Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has expressed his surprise at Steve Bruce not playing Matt Ritchie last night.

Newcastle were beaten 3-0 by the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, meaning the team have now gone nine games without a win in all competitions.

Arsenal v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace and Bukayo Saka also scored, as the hosts made light work of Bruce’s side.

Alarmingly, Bruce named a fairly attacking side last night, with Miguel Almiron, Joelinton, Callum Wilson and Andy Carroll all starting.

But they barely laid a glove on Arsenal, and relegation fears are now very real.

BBC pundit Wright believes Bruce made an oversight with his XI, suggesting Ritchie should have started.

Arsenal v Newcastle United - FA Cup Third Round
(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

He said on Premier League Productions: “I cannot understand why Matt Ritchie doesn’t play down that left-hand side.


“He will work hard and get the ball in with some quality. He has the fight and endeavour that they need and I’m looking at Newcastle and I just can’t see it – I can’t see where it is going to come from.”

He didn’t feature last night, but Ritchie has made 11 appearances in total this season having been injured earlier in the campaign.

Newcastle need Ritchie right now

£12 million star Ritchie (BBC Sport) certainly brings passion and personality, and is one of the leaders in the squad.

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

With Newcastle in such a rut right now, it is probably advisable for him to be playing.

Jamal Lewis is not in a good moment and surely has to make way for the Scot who can, at the very least, light a fire under a set of players that desperately need it.

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