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Newcastle star says players need to ignore impending takeover of club

4 years ago

Matt Ritchie has a message for the rest of the team.

The Newcastle winger saying that no matter what is happening regarding a takeover of the club, the players simply need to ‘Stay focused on what happens on the pitch’.

Ritchie adding that ‘Hopefully success on the pitch will bring success off the pitch’.

You always have to think it takes something extreme off the pitch to affect the players, who at the end of the day are just coming in each day and playing football, not asked to take part in any negotiations etc etc…

Past experience tells us that off the pitch matters CAN affect Newcastle’s players but that those are rare times.

The battle for the club when Sir John Hall took over was certainly one of those extreme times.

However, for players to be affected you need off the pitch issues to create deep unrest amongst the supporters.

At the minute that is certainly not the case, at least on matchdays. Obviously there is a lot of talk amongst fans, about potentially Mike Ashley being replaced by ambitious new owners, but inside St James Park it has simply been a case of supporting the team.

Not like that tumultuous relegation season of 2008/09, when Mike Ashley and his minions set in motion a catalogue of self-harm, triggered by the undermining of Kevin Keegan.

Since Mike Ashley announced the club was formally up for sale, we have had the fortunate late winner against Palace, as well as defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth.

However, I doubt if takeover talk has played any part in these results/performances, they have simply followed the pattern of the overall season. Tight games that Newcastle will win or lose by the odd goal, as well as the odd draw.

Whilst I am not predicting problems, it will guard against any unrest the quicker a sale of the club is concluded.

If it is the nightmare scenario of Ashley staying, then he has to then make sure he this time properly supports Rafa Benitez in the January transfer window.

It is all common sense stuff but then when has that come into any part of Mike Ashley’s thinking where Newcastle United are concerned….

Matt Ritchie:

“I have got to be honest that I’ve tried to….not ignore it, because it’s obviously there, but as players we need to continue to work hard and do our stuff out on the pitch and training pitch.

“We can’t affect anything that goes on upstairs at Newcastle United.

“We will be dictated to what happens, we can’t have any say or involvement in that, so there is no point in worrying about that.

“We just need to stay focused on what happens on the pitch and then hopefully success on the pitch will bring success off the pitch.”


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