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Former International Teammate Discusses Newcastle Winger’s Retirement

Former Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton made exactly 50 appearances for Scotland. The 34-year-old played with Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie in a handful of those games.

On Monday, it was revealed that Matt Ritchie has retired from playing international football. He cited spending more time with his family and maintaining fitness for Newcastle as the reasons for his decision.

Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton commented on Ritchie’s retirement decision:

“I’ve obviously played alongside him, I think he’s a fantastic player. So much energy, willing runner, run through a brick wall for you and quality so I know what he can give.

“He obviously feels he’s a bit unloved when he goes up there, he doesn’t play all the time. Maybe he feels he can offer more but he feels he’s not getting the chance.

“When you get to a certain age, then you start thinking: ‘What am I going to put forward? I’ve got my family here, I’ve got Scotland there, I’m not really playing there so I’d rather use the days for X, Y and Z.’

“I did the same thing so I’m not going to sit here and say he made the wrong decision, but I think when you start to get to that age, that’s the way you start thinking.”

Ritchie last played for Scotland in March of 2018. Last November, he informed then Scotland manager Alex McLeish that he would not be in consideration internationally for the foreseeable future.

Recently, current Scotland manager Steve Clarke reached out to the 30-year-old to check on his international status. It was at that time that Ritchie officially retired from international football.

Alan Hutton made the same decision in 2016 when he was 31, so he understands the reasons behind Ritchie’s decision. However, it is interesting that Alan speaks about Matt being unloved and not featuring as much as he would have liked.

In the end, Matt only made sixteen appearances internationally. Fourteen of those were in his first year and a half since making his debut in 2015. He has only made two appearances in the last three years.

Despite the interest from Scotland’s new manager, Ritchie seems to have made a wise decision to call it a career internationally. His focus will now be on making his return for Newcastle, where he has not played since suffering his ankle injury in August.

He has had few setbacks in his road back to full fitness. Hopefully, he will be available for selection during Newcastle’s busy December schedule.

16 comments so far

  • geordietom

    Nov 13, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #1

    jib …

    Dec’s other cousin in the states ( New York ) are minted as well , they said to the lads we will send one of our rides to pick you up . they sent a helicopter one of many they own . they had a massive house with a pool . they are loaded . ANT made joke ask them if want to but wor team …

    read it here …https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/ant-dec-newcastle-united-takeover-17243990

  • Jib

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Ant and Dec on the board with Peter Kenyon as chairman ?
    That could work

  • geordietom

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #4

    to buy wor team *

  • martoon

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #5

    geordietom – I enjoyed their DNA programme BUT felt it was a little like ITV does ‘who do you think you are’ and you just knew they would find a link between then so it was hardly a surprise at the end. However if Dec can persuade his cousin to buy nufc then it will be the greatest TV programme ever made :mrgreen:

  • martoon

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #6

    On topic you can’t really blame Richie – how many times was he called up just to sit on the bench and watch cr*p players and was probably thinking “I’m better than them”. With his injury and age he probably thought “it’s not worth the effort – I’ll stop at home with the family!”.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #7

    And considering he’s not even Scottish, getting a pasting every time you ho away to please your granddad

  • martoon

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #8

    ………..and it’s not like Scotland are going to qualify so he would have had a chance to play in the Euros!

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #9

    Martoon…………. I have no problem with the ban on discussing P on this blog being upheld. If you can be bothered to check back which I’m sure you can’t then you’ll find that I never instigated such discussions but responded and challenged someone who did which I believe is my right.
    I don’t like the way this has been handled as the blog will cease to be fun if it appears to be overly restricted.

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #10

    Jib………. And you as Official PR spokesman.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #11


    The problem with Richie and Scotland is the players who play in his position are miles better than him (Tierney, Robertson, Fraser and Forrest) but the rest of the team is gash!

    If he would play at centre half would get a game no bother!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #12

    Give over will you, you and lesh are the worst political agitators on here and the only two who seem to be complaining about the moderation.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #13

    We have a lot of really good players with contracts about to run out this season and you would hope we are looking at signing them up but as we seen with Diame the club would not budge on a 1 year deal which if its offered to Clark and Fernandez they might just go somewhere else…..

  • Jib

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #14

    Strictly speaking it’s not moderation
    It’s a filter of political names and profane words

  • Jib

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #15

    I find it funny that s c u n t h o r p e is filtered
    because of it’s 2nd 3rd 4th & 5th letters

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #16

    Well I’ve not been on for a while, had a read over some stuff from the last couple days and the tension seem as high as ever. This is what Ashley is doing to us and our club, gone are the days when the football was the major talking point, everything is now always brought back to him.

    Ashley is probably the only thing in football less popular that VAR right now.


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