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Rafa – This Player One Of Our Most Important Signings


Newcastle manager Benitez has often pointed to Matt Ritchie as the type of player he wants at Newcastle.

Matt was desperate to join Rafa in the summer of 2016 even though it meant dropping down one division from Bournemouth to do so.

But Matt’s enthusiasm, hard work, and significant skills have been a huge positive for Newcastle since he signed for us for about £12M.

Matt has now played 117 games for Newcastle with 21 goals and 21 assists in almost three seasons at Newcastle and he was a key player in getting us promoted in May 2017.

Rafa Benitez with Matt Ritchie

This is what Rafa has said about Matt as reported in the Shields Gazette today:

“He is definitely one of the most important signings,”

“In terms of importance, value and what he has been giving to the team, he has been an important player for us, for sure.”

“We have to decide about that (who takes the penalties)”

“What I can guarantee you is that we have been practicing taking penalties, free-kicks and corners.”

“We were practicing before, and I saw bottom corner, bottom corner. He was doing really well (taking the penalties).”

“During the game, he decided to change and do something different, but he’s someone you can trust.”

Yes, Matt missed his first penalty for Newcastle last Saturday but in the end, it didn’t cost us any points.

In an amazing second-half comeback from 2-0 down, Rondon scored and two goals from Perez allowed us to get a brilliant home win against the Toffees.

That’s five home wins in a row – now let’s hope we can get a win away this afternoon at Matt’s former club Bournemouth.

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Comments welcome.


65 comments so far

  • Vask

    Mar 16, 2019 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #1

    I reckon for today:-

    ——————–Dubs————–——-
    –fernandez–lejeune–Dummet—-
    Yedlin—–—————————-richie
    ———-Shelvey———Hayden——-
    Perez————————–Almiron
    ————-Rondonaldo————

    2
  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #2

    Vask, I agree with that set up.

    Let’s see.

    6 hours, or 360 minutes to kick off EGB

    (or 21,600 seconds or so).

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #3

    Dubai Micky,
    You missed a bit,
    “Callum Wilson scored for the Cherries after returning from injury, and they are much more dangerous when he is in the team despite his loss of form”

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #4

    Vask,
    I’ll go with that team but with Ki instead and Shelvey coming on at 60 mins.

    2
  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #5

    5 hours 55 minutes to KO

    0
  • sing in the corner

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Yeah I like Ritchie a lot. I’ve always liked to see a real grafter in our team, the unsung hero type who drags others up by their bootlaces. He’s limited for sure.. Other players get the limelight, display great skills, I love that too but I’ve always admired players who get the most and more from what they were given, and mist importantly never give up.
    As a kid, as well as the flair players I liked to cheer on the so called non glamorous players like David McCreery, ‘Bones’ of course, Steven Glass…

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #7

    Sitc,
    That’s why I was always a fan of Willo and I don’t think his player of the season was a joke.

    2
  • Vask

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #8

    It’s nice to have a few british players as first team starters these days. Compare that to Pardews post Nolan/Barton era team when there was the Taylors, Guthrie or Gosling (when they weren’t injured) then a load of French speaking players. It’s quite refreshing. Granted that team finished 5th.

    I’m pleased now we have a good manager and a team that’s getting stronger.

    Now we have as potential starters from the uk the following:-

    Dummet, Lacelles, Richie, Shelvey, Hayden, Longstaff. All competing for a starting berth. To add or develop some primarily attacking uk players it would be quite interesting.

    1
  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #9

    Unbelievably the Guardian is suggesting we will start with 3 central midfielders and not one being Shelvey. The fact Rafa has rarely tried this formation makes it doubtful, despite it being potentially our best option to control this and many other matches. I just hope the team do not pull another W.Ham performance after all the praise they have received.

    1
  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #10

    McCreery was the standout player in Willie McFaul’s
    sides of the mid 80’s
    I had great hopes of McFaul but he was a disappointment.
    At least he brought Gazza in as a young’un.

    0
  • sing in the corner

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #11

    Jail
    It’s like the Steve Harper thing.
    I was furious the way Given carried on when he spat the dummy oot, kinda demanding to be back in or he was away. Harper played canny after coming in when Gven got injured. Was it Sur Bobby that dropped Harps to put Given back in?
    I had mixed feelings towards Harps after that. Respect for sticking with us, dismay he didn’t kick off.
    But I never ‘forgave’ Shay for that (I’m sure he lost sleep over that) 🙂

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #12

    Sir Bobby
    Sorry
    Looks to the sky in reverence

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #13

    @11
    And too many for thats

    It’s early

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #14

    sitc,
    Always said that Harper would have played for England if he’d gone to a mid table club and been first choice. England went through that period of having the world’s best keepers to having the most calamitous, he was better than James, Kirkland, Robinson and all those other flops.

    2
  • sing in the corner

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #15

    Yep he had a spell at that time where he was better than them. Maybe not the ambitious type of character..and some mental health struggles along the way I suspect..

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #16

    Yhe could maybe have stood up for himself a bit more and who knows?

    0
  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #17

    Jail – I ignore some posts, didn’t miss it per se, just not interested.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #18

    DubaiMicky,
    Very well.

    0
  • Mag52

    Mar 16, 2019 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #19

    HWTL.
    My team for today:
    Dubravka
    Yedlin Fernandez Lejeune Dummett Ritchie
    Ki Hayden
    Perez Rondon Almiron.

    2
  • Just a fan

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #20

    Jail
    You can be a fan of a player and still be useless.
    I must agree to disagree on this one.
    Enjoyed your “disscussion”with jib.
    Anyone who can match jib is pretty good.

    0
  • Just a fan

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #21

    Sing
    Still can’t stand given.
    If you don’t play me I will go to Celtic
    Ps pick my dummy up for me I seem to have spat it out.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #22

    Just a fan,
    I’m definitely not disputing Willo was useless.

    0
  • Just a fan

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #23

    Hate to disagree with jib but did not rate mcreery at all

    0
  • Just a fan

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #24

    Jail
    World’s best keepers.
    You had better calm down on that one

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #25

    Just a fan
    Should have made clear
    It was McCreery’s work ethic in the laziest toon team
    I’ve ever seen that I rated.
    That’s what made him a standout , not skill.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #26

    Hi en tg weather conditions on the south coast today I suspect Rafa’s team selection will be based on keeping the ball on the ground rather than long pinpoint passes to runners, so I’m not sure shelvey will feature

    1
  • Just a fan

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #27

    Jib
    We had four defenders and him as a holding midfielder yet our defense was still leaking goals.
    Plus he had nothing to give going forward.
    Football.Its all about different opinions.

    0
  • Vask

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #28

    I hate the weather when its hi en tg. It really makes you wish for wind and rain.

    1
  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #29

    Having Roy Aitken seeing out his career didn’t help

    0
  • Tsunki

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #30

    It’s Cantonese. It means “Given”. As in “Tse Hi En Tg” the famous Irish keeper. 😀

    1
  • Just a fan

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #31

    Roy was a bit of a disappointment.
    Make that.
    Roy was a massive disappointed.

    0
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #32

    We’ve caught and surpassed Bournemouth as a side, it’s just a matter of doing it now in the league table, perhaps today. Tough game because it’s away of course, but I still quite fancy us for all 3 points in this one. They also have a few out.

    0
  • Jib

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #33
  • Tsunki

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #34

    The conditions will make it unpredictable. One of those games that we need to keep possession a bit better than usual perhaps, can’t afford to be under the cosh defensively for most of the game because flukey goals are on the cards. Better if we can use our pace men early and get as many crosses into the box from the off.

    0
  • Tsunki

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #35

    Well if lawros prediction is to be counted on it’s a win for us today 🙂

    2
  • Tsunki

    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #36

    Big test for the cohesion of our makeshift back line I hope they have a good un. 😐

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Mar 16, 2019 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #37

    Mag52, that’s my team too but I’m too lazy to type it :). Jib I managed to say hello to Davy mac years ago. All I can say was that he was punching waaay above his weight with his tall wife/girlfriend. 🙂

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Mar 16, 2019 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #38

    Nicky I’m not sure we have surpassed Bournemouth as you suggest. A very effective team on their day and a brilliantly run club. Who wud ever have forseen Bournemouth solid in the prem years ago?

    0
  • Munster Mag

    Mar 16, 2019 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #39

    It it stormy and wet over there too? Just seems like the worst march ever here. Paddy’s day will be a washout. The pub will call, oh dear.

    0
  • Bigjim67

    Mar 16, 2019 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #40

    On my way to work so will have to follow the match on here and BBC sport when i can, i voted for the draw which i did for the Everton match but believed we could beat them which is the same for today’s game. Anyway, let’s hope for a good performance and another great weekend. Hwtl

    0

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