arrived and admits there are elements of the game he didn’t even know about until he joined up with Rafa on Tyneside.
A delighted Matt Ritchie after scoring the winner on Sunday
This is what Matt has said as reported in the Chronicle:
“We’ve got a real good opportunity of finishing in the top ten.”
“That’s down to us now. We need to continue to perform as we have done.”
“Rafa’s definitely improved me, yes.”
“There are small details with different managers that you take on board. Every manager’s got different ideas and ways of playing.”
“But there are details in my game that I didn’t have when I arrived.”
“Definitely off the ball I have improved, and more so as a team.”
“You see when we haven’t got the ball we’re so compact and hard to break down, whether that’s against Man City or teams that were in and around us.”
“We’re always hard to beat. We’ve never been rolled over, not once this season. We’ve always lost games by very small margins.”
“We’ve always been in games. I think that’s very important at this level.”
“We gave ourselves a chance in the second half [on Sunday]. I remember Arsenal away we were beaten 1-0, but we were always pushing in the game.”
“You will always get chances.”
As Rafa continues to improve the Newcastle squad players like Matt will know they will have increased competition.
And they will need to keep improving to retain their first team places in the side.