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Versatile Player Comments On Formation Change

Matt Ritchie, since joining from Bournemouth in 2016, has primarily been deployed on the right wing where he could cut inside and use his powerful left foot. Here he provided Newcastle with a threat that the opposition had to contend with for two and a half seasons.

Rafa and Ritchie – I need you on the left, Matt

This season due to a change of formation and a pressing need on the left, Matt has found a new role to shine in at Newcastle.

When moving to the left wing-back position initially in December, it at first appeared that this was just a stop gap due to injuries and lack of cover.

However, it became permanent for the rest of the season due to an injury to Florian LeJeune and the inability of loanee Antonio Barecca to convince Rafa to replace him.

Matt was asked if this had been his best season and this is what he told the Shields Gazette:

“I don’t know about that.” “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very pleased with the way I’ve adapted to the new regime.”

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and learnt a lot, but you can’t say it is my best season.”

“The Championship was a different season – we were expected to win,”

“I’ve been pleased with all three seasons. There’s always room for improvement, and I want to strive for more and improve in areas of my game. I still want more.”

“I’m really enjoying it (new defensive role),”

“We’ve spent quite a lot of time playing with a front three, with Ronny (Salomon Rondon), Miguel (Almiron) and Ayo (Perez).”

“And if you’re playing as a wide player in that formation, you have to be a real threat in behind.”

“My strength isn’t really running behind. But with the team we have now in the Premier League, we’re a bit more counter-attacking.”

“I enjoy playing wing-back – I get a lot more of the ball than I did higher up the pitch.”

Ritchie has made 125 appearances at Newcastle scoring 22 goals and adding 25 assists. While most of the goals came in his inaugural season in the Championship, 15 of his assists are over the past two seasons.

While we think Newcastle do need to sign a top quality left back this summer, Matt Ritchie’s versatility and desire have provided Rafa with the ability to get the best out of Newcastle this year.

Matt Ritchie will turn 30 years old in September and has two years remaining on his contract. It remains to be seen what will happen with a new contract but he should continue to provide excellent options for Newcastle next season.

77 comments so far

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 16, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #1

    Is this the same Luke Edwards that said we will be sold, then when we weren’t said it was just a gut feeling?

    Not saying the the meeting won’t happen, just wanting to make sure it’s the correct guy.

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #2

    hibbit from previous, I hope you’re right. As I said on the last thread, if they’re meeting, things could happen quickly.

  • hibbit

    May 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #3

    Or it could all blow up in our face !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DubaiMicky

    May 16, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #4

    I’d rather be doing a London meeting on a Thursday rather than a Friday, for purely logistical reasons anyway.

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #5

    Micky. that won’t be much of a problem for long



  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #6

    And, in other news, UEFA have been terrified at the prospect of the Premier League dominating their European competitions and have launched a cynical attempt to level the playing field once more


    Either that, or Man City have been guilty of shenanigans designed to avoid FFP. Which seems more likely, frankly.

  • TyneMouth

    May 16, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #7

    On the issue of the ‘Heart’ component of each individual posting, it is obviously very one-sided to only be able to approve a comment.

    Ideally I would prefer to comment directly following a posting, as in an attached ‘stream’, but this can get very fractured and disorganised very quickly.

    ‘Streams’ tend to sub-divide, and deviate very quickly from the context of the original posting.

    In the interest of simplicity and an easily understood protocol, a ‘thumbs up’ / ‘thumbs down’ should suffice.

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #8

    the whole ‘hearts’ thing is redundant anyway. If you look above this post, as it stands, not one single comment has been hearted.

    I think folk just don’t bother anymore – it’s rare you see a comment with more than a few hearts.

  • ronaldo aarons

    May 16, 2019 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #9

    There should be a Mackem wum button, something like a logo of webbed feet or cheesy chips when someone like ilovetoon or jarra mick post.

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #10

    See that? I just got pity hearts for everyone!


    I like the mackem wum button idea. Maybe it should be linked to a banner scrolling across the screen pulled by a digital image of an aeroplane saying something like ‘Going down, going up’

  • Mag52

    May 16, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #11

    It’ll be a sad day,IMO, if we let Ritchie go.
    All this cr@p about 30 year olds. Doesn’t Ashley know that as players are far fitter these days than when he was playing (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that 30 is the new 25.
    There are an increasing number of PL players still playing well at 32 and over.
    Ritchie is giving it his all right to the final whistle.
    Keep him.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 16, 2019 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #12

    Rob, it’s clearly because they don’t want English teams winning. As soon as Liverpool beat Barca and it looked like we could have 4 teams in the finals, most the people i know said eufa would change the rules. it’s fine for spanish teams to dominate or PSG to cheat FFP rules, but the english can’t win. if they really want to make competitions fairer they should make the spanish and italian teams share their tv money equally instead of just giving it all to the big teams. most other leagues are a joke with one team winning it by christmas.
    btw, i can’t open the bbc report; what does it say?

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 16, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #13

    it’s the same reason they dont want us to host a world cup. some other lesser footballing countries have hosted 5-7 tournaments off the top of my head. we have had one WC and one Euros. Another disgrace.

  • Optimistic Panda

    May 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #14

    When does the window open?
    I’ve read about 5 different dates.

    Are loan players back st their parent clubs, Gayle Murphy Rondon?

    I’d like to think Rafas contract is sorted one way or another within a cpl of weeks, hopefully it isn’t dragged out.

  • lesh

    May 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #15

    DubaiMick, I think, posted about big money being bet on Rafa to Celtic… could it be one of Mikeyboy’s gophors laying the bets on his behalf? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that he’d go out of his way to screw things up and lay a bet on it too!

    I suggested weeks ago that Celtic could be an ideal platform for Rafa but be that as it may, he needs to be persuaded to stay at SJP.

    C’mon Mikeyboy, just fix it, pronto!

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 16, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #16

    the longer it drags on the more likely we are to get another JFK. we could end up starting the season without a manager or an interim such as Peter Beardsley in charge.

  • geordietom

    May 16, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #17

    Wolves set to battle Newcastle for signature of West Brom striker Salomon Rondon Daily Mail11:57
    In the last half-hour

  • mattyNUFC

    May 16, 2019 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #18

    Lol @ optimistic

    You’d like to think the contract situation will be handled in a matter of weeks? Yeah. The contract runs out June 30. ????

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #19

    The next Mike, sorry mate, I always assume everyone can open BBC articles, I didn’t realise they were locked by Geography – the below is a transcript from the BBC Sport website, for copywrite purposes.

    Man City referred to Uefa financial body

    Manchester City say they are “disappointed, but regrettably not surprised” after being referred to Uefa’s financial control body adjudicatory chamber.

    BBC Sport reported this week that Uefa investigators want City to be banned from the Champions League for a season if they are found guilty of breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

    Chief investigator Yves Leterme has made his recommendation but it is not known if he supports a ban.

    City said “the accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false”.

    Former Belgian prime minister Leterme, chairman of the investigatory panel of Uefa’s independent financial control board (CFCB), his team looked at evidence first uncovered in a series of leaks published by German newspaper Der Spiegel last year.

    The reports alleged that City broke FFP regulations by inflating the value of a multimillion-pound sponsorship deal. City were fined £49m in 2014 for a previous breach of regulations.

    It understood Leterme’s fellow board members firmly expressed the view at a recent meeting that a season-long ban would be a suitable punishment if City are found guilty.

    Uefa said Leterme, “after having consulted with the other members of the independent investigatory chamber”, decided “to refer Manchester City FC to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber following the conclusion of his investigation”.

    European football’s governing body said it “will not be making any further comment on the matter until a decision is announced by the CFCB adjudicatory chamber”.

    City, who won the Premier League for a second year in succession last Sunday, have denied any wrongdoing.

    “The leaks to media over the last week are indicative of the process that has been overseen by Mr Leterme,” read a City statement.

    “Manchester City is entirely confident of a positive outcome when the matter is considered by an independent judicial body.

    “The CFCB IC referral ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City FC to the chamber.

    “The decision contains mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of a basic lack of due process and there remain significant unresolved matters raised by Manchester City FC as part of what the club has found to be a wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process.”

    It is unlikely any punishment for City will apply to next season’s Champions League because they could appeal, and even take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    City could also soon face a transfer ban, with the Football Association, Premier League and Fifa investigating the club over the signing of youth players.

    BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

    About three weeks ago, Manchester City made a very detailed submission that extended to more than 100 pages.

    It has not gone unnoticed by the club that it is five years to the day since Uefa announced City had breached FFP rules and fined them £49m, although City received £33m back three years later after they met regulations.

    According to CFCB’s own regulations, they cannot bring prosecutions more than five years after the event.

    In the referral it is understood the CFCB said that through their submission there are further questions to be asked of City but, since their submission, none of these questions has been put to the club.

  • geordietom

    May 16, 2019 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #20

    would Rondon want to go back to the west midlands …

    give up all the nice beaches and scenery in the north east ..

  • geordietom

    May 16, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #21

    rob re ; popinjay …

    your not one are you

    a vain or conceited person, especially one who dresses or behaves extravagantly…

    LMAO …

  • martoon

    May 16, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #22

    geordietom @17 – Not really a surprise – they tried to get him in January. I see them being a major threat, good manager, money to spend and I’d guess Rondon may well have a family home in the Midlands somewhere.

  • hibbit

    May 16, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #23


    length of contract and wages wolves offer might also play a part in his decision making

  • geordietom

    May 16, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #24

    martoon …

    hope not mate just hope Rafa signs might be enough for Rondon to stay with us…

  • geordietom

    May 16, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #25

    hibbit …

    you may be right mate …

    just hope Rondon aint a money grabber . he seems to like it at wor club fans love him that helps as well …

    if Rondon did go to wolves would he go to sit on the bench . at his age i dont think so …

  • Jib

    May 16, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #26

    Wolves have activated Raul Jimenez’ €36m buy out
    clause from Benfica so I think this may be journo’s jackanory

  • Australian Pie

    May 16, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #27

    Just read an article regarding Kennedy and that Chelsea are thinking to reduce their £30mil asking price to sell him before contract runs out in a year…. Id be shocked if anyone gave more then £10mil for him now…. should have sold him last year for £20!

    Also then read that they expect us to sell Gayle for £10….. after the season he has had, with Rondon at £16.5 I think a straight swap is more correct valuation

  • Jib

    May 16, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #28

    Leeds spent 185 days at top of the Championship

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #29

    geordietom, a popinjay, moi?

    Not unless jeans, polo shirts and a beer belly count as dressing extravagantly!


  • cyprus

    May 16, 2019 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #30

    Being an attacker and with his tenacity Ritchie has become one of the best wing backs in the PL.

    Had an excellent season AND scored our goal of the season.

  • Tsunki

    May 16, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #31

    On this thumbs up / thumbs down thing it’s all looking a bit fingerist to me. Fingers are 80% of the hand population but of course as usual it’s the thumb elite that call the shots – it’s a disgrace.

    I definitely think it’s high time for an inclusive gesture, get at least one finger in on this so they are represented. I can think of one particular finger I would use for quite a lot of posts. I’m sure a lot of open minded, modern-thinking regulars would like to use two.

    Time for change! Fingers in!


  • Jail for Ashley

    May 16, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #32

    Jiminez is the only experienced out and out striker Wolves have, an ambitious club like Wolves could well afford a 30M and a 16.5M striker competing with each other, so could we come to think of it.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 16, 2019 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #33

    @Jail for Ashley

    They could also play the two of them together!! Like we could do as well!!

  • cyprus

    May 16, 2019 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #34

    You deserve a finger for that 😉

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 16, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #35

    Just for a second think about it what if Rafa DOES sign a 3 year deal and is backed properly by Ashley to allow us to be where we really should be as a club!?!?!?

    Does anyone think Ashley could turn it around with the fans ? Like no more singing , abuse etc ?

    I am actually fearing the worst but wonder what others think about it?

  • carltoon

    May 16, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #36

    Rob beer belly!!!!get ya self jogging on the beach.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 16, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #37

    Personally I think the hearts thing should be got rid of. I read once that it was a tool used by Facebook to get people logging on to check their likes. We managed for eleven years on here without them, what have they brought to the blog. I’m not sure if it’s been sorted but some posters have shown that somehow they can be manipulated with people giving themselves hundreds, get rid imo.

  • RobLeenio

    May 16, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #38

    As far as I’m concerned, Wolves can make all the approaches to West Brom they like – if Rondon doesn’t want to go there, he won’t go there.

    Surely he’ll wait to see what the outcome of the Rafa contract chat is before making a decision.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 16, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #39

    I think even if he does sign on then every window is going to be a chore with Ashley doing his best to throw a spanner in and uncertainty about Rafa exercising his get out etc, we won’t thrive until Ashley has gone.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 16, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #40

    Not really fair saying I hope Rondon isn’t a money grabber either, if Mikey offers him 60K a week and Wolves a hundred, is that being a money grabber.


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