Newcastle were shocking defensively against West Ham, with Matt Ritchie having a torrid afternoon.

While things started brightly with an early goal, it ended with the usual chaos and confusion that we have grown accustomed to during Steve Bruce’s tenure.

Despite deploying a back five, the Magpies were incredibly open. Time and time again, West Ham tore us apart.

Our centre-backs were sluggish off the ball, and ponderous with it. Meanwhile, the defensive naivety of our makeshift wing-backs was exposed time and time again.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Ritchie was a key player at the back end of last season, with his drive and desire giving Newcastle the boost they needed.

He started the new season opener against West Ham, but had an awful game – apart from his assist for Murphy.


Ritchie was constantly caught out of position, particularly in the second half.

While the 31-year-old has been great at times for Newcastle, he is still playing in an unfamiliar position. Once again, it is square pegs in round holes – something that can be said for multiple players in this current 3-5-2 system.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

As Ritchie struggles, a proper left-back in Jamal Lewis is sitting on the bench. The £15million man might feel like he’ll be in the team sooner rather than later after witnessing Ritchie’s latest display.

It was an infuriating second half for the Toon Army, and a lot of fans have voiced their displeasure at Ritchie’s performance.

Newcastle fans hammer Matt Ritchie performance vs West Ham

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