Matt Ritchie believes Miguel Almiron was “fantastic throughout the whole game” against Arsenal, feeling both he and Joelinton have given fans something to be excited about ahead of Saturday’s trip to Norwich.
That said, the wing-back then goes on to contradict himself somewhat with regards to our new front two, insisting that the ‘quality wasn’t there’ in the final third on Sunday – although he does accept that he was also to blame on that front.
Here’s what the 29-year-old has had to say to NUFC TV when reflecting on Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal:
“I thought Miguel and Joe were a real handful. Miggy was fantastic throughout the whole game really. I’m sure that will excite everyone involved in the whole club so there’s certainly positives to take.
“I think defensively we were very solid, very sound, and it’s just disappointing that the goal came from a bit of sloppy play from us rather than an outstanding play from Arsenal.
“The quality wasn’t quite there in the final third.
“Speaking for myself, really, I feel I should have had a shot on one and there was one cross that I felt I should have done better with personally.”
“So, yeah, disappointing but it’s early days and we’re going to build on hopefully what we’ve done today and don’t get too down because there’s another one on Saturday and we’re looking forward to that and hopefully a good performance and three points.”
While I believe the pair are genuine talents, some may argue that Almiron and Joelinton haven’t done enough to get Newcastle fans excited just yet, with us failing to trouble what has generally been an extremely leaky Arsenal defence.
I look forward to seeing if that partnership can blossom, but I couldn’t help but feel they were playing too far apart, with Almiron often dropping too deep – something that left the big Brazilian far too isolated.
I must admit, I wasn’t too enamoured by Ritchie’s comments about Mike Ashley and a potential boycott last week, with his interview on talkSPORT making him seem like an Ashley apologist and, to my surprise, someone who didn’t understand fans frustrations,
That said, he’s a player who gives 110% every week. His final ball has become frustratingly inconsistent, but his mix of discipline and tenacity is invaluable to this team at times.