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Classic Newcastle Sky Sports debate today – You realise they don’t know what happened

4 months ago

Sky Sports were talking about Newcastle United today.

Well, when I say Sky Sports were talking, obviously I mean some of their ‘expert’ pundits were debating NUFC.

Not for the first time I was left wondering what on earth I had just watched / listened to on Sky Sports.

What their ‘expert’ pundits were saying, bore little / no relation to the reality of what has been happening at Newcastle United.

Last year, Sky Sports had a clear out of ‘expert’ pundits, you would imagine the intention was to raise the level / intelligence of debate…

Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier were given the red card, only for it to end up today with me watching Jeff Stelling presenting alongside ‘expert’ opinion from Joleon Lescott, Tim Sherwood, Paul Merson and Ally McCoist.

I don’t miss any of the trio that were binned last summer but at least Le Tissier and Thompson had some grasp of reality where Newcastle United were concerned.

Watching this lot today, it was embarrassing.

They quite clearly just turn up at the Sky Sports studio and think their natural charm and intelligence (cough cough) is more than enough to see them through, actually doing some research is clearly a surreal idea that will never be seriously entertained.

When discussing Newcastle United today, it became glaringly obvious that none of the ‘expert’ pundits had bothered finding out exactly what the situation was and what had gone on, Ally McCoist the perfect one to sum up the ignorance…

“Looking at the situation, I worry for [Steve] Bruce.

“The actual argument with Matt Ritchie, I couldn’t care less about it.

“These things happen and we have seen it a hundred times.

“It happens every day at every training grounds up and down the country.

“That is not the problem.

“It looks as if a story is coming out of the dressing room then they are not all singing from the same hymn sheet, with the predicament that Newcastle are in, they have to all be singing from the same hymn sheet because they are in a [relegation] dogfight.

“Steve Bruce is in charge of Newcastle and what he has got to do, is anything within his capabilities to get Newcastle United results and keep them in the division.

“If Matt Ritchie is one of his best players, he has to play Matt Ritchie.

“Simple as.

“If he cuts his nose off to spite his face and they get relegated, it doesn’t help Newcastle and it doesn’t help Steve Bruce.

“So as difficult and as sensitive as the situation is, they have kissed and made up, they are men and the greater cause is the success of Newcastle United.

“That is why he will play Matt Ritchie [starting on Sunday at West Brom] if he thinks he should be in the team.”

Ally McCoist (and the rest of them) talked about this whole problem being a training ground issue that had blown up, the Sky Sports pundit saying this happens every day at a club somewhere.

Not one of them understood what exactly had gone on.

Yes, Steve Bruce shoulder charged Matt Ritchie at the training ground on Tuesday BUT the problem / issue didn’t originate at the training ground.

Steve Bruce accused Matt Ritchie on Saturday night of being responsible, along with naming and shaming other players, for Newcastle not beating Wolves. Bruce caused total chaos with a substitution which involved then a number of people having to switch positions. Ritchie sent on with instructions to tell other players but Bruce failing to ensure he had the chance to give out the instructions, instead Shelvey took a quick free-kick a few seconds after Matt Ritchie stepped on the pitch and with players out of position within 60 seconds Wolves had drawn level.

Steve Bruce then labelled a ‘coward’ because he refused to take any responsibility himself and refused to sort it out with Ritchie on Saturday night when the player rang him. Instead telling Ritchie he would have to wait until three days later, Steve Bruce bizarrely giving the players Sunday and Monday off (as well as the Thursday).

Ally McCoist also talked about Matt Ritchie as one of Newcastle’s best players, one of Steve Bruce’s ‘key’ players, saying the Head Coach can’t let this dispute prevent him keep playing Ritchie.

This is so out of step with reality, none of the Sky Sports pundits, especially McCoist, having any idea whatsoever of what a peripheral figure Matt Ritchie has become.

They all think he is a first team regular but couldn’t be more wrong.

Ritchie has only started six Premier League games all season, hasn’t started a PL match these past couple of months, and indeed, before being subbed on against Wolves and this shambles ignited, Ritchie had only played 16 minutes of Premier League football since over two months ago, off the bench against Sheff Utd.

There is so much they could (and should) debate about Newcastle United and yet ignorance is paraded as some kind of medal by so many of the Sky Sports ‘experts’ when it comes to NUFC.


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