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Rafa’s “Perfect” Player Makes Positive Comments About Season – Everybody Pulled Together

We reported earlier today that Matt Ritchie is hoping that Rafa Benitez will stay at Newcastle for the foreseeable future.

It’s no secret that Rafa and the former Bournemouth winger have a great working relationship with Rafa often pointing to Matt as being an example for other players to emulate – let’s say the perfect player for Rafa?

Although nothing is perfect in Rafa’s eyes – as we all know.

We will win a game 8-1 one day and he’ll talk in the press conference after the game exclusively about how we should have prevented the goal and kept a clean sheet.

But he may also say we were “quite good.”


Matt’s a very talented player, follows directions closely, is full of energy and works his socks off in every single game he plays for the club.

Our fans will never forget what he’s done for Newcastle over the previous three years and that he was willing to drop down a division to work with Rafa.

Rafa Benitez with Matt Ritchie after Burnley game
How did Matt miss that open goal?

And Matt has talked about the 4-0 win at Fulham on Sunday which has our fans ending the season on a very positive note – and looking forward to Rafa (hopefully) staying on Tyneside.

This is what Matt has told the Shields’ Gazette about our final game on Sunday:

I think this team deserved it,” “What a performance on the final day, playing for nothing.”

“The number of times you see a 0-0 or a team not showing the desire, fight or mentality you need to win games in the league.”

“We were fantastic from early on.”

“We’re absolutely delighted with the way we’ve finished the season.

“I’m really pleased to be a part of this group. Hopefully, we can build on this and become stronger and a better team next season.

“I think we finished on 44 points last season, and 45 this season. We keep improving – we need to continue doing that.”

“Togetherness is something, especially in the second half of the season.”

“Fans, players, management – everyone has really pulled together.”

“Results show that has a huge effect on the football club.”

We would like to see Newcastle offer the 29-year-old a new contract so he can finish his playing career at Newcastle.

But we don’t think Mike Ashey will do that.

The owner will say he’s too old and will want to cash in on him – and never even mention how good a player he is for the club.

Matt Ritchie to Newcastle has been one of our best ever signings over the last decade.

Who Was Newcastle's Player Of The Season?

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Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • Jib

    May 14, 2019 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #1

    Much as it goes against the grain we should all be Villa fans tonight

    I think the game is on this:-


  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 14, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #2


    Villa fans tonight and then Derby or Leeds fans for the final?

    Don’t want Villa going up either especially if we are wanting to sign Abraham!?! 🙂

  • Mag :P

    May 14, 2019 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #3

    I personally love rafas signings bar 1 or 2.

    Hes transformed the team he inherited with players that show a real desire to perform to the best of there abilities here. But most importantly he’s signed players like Ritchie who work there socks off every single game which makes up for the lack of quality here and there.

    This team is completely different to the one under McClaren because we see 100 percent commitment from the players every game, that is something that rafa and the players deserve huge credit for.

  • ScoopSouthAfrica

    May 14, 2019 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #4

    S$%t missed it by 3882…..

  • Jib

    May 14, 2019 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #5

    I’ve still got a residual dislike for Leeds and their fans from the 70’s
    So it’s the Rams for me (loads of pals in the East Midlands as well)

  • TyneMouth

    May 14, 2019 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #6

    Post-season Gripes,

    Most of this year I have been too busy to post to this blog, but I have read the blog as much as I can.

    However, especially on match days, reading contributions from makem infiltrators, and malicious wums, is very annoying.

    Sadly I know the frog’s heart is in the right place, (at least I hope it is) but the shear boring repetitive postings are extremely counterproductive.

    Jib’s crass, crude constant commentary in defence of our ‘wonderful’ owner is painful to read, and I suspect many viewers choose not to…

    In the words of my good friend, E. I. Addio, “pass the sick- bag Alice”…

  • Jib

    May 14, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #7

    Victor from Tynemouth
    “I don’t believe it”
    Ha ha ha

  • RobLeenio

    May 14, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #8

    TyneMouth, your post last night re Longstaff and his impact on the team was very good, very insightful.

    I share your hope that he can kick on next season and become a real star for the team. If he does, England may come calling.

    Obviously there are negative and positive impacts associated with that, but wouldn’t it be great to see a young Geordie running out with the three lions on his chest once more?

  • Jib

    May 14, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #9

    How is Mrs Meldrew ?

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 14, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #10

    We talk about Rondon being a sticking point but what about Matt Ritchie, like I said yesterday, unless we’re offering him a new deal then they have to move him on this summer as I’m pretty sure a players value drops when in his last year, RVP I remember being an exception to that, there are no doubt others too. But the point stands, if he’s not staying I think they will try to cash in around 12/15M for him, if that’s the case I can see Rafa saying foot this madness I’m not hanging around for this. Even if Ritchie was consigned to the bench then he’s a great asset to have around the place.

  • Jib

    May 14, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #11

    TyneMouth, your post last night re Longstaff and his impact on the team was very good, very insightful.”

    Don’t forget plagiarised from the Chronicle

  • RobLeenio

    May 14, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #12

    “Fans, players, management – everyone has really pulled together.” – Matt Ritchie

    A nod to the management there – a bit of pre-contract negotiation brown-nosing, or do the squad see our management differently to the fans?

    Is this maybe influenced by the rumoured early payment of the squad’s bonuses? I would hope that our lads weren’t that easy to buy, but who knows?

  • RobLeenio

    May 14, 2019 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #13

    Jail, just out of interest, why did you change your avatar back?

    Apologies if you’ve said why already and I just missed it.

    As it happens, I prefer this one.

  • TyneMouth

    May 14, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #14

    Jib at #9

    Your query, ‘how is Mrs Meldrew?’

    I don’t know, but probably relieved she’s not ‘Mrs Jib’, I suspect…

  • JohnJ

    May 14, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #15

    Mag 😛 at 3…..

    The way we now approach our games Rafa v McClaren is like chalk and cheese. The former “team” often gave up (you could see their heads drop) when going behind in a game!
    With Rafa we always fight until the final whistle has gone.

    My only criticism is we often seem to lose concentration towards the 45 & 90 minute marks – although I feel we have improved in this respect recently.

    If Rafa is still the main man at St James Park for the next few years I think we can look forward to a brighter future. It’s important that Rafa is allowed to keep his more mature players if he chooses to and also be able to buy the likes of Rondon when it’s beneficial to the team.

    It should not be solely about making a profit on this or that player but looking at the bigger picture!

    The most important signing by far is getting Mr. Benitez on a longer-term contract.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 14, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #16

    I think if we lose Benitez it will be a miracle if we’re not fighting relegation. the miracle needed would involve somehow finding someone unproven that goes on to be one of the best managers in the world. the odds of that happening are huge. the odds of charnley finding that manager are zero. i personally think he will stay, but it’s going to be close.

  • martoon

    May 14, 2019 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #17

    I have voted for Ritchie as player of the season for all the reasons stated in this article. In my opinion the clue is in the name ‘Player of the Season’ – all other players mentioned have had spells: Rondon didn’t come good till about the 12th game, Schar again came in after about 10 games, Longstaff was great but only in about a 10-12 game period and Perez had his normal second half of the season spurt. I know Ritchie was on the bench for a couple of games but he has played the majority of the season and always gives 100% even when slightly off-form – his move to left wing-back has been a renaissance.

  • TyneMouth

    May 14, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #18

    Jib @ #11

    ‘plagiarised from the Chronicle’, indeed…

    If I found it necessary to copy commentary from another source I would credit that publication, second nature chum!

    Indeed if I were to ‘steal’ I’m informed it’s more profitable to steal from a Bank, not a candy-store…

    Last time I looked the Chronicle site was, er, chronic…

  • geordietom

    May 14, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #19

    jib …

    i dont want derby to come up …

    rather have leeds just for traveling fans not to far fot them…

  • geordietom

    May 14, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #20

    #19 for …


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