Monday, 15 February 2016

It did Ritchie no harm to be a sub

I never find it easy to suggest that players need to be swapped in the team. I'm glad I'm not a manager as they have to do it on a regular basis. Telling Matt Ritchie that he had to take on the bench for the Stoke City game must have been difficult, but Matt himself must have known that his form had dropped in recent weeks and in the Premier League there can be no passengers. 
Matt Ritchie is not left out of the side very often.
What a difference it made to Matt though when he came on at half time. Now Eddie Howe had a player that was going to try and get on the ball, beat his man and push the team forward. Things could not have gone much better for Matt personally when Charlie Daniels carved out a cross from the left that would fall for either Josh King or Matt to contest. Matt's eagerness to impress got him there first and his finish was top draw. Matt has always had that quality finish up his sleeve, but he needed the hunger and desire to get that extra edge into his game and I think being left out of the side gave him that.

That's the old Matt that we saw score so many goals last season. He never flinches in front of goal when he is on form, but we have not seen enough of that lately. Dropping players is a severe tactic when the side has almost picked itself for many weeks, but the players should not feel comfortable that they will always be picked if they are not making things happen. No player is too good to feel that they are not going to be dropped when they are not at it.

Training will be hard in the days before the next Premier League match but Eddie has to find winners now and much of that has to come from within the players. It's not just about the individual but everyone pulling together. Players like Ritchie though can take the lead as they have the quality to do special things and getting Ritchie on the ball is something that we all want to see in the coming weeks.

Extra news
Shaun MacDonald has signed a new one-year deal with the club.

All Departments reviews the Stoke City game in its latest podcast

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