Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Fans debate the merits of Ritchie after typifying performance

Newcastle United: Fans debate the merits of Ritchie after typifying performance

A selection of Newcastle United supporters have been discussing the merits of Matt Ritchie, after the former Scotland international displayed a typifying performance in the Magpies’ win at Tottenham Hotspur.

Ritchie was fielded at left-back against Spurs on Sunday, as Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce modified his line-up to consist of a bank of four sitting ahead of a five-man defence.

The 29-year-old’s duties at left-back saw the natural wide midfielder matched up against the tearing pace and dribbling threat of Lucas Moura, and Mauricio Pochettino’s overlapping full-back Kyle Walker-Peters.

Of the pair, only Walker-Peters ended the game with a key pass credited to them by WhoScored, while the 22-year-old full-back also failed 50% of his dribbles.

Ritchie, meanwhile, completed 50% of his attempted tackles, 100% of his dribbles, played two key balls and enjoyed more touches than any other Newcastle player with 53.

In typifying fashion, the Tottenham win was a performance fans have come to expect from the £45,000-a-week (Spotrac) ace, who caught the attention of certain supporters after the match for his late gut-busting stoppage-time run back toward his own half.

With the clock ticking down, Ritchie could be seen sprinting past several Newcastle and Tottenham players in order to get back into a defensive position, as he helped ensure the Magpies picked up their first three points of the campaign.

It would seem the former AFC Bournemouth star is still a divisive figure among the St. James’ Park faithful, however, as not every Newcastle supporter has lauded Ritchie’s name.

Here’s what these fans have shared…

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