Last season, Matt Ritchie’s role at Newcastle changed.
He arrived as a right-winger, but was transformed into a left wing-back by Rafa Benitez.
The change revitalised Ritchie, who had been struggling to impact games like he used to.
In the Championship, he was a menace down the right. Scoring and assisting, he was one of our best players that season. Well worth the £12million he cost from Bournemouth.
Steve Bruce has continued to use him on the left of defence since his return from injury, but maybe it’s time to mix it up.
There is pressure on the Newcastle boss to make big changes against Burnley. Personnel will change, but the big difference should be the system.
Fans are pining for four at the back, which could see Ritchie’s role change again.
If Bruce does decide to switch to a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1, the 30-year-old should return to the right of midfield.
Miguel Almiron looks lost out there. He’s unable to influence proceedings, and either needs to be on the left or behind the striker.
But Ritchie has proven over the years that he’s comfortable on the right. And he can also help out defensively with his relentless running.
Dwight Gayle seems likely to start up top, and Joelinton should drop out completely. He needs a spell on the bench.
While Ritchie hasn’t been excellent since returning, his presence on the right wing will fill fans with more confidence than Joelinton playing on the flank or behind the striker.
Bruce has a chance to totally shuffle the deck on Saturday against Burnley. He needs to pick a team that can cause Sean Dyche’s side problems.
An attacking midfield trio of Allan Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Ritchie would provide more balance and could help us end this barren run of form.
It’s certainly worth a try…