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Matt Ritchie says no to Newcastle United when asked to do kiss and make up interview – Report

4 weeks ago
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It was three weeks ago today when Steve Bruce embarrassingly blamed Matt Ritchie for the Wolves equaliser, when Newcastle were leading with 17 minutes to go.

Bruce sent the winger on with instructions for a number of players, as Matt Ritchie was replacing right-back Emil Krafth, leading to a number of positional changes.

Rather than telling Matt Ritchie to just fill in at right-back until the Scottish international had a chance to tell everybody what was happening, who needed to be moved, instead Steve Bruce wanted the changes done immediately.

However, as soon as Ritchie stepped onto the pitch, Jonjo Shelvey took a quick free-kick, meaning instructions couldn’t be swiftly passed on to all concerned. Without any break in play the ball was in the back of Newcastle’s net within 60 seconds of the substitution being made, Jacob Murphy still playing left wing when he should have been right wing-back helping to defend against the eventual Wolves goalscorer, Neves.

Speaking after the match, Steve Bruce named and shamed Matt Ritchie as having been at fault for the goal, even though it was obvious he’d had no chance to tell Murphy, who was on the other side of the pitch, the instructions in time.

Bruce’s behaviour leading to Matt Ritchie calling the Head Coach a ‘coward’ for not taking responsibility himself for the chaos caused when the substitution was made. Steve Bruce then retaliating by barging into Matt Ritchie with his shoulder.

It was The Mail who had the exclusive on the story and Steve Bruce took great delight in banning Craig Hope, who covers Newcastle United for The Mail, Hope one of the very few journalists who have properly challenged Steve Bruce for the shambolic job he has done at St James Park, these past 20 months.

The Mail now have another exclusive on the events of three weeks ago and the aftermath, revealing that Matt Ritchie refused to do an interview with the club’s media rights holders (Sky Sports, BBC etc) when asked by Newcastle United to do so. The intention being for it to be a kiss and make up interview, saying they were all now best of friends again and had all moved on from the incident.

It would have been hoped for Ritchie to echo Bruce’s stance that all parties had moved on and that the interview would show a united front in their fight for survival.

Matt Ritchie has only started six PL games this season and the last of those was Leicester on 3 January 2021, with three sub appearances, the last of those in that Wolves game.

Ritchie did apologise privately for calling Bruce a coward and the Head Coach had said the matter was behind them when he next spoke to the media.

The Wolves substitution fiasco was very reminiscent of Bruce’s first ever NUFC match, Newcastle losing to Arsenal when they conceded the only goal after Steve Bruce created chaos with a Jetro Willems substitution.

Ahead of that match and 2019/20 season kicking off we had a very different Matt Ritchie, happy to be a real cheerleader for the club’s owner, doing a Talksport interview on behalf of the club, backing Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce after Rafa Benitez had been forced out.

Matt Ritchie declaring in early August 2019 about the Newcastle United fans: ‘I don’t understand the unrest I have got to be honest’…

The player stating: ‘I think the owner has been honest in his interviews…’ and when speaking about fan unrest, Matt Ritchie said that it was unrealistic to compete financially with the very top teams. Even though Ritchie clearly knowing that this wasn’t what fans expected and nor was it what they were unhappy with.

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