Though Rafa Benitez’s rotation policy at Newcastle United has swathes of supporters guessing on match-days, there have been a few ever-presents in his sides this term.
Summer signing Matt Ritchie has played his part in most of the games during the Championship campaign, establishing himself as one of the most vital members of the squad so far.
The Scotland international helps provide balance on the right-hand side of the 4-2-3-1 formation in play at St. James’ Park, as well as chipping in with goals and assists.
A remarkable coup at this level, the former Bournemouth man will miss this weekend’s game with Cardiff City through suspension.
Such is the nature of the strength in depth available to the Toon Army now, there are a number of options to choose from as the side look a more collective unit.
Still, that’s not stopped Ritchie from venting his frustration at having to sit out of proceedings.
”When I watch games at home, I struggle to watch as I want to play. I’m not the best spectator”, he told the Chronicle.
“But when I was ill the other week, I came and watched the Brentford game. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We got two early goals, and I sat back in my seat and enjoyed the rest.
“I’m disappointed not to be involved, but I’m sure the lads will be raring to go and organised as ever. Hopefully, we’ll get the job done.”