Alarming Matt Ritchie stat emerges – Did anyone else notice this on Saturday?

Following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton, it’s emerged that Matt Ritchie completed just EIGHT passes during his 60-minute stint on the pitch.

Considering we had 62% possession and had a 10-man Saints side where we wanted them for most of the game, it’s pretty alarming that he came away with a pass accuracy of just 57%.

After Lazaro’s eye-catching display in midweek, many felt Bruce made the wrong decision to start the Scottish international ahead of the Austrian – and those calls were justified in the end.

Saint-Maximin did save his blushes, with his late goal meaning Ritchie’s missed penalty will soon become a distant memory, but the recently wing-back needs to offer much more if he wants to nail down a place in Bruce’s side – especially if he’s planning to be an effective top flight winger again.

His energy and industry are priceless traits we can never take for granted and helped reinvent him as a wing-back last season, but when our style of play in this 4-2-3-1 system appears to be based around pace up top and explosive attacks, I’m not sure where Ritchie fits in?

He’s been handed a new contract extension and can still be a valuable squad member, however I’ll be surprised and slightly frustrated if Bruce doesn’t bring Lazaro back in at Ritchie’s expense next weekend.

(Fancy writing for us? Get in touch at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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