Matt Ritchie claims that he still doesn’t regret making the move to Newcastle United.
Despite two and a half years at the NUFC circus under Mike Ashley’s ownership, the winger says ‘It was my decision to leave Bournemouth because Newcastle was the place I wanted to be and it’s the same now.’
The 29 year old helped Bournemouth into the Premier League with an astonishing 15 goals and 17 assists back in the 2014/15 season and then helped them consolidate in the top tier the next season.
Until Newcastle came knocking and he helped them to promotion with an impressive 12 goals and 7 assists in 2016/17.
However, in the Premier League Matt Ritchie has found it more difficult to make such an impact at the sharp end, little surprise really when with newly promoted teams.
Last season Newcastle finished two places higher than Bournemouth on goal difference but already this season, the Cherries are 11 places and 14 points higher in the table.
Even though Bournemouth are showing the ambition that Newcastle sadly lack under Mike Ashley, Matt Ritchie insists ‘For all the good times I had at Bournemouth, not for one moment have I regretted the move.’
Here’s hoping he is still saying that at the end of this season…
“It certainly doesn’t frustrate me to see Bournemouth doing better than us at this time. Far from it in fact.
“The way they’ve started the season really pleases me. I couldn’t be happier for them. To see so many people I left behind doing well, that’s great.
“It was my decision to leave Bournemouth because Newcastle was the place I wanted to be and it’s the same now.
“It’s a challenge I have relished taking on and I still am.
“For all the good times I had at Bournemouth, not for one moment have I regretted the move.
“I take an enormous amount of pleasure watching them (Bournemouth) on Match of the Day and seeing lads I spent so much time with, doing so well.
“We were such a tight group at Bournemouth.
“The manager, all the staff, everyone involved; I was there for years with them, so that club is still very much part of me.
“It makes me so proud to sit back knowing I played my own part in getting a fantastic club to where they are today.
“Some players have obviously left but those who remained have gone to another level and it’s great to see.
“I was brought up a Portsmouth fan but I will always be a Bournemouth fan too, apart from when we play them of course.
“I think you could see from the lads on the pitch that there was a desire to get the points (against Watford).
“In the first half we probably rode our luck a little bit and they probably had the better of the chances, but certainly in the second half, I thought that we were strong, we were resilient.
“They had some good chances again on the counter-attack but I think once we got the goal we never really looked back.
“You could see the mentality of the lads and that is what we need – week in, week out.”