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Matt Ritchie shows the PR training is going well: “I was so pleased to see the stadium full”

2 years ago

Matt Ritchie sparked a bit of a debate before the season kicked off.

Popping up on Mike Ashley’s favourite radio station, Talksport, to declare;

“I don’t understand the unrest I have got to be honest. The club has gone out, we have spent money, we are pushing. We are trying to compete with the teams that we can compete with and you have to be real.

“To compete at the top of the Premier League now, is mega mega mega money. I think the owner has been honest in his interviews in the press…”

Whatever the winger’s motivations for doing the pre-season interview, it rarely ends well when a player moves away from simply talking about the actual football.

Speaking after the defeat to Arsenal, Matt Ritchie has predictably put a positive spin on the game, which is fair enough.

There were some positives and signs of hope that the season can turn out ok, if the new signings can make the difference, especially when it comes to goals.

Ritchie might be a little bit over the top with his comments on Sunday’s action, considering Arsenal had such a weakened team out and Newcastle didn’t force Leno into having to make a serious save. However, you need the players to have belief and enthusiasm, especially at the start of the season.

However, Matt Ritchie did open himself up to ridicule with certain other post-match comments.

Especially when declaring ‘I was so pleased to see the stadium full’…

Just like a player still claiming he was onside when TV replays show he was 10 yards off, you can’t get away with a comment like that when there were at least 7,000 empty seats and possibly as many as 10,000 according to some estimates. Even the official crowd of sold seats, including season ticket holders who stayed away, was almost 5,000 under capacity.

As for ‘The support was good’, well clearly that wasn’t the case.

There was support for the team from those that were there but overall it was generally acknowledged to be pretty lame compared to what it should be, indeed Matt Ritchie himself has been keen in the past to attack the lack of atmosphere, ironically at times when it was nowhere near as poor as Sunday’s.

As always, players need to do their talking on the pitch and starting at Norwich hopefully this will be the case.

We are all, fans and players, sick of talking about the politics, a reason to focus on the actual football would be the perfect tonic.

Matt Ritchie quoted by The Shields Gazette:

“I was so pleased to see the stadium full.

“The support was good.

“There is a real positive vibe, especially in the dressing room, at the moment.

“Throughout the club and the training centre, the vibe is very positive.

“It is a positive dressing room at the moment and optimistic and the stadium felt that way today as well.

“Hopefully, we can start picking up points sooner rather than later and maintain that.”

“First-half, I thought we were good and we handled their threats really well, created the better chances, I thought we were unlucky with one or two. I thought Miguel and Jo were a real handful, really exciting. I’m sure that excites everyone involved at the club.

“Then, second-half, they scored a goal, which was frustrating because it didn’t come from good play from them, really, so that was frustrating and we lost our shape a little bit once they scored.

“We couldn’t quite get to grips with the game and I think in the end, we were maybe trying a little bit too hard to score too quickly and didn’t really control the game in their half as we needed to.

“The game did run away a little bit but I thought we carried a threat.

“I thought Jo(elinton) and especially Maximin when he came on and Miguel were a handful.

“There are certainly positives to take from the game. In spells it was good. There are things we can work on.

“We’re only going to get better, stronger and fitter. It’s not all doom and gloom.”


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