Matt Ritchie has talked briefly about the ongoing takeover saga – questioning how quickly things could change with FFP restrictions – while also having positive words to say about current gaffer Steve Bruce.
Prior to the takeover rumours, the Scotland international signed a contract extension, and he’s now had his say about widespread reports linking the Saudis with a £300m arrival at St James’ Park.
Speaking to In The Box, here’s what Ritchie said:
“I’ve not really looked at it but you hear rumours of a takeover.
“I don’t think that in football with financial fair play rules, can things change overnight?
“Will I see it change?
“I don’t know if there are changes.
“I’m not too concerned about that sort of thing – the main thing for me is I have really enjoyed my time at Newcastle and we have some really good young players.
“With the team that we have got, with the top six, and even seventh or eighth are too far away.
“For a team like Newcastle if we can finish in the top 10 and maybe we can sneak into Europe.”
He talks about whether new owners would bring change, but the fact he thinks we’re ‘too far away’ from ‘7th or 8th’ under the current regime suggests he’s just answered his own question on that front!
Ritchie also gave Bruce a massive vote of confidence, which furthers the belief that he is a popular figure in the dressing room.
“He’s a good guy,”
“He’s like one of the boys really and you can imagine him when he was 25 or 30 being the same as what we are.
“He and his staff are nice fellas.
“They put on enjoyable sessions.”
“He was brilliant with me when I was injured and I haven’t got a bad word to say about him.”
People always perform better at something – no matter the task – when they enjoy doing it. Maybe this is why our players have quietly impressed the doubters so far this season?
Ritchie not having any inside knowledge of an imminent takeover would worry me if this weren’t Newcastle United, where communication has almost been like an alien word during Mike Ashley’s tenure at the club! So fear not on that front.
He could still have a big part to play for us post-takeover, albeit as a squad player.
Ritchie’s versatility and influence in the dressing room would still be a vital asset to the club, especially as it will likely go through a transition phase should the takeover be finalised.