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Steve Bruce Could Get Massive Boost If Player Passes Fitness Test

A few local reports have confirmed that Newcastle’s right wing-back/left-winger Matt Ritchie has returned to training this week. He will be assessed after training tomorrow and a decision will be made as to whether he will be included in the squad for Sunday’s fixture against Arsenal.

Ritchie injured his hamstring against Hibs a week and a half ago but it seems to have not been too serious at all. It will be a nice boost to have the twenty-nine year old back in the squad.

Ritchie made 39 appearances last season for the Magpies with 3 goals and 9 assists. It will be good to have as much continuity going into this first match as is possible after such a transitional summer.

If Ritchie can make the squad, it will leave Florian Lejeune (knee), Andy Carroll (ankle), DeAndre Yedlin (Groin), Dwight Gayle (calf), and Christian Atsu (Knee) as players who will not be available for Sunday. There is also news that Jack Colback may be suffering from a slight knee injury as well.

93 comments so far

  • Mindshaft

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #41

    I hope Netflix started making a documentary of Rafa’s last days and the rest of this season – could be classic car crash TV

  • ChicoUSA

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #42

    I did not like the way Mark Douglas phrased the following:

    …“Benitez plunged Newcastle head-long into a reckoning by walking away”…

    I would have the below would be more accurate:

    …”Ashley plunged Newcastle head-long into a reckons by not offering Benitez a new contract that included the modest terms he asked for”…

  • ChicoUSA

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #43

    reckons >> reckoning

  • Mindshaft

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #44

    I hope for Bruce’s sake we beat arsenal , a defeat will not be good against an upper mid table team at home – a big defeat and it’ll be even more toxic on here than now … If that’s possible

  • lochinvar

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #45

    So I sat my young fella down and told him to look at Any Carroll, the geordie monster. I wont let him suppport Liverpool without a fight. He came in and said he loves the new Toon top and could i buy it for Christmas or his birthday in October. Dilemma re Ashley on shirts. Sorry, the kids gonna get a new jersey. HTL.

    Think you need to buy the lad both the home and away shirt so there’s never one off his back while the other is in the wash.
    Avoids any temptation to go over to the dark (mersey)side.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #46

    Rob #1…. That’s a great song that!!

  • hibbit

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #47

    ChicoUSA @42
    l agree with on that point

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #48


    Jail is an obsessive who just can’t let go of his bone.

    He is is still ranting on at me for views I had 5+ years ago and asking me stupid questions for no other reason than to have another bone to chew on.

    It’s the same with you, going on, and on, and on, trying to make out you are a Rafa hater when all you’ve done is point out that, like all of us, Rafa wasn’t an infallible God.

    I just don’t get why people like Jail get so obsessed with someone they don’t even know.

    Blogs should be for an exchange of opinions and healthy debate.

    The way Jail, and some others, go on is anything but healthy.

    toon22 being another classic example.

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #49

    Cheers Mindshaft.

    Mister Tuff – completely agree and hope for the Toon out ways the doom & gloom……..for the meantime.

    There is potential to have a nightmare start but anything can happen especially with VAR now in play.

  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #50


    The fair and balanced voice of Munster


    You hated Rafa Athens same way Jabba did

  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #51

    Bills backing Munster

    You’ll need to get Catchy in to make it a trio


  • Ron Knee

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #52

    Jack Colback, Achraf Lazaar, Rolando Aarons, Henri Saivet and Jamie Sterry miss out.

  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #53

    One utter loon/ PR backing the other to give the appearance of it being s reasonable fans opinion


  • Pubdog

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #54

    It seems like we’re very nervous and pundits aren’t optimistic about us. We’re a bit gloomy because we have Bruce and not Rafa. I personally feel better after this window and we probably do have a better squad than we had under Rafa. Don’t forget that, as much as I like Perez, he did have many long anonymous spells with us too and we only got 30M for him because of an upturn in form towards the end. We’ll miss Rondon but Joelinton looks lively. I’m nervous as well, but just hopeful…

  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #55

    Fair and balanced opinions ?
    Like Munster was with Rafa for years !

    Or what about Bills usual horrible rant with threats ?

    Both fair and balanced?

    You’d have to be an idiot not to see it’s PR
    Very poorly done PR

  • hibbit

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #56

    In the eight-and-a-half years since leaving Newcastle for Liverpool Andy Carroll has scored just 39 Premier League goals, not exactly the prolific goalscorer i had hoped for,


  • Pubdog

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #57

    My post looks a bit Fast Show “jumpers for goalposts, uhm?” Compared to the regular cryptic, random blogs. Oh well!

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #58

    But he’s one of our own, hibbit!

  • Anglo Saxon

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #59


  • Genjikai

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #60

    Just look what 30 people standing outside SD achieved. It got us top coverage on SSN, and has now lead onto boycott arsenal. Ashleys PR has went into overdrive, how many of his people have came out to defend him? Ask yourself why? If hes such a good man as they say why does so many people need to defend him. This has got the media talking, we havnt had this much coverage before (anti ashley coverage) ever.
    Now just imagine 1000 people starting outside SD and then marching on SJP what coverage will that give us.
    1000 would be 33 times move than the 30 that stood outside.
    Now 10000 of us marching on SJP would cause debate within the football world, this is the start of change within football.
    Be part of something special, make a change, join the protest march. Then decide if your going in or not thats your choice. You all say you want ashley gone whether you support the boycott or not.
    If you dont support the boycott can you support the protest march? 50000 match going fans marching on SJP would make a statement like none other seen.
    Enough is enough, make a stand, for that one goal we all want, AshleyOut.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #61

    Same squad as I predicted… Hail Ronaldo! Mine was actually organised in positions 😉

    1 Martin Dúbravka
    2 Ciaran Clark (homegrown)
    3 Paul Dummett (homegrown)
    4 Ki Sung-yueng
    5 Fabian Schär
    6 Jamaal Lascelles (homegrown)
    7 Andy Carroll (homegrown)
    8 Jonjo Shelvey (homegrown)
    9 Joelinton
    10 Allan Saint-Maximin
    11 Matt Ritchie (homegrown)
    12 Dwight Gayle (homegrown)
    13 Yoshinori Muto
    14 Isaac Hayden (homegrown)
    15 Jetro Willems
    17 Emil Krafth
    18 Federico Fernández
    19 Javier Manquillo
    20 Florian Lejeune
    21 Rob Elliot (homegrown)
    22 DeAndre Yedlin
    24 Miguel Almirón
    26 Karl Darlow (homegrown)
    30 Christian Atsu
    36 Sean Longstaff (homegrown)

  • NY Mag

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #62

    Irishrob @46,

    Why are you addressing posts to yourself?

  • hibbit

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #63

    he’s that injury prone he has a blue disc on his car !!

  • Asi Fish

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #64

    Pubdog – nailed it with nervous but hopeful!!

    I’m very nervous but have a streak of hope that the team may surprise us.

    Probably another false dawn but imagine smashing Arsenal with speed peppered with skill because they have already written us off?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #65

    Andy Carroll number 7, was reported yesterday that this was going to happen. Would have given it to Almiron really but I guess just a number.

    I think 7 is the official Nufc prediction of how many games Carroll will be ‘fit’ for in the whole season.

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #66

    Liam Kennedy@LiamJKennedy23

    Limited options for those without a spot in the squad. Scotland, the continent, League One, League Two or lower. The exceptions to this rule are Jamie Sterry (likely to be sent out on loan to lower reaches anyway) and Kyle Scott (never expected to be named in main group). #NUFC

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #67

    It would have been interesting to see how high we would have finished last season if Rondon had been fit from the start, we’d had Miggy for a full season and Shelvey had been fit (seems he had issues for virtually the whole season). Although Shelvey’s injury led to the introduction of Sean Longstaff, which was a huge positive, we never got to see Shelvey and Miggy together, which could have potentially been a deadly combo with Miggy as a wide forward. I speculate to try and gain an idea of the relative strength of the squad prior to the transfer window. I think, under Rafa, that squad would have been comfortably top half.
    Overall I think we now have a stronger squad, but the jury’s out on the first 11. IMO Joelinton is faster and better at beating a man than Rondon, but Rondon is better at holding the ball up and has better distribution. As for goal scoring and heading, I’ll wait to see. Perez, although frustrating at times, has quick feet, an eye for a pass, scores some good instinctive goals and works hard cutting off the best passing avenues for the opposition defenders. Not seen enough of St Maximin to judge, but from what I’ve seen on you tube and read, I suspect a mixture of excitement and frustration with a lack of end product. With Ritchie a lot of the pros are go unseen, he has great desire, organises team mates and runs about a lot, but I think Willems is an upgrade.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 9, 2019 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #68

    I notice you keep mentioning that Sunderland game under Rafa about how we played and supposedly played them off the park the previous fixture.

    No matter how we played before that game, we still lost. We were on a 6 game losing run to Sunderland. Say what you like about rafas tactics that game, we got a draw from it and stopped the losing run to Sunderland. Anything else is what ifs, as we could easily as you mentioned, played them off the park again but doesn’t mean we would even get a point.

    I think you’re picking the wrong game to back your argument.

    I dont agree Ronaldo. It was a 6 pointer against a pretty poor team. Not for the first time, the assets rafa had on the pitch were easily the equal of the opponents ( Sunderland ffs ….do i need to dig up the team sheet?) on our home turf…including two guys who went on to contest the CL final. But the whole issue was, we didnt attack them. We did the whole “compact” routine and got an equaliser with 6 mins to go. If we had won that game it would have been highly signficant. I appreciate that were brittle, but many managers have come in and changed teh dynamicof a team with motivation and an attacking attitude. It was a massive opportunity lost. I think we played Sissoko on the left wing. So i think that was when i started asking questions. Same with Villa away . We needed a result of some form. We had corners in the second half and put one man, max 2 , in the box. I remember Sky decrying it an the time. What annoyed me most was that guys on here ( not you) , who know sh1t all about the game wouldnt entertain my questions because of who Rafa was . Sorry but thats not a good enough reason. Im not slating Rafa, there has always been a big upside. And I have listed it many times. What annoyed me, was that the questions couldnt be asked because the noisy boys on here didnt like it. Well bollocks to them, they didnt like it. Season before last, we played Everton on TV. Absolutely NO difference between our football approach on the pitch and theirs. They had better players, but we chose not to play with any style, as usual. We were identical to Fat Sam, the devil. I even got anti Irish abuse for some of it, from the less cerebral members of the blog. And Hibbitt, this isnt a victim card. If I was a victim i would be gone. These were fair questions but they were not accepted by Raffia law. Not that I gave a shit. Any you can see how in the last 6-12 months there have been far more comments along the same lines. Rafa was a great manager for us, and I think him for it. But beyond question? No thanks. But now, guys are hanging Steve Bruce because he’s not Rafa and doest hate Fat Boy. Some of you need to get a grip. Get behind the lads and the manager, cos the alternative is relegation.

  • Mister Tuff

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #69

    Hahahaha – another one posting to himself – jumped straight into the self capture net without assistance.
    (assistance = a good boot up the jacksie).

  • Mindshaft

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #70

    Only thing that will change football is if parliament pass a law that clubs must be part owned by supporters groups much like the German model – the trouble is that it would need fans of all premiership clubs to unite – a fear that can barely happen within one club never mind 20 clubs

  • Markaccus

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #71

    The only player I had wrong from my squad prediction this morning is Atsu. I had Aaron’s instead. To be fair it’s a decent squad on paper.

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #72

    chancel, agree 10th under rafa this season with backing, assuming strikers had stayed

  • The Sheikh'sMate

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #73

    Of course Carroll is a pr stunt, typical of the phatt controller.. GET OWT FOR Nowt.
    No doubt the ground will be full on Sunday… when will we ever learn??? Ashlie and the rest of the prem will be laughing at us.

  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #74





  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #75

    You think Munsters JIB to ?



  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #76

    You think Munster meant to post that as Bills ?


  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #77

    Funny how it’s the pro MA
    Anti protest
    Anti Rafa

    All seem to be alts

    Hahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahaha ha

  • Oldgit1

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #78

    @ The SheikhsMate, Ashley having the last laugh. Thought it was brilliant the way we brought in Big Andy. Game set and match to Ashley v boycotters. Always next year.

  • toon22

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #79

    Cheers guys

    You just left everything you’ve ever said obviously bollix

    Hiya KBA

  • ronaldo aarons

    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #80

    Munster, paragraphs please next time lol. Not a dig, it’s easier to follow and read.
    I really disagree with you about it being defensive, from what I remember we were poor but to say trying to contain them is misleading as we have a lot more possession than them and had more shots and shots on target.

    I think context is needed for that game as Rafa had recently took over a team on the way down lacking any sort of confidence, defensive stability and just commitment in general.
    Very harsh if you ask me to judge someone on that. And for the record, when a new manager comes in to a struggling club, what’s the first thing they try to do?

    I remember it as Allardyce had Sunderland very defensive and committed and we struggled to break them down. No way do I remember these supposed containing tactics.

    Even then, with the same players who you say were great, you previously said we played them off the park. Where did that get us? 0 points. Why is it now you’re saying if we ‘attacked more’ we would have got more than the 1 point.

    It’s all pointless as when a new manager comes in, they need to try and make them stop losing games. Standard procedure. And you’re criticising him for that? There’s other games that can suit your argument. You’re on to a bad one here and if I’m honest, it makes you look a little desperate to be looking at this game in the context as stick to beat the manager with.

    It’s almost like youre saying if Rafa had deployed different tactics, we would have stayed up. I know you’re not saying that but that is how it appears.


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