'Joke', 'no credibility': Newcastle fans react to omission of 27-year-old from PFA team of the year
By Russell Edge
The Professional Footballer’s Association Championship team of the year has left a number of Newcastle United fans scratching their heads on Twitter.
The accolade, which is voted for by fellow Championship professionals, identifies the best players in the league without any fan bias.
This year’s team was dominated by Brighton and Newcastle players, who saw four and three players named respectively.
— PFA (@PFA) April 20, 2017
For the Magpies, defender and captain Jamaal Lascelles, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and top scorer Dwight Gayle were all named in the XI.
However, fans of the club were left questioning the absence of midfielder Matt Ritchie, who has played a pivotal role in attempting to secure immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
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Instead, it was Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert and Fulham’s Tom Cairney who were named on the flanks, with Huddersfeld’s Aaron Mooy joining Ritchie’s teammate Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park.
Scottish international Ritchie, 27, who joined Newcastle from Bournemouth in the summer of 2016, despite the club’s relegation, has flourished under Rafa Benitez, scoring 11 goals and contributing seven assists from midfield.
Here are a selection of messages from fans on Twitter all questioning Ritchie’s exclusion:
I might be biased but how Clark and Ritchie missed out on team of the year has got me stumped? #NUFC
— Nick Cahill (@nickcahill9) April 20, 2017
No Clark or Ritchie?!…whats that about!.. #NUFC
— MartinCLight (@MartinCLight) April 20, 2017
— Steve Burn (@SteveBurn91) April 20, 2017
— Adam Douglass (@Dougie93) April 20, 2017
No Matt Ritchie ???????? https://t.co/38wJtpXbM2
— Liam (@Liam_Aspo) April 20, 2017
— ᴬᵈᵃᵐ (@AdamLittle99) April 20, 2017
No Ritchie????????? https://t.co/uwLn5sYR2R
— Ben (@BenArmy_6) April 20, 2017
No Matt Ritchie, no Ciaran Clark = no credibility!
— wayne mann (@waynekmann) April 20, 2017
In other Newcastle news, a Newcastle striker was named in the EFL’s team for Easter.