Episode 52 – Matthew “Ketch” Ketchell

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The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by Matthew “Ketch” Ketchell, editor of the North East Football App, former marketing and social media strategist at Match of the Day Magazine and host of the Searching For Shineys podcast, to discuss all things Newcastle United, the sacred nature of football in the North East of England, as well as Ketch’s journey to “collect” all of the players from the ’97 Merlin Premier League sticker book.

Icebreaker:

Riffing on their guest’s name, the group remove ketchup from the table both literally and figuratively, as they each name their favorite condiment/spread.

On Ketch’s Journey as a Newcastle Supporter, his Work and Projects:

As a local lad, Ketch’s first taste of Magpies’ football as a youngster came at St. James’ Park when he watched a Toon side, managed by the legendary Kevin Keegan, dismantle Brentford F.C. in a match infamous for a disallowed Rob Lee goal from the halfway line. Growing up watching “the entertainers”, Ketch was spoiled by what he fears may well be the Newcastle United side of a lifetime, as things have gone downhill for the club ever since not long after the turn of the millennium.

Ketch is editor of the North East Football App, which provides news on the regions most successful clubs, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. He puts much of the importance that the beautiful game holds in the lives of the locals down to the relatively scarce number of big clubs in the North east, compared to other hotbeds of football in England.

When working for Match of the Day Magazine, prior to the pandemic, Ketch was involved in a good amount of market research. As such and given MOTD Mag’s target audience, he got a unique insight into the mind of the young football fans of today, who Ketch says are swayed by individual players outside of their respective favorite teams more so than previous generations of supporters. The modern day fan follows their “first” team and then typically has an affection towards clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG because of the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe etc.

Ketch is a co-host of Searching for Shineys: The 90s Football Podcast. Inspired by the 1997 Merlin Premier League sticker book, Ketch and Richie track down players who featured in the ’97 edition of the collectible sticker album and chat to them about their stories from the early ages of the Premier League. The show has so far featured the likes of Lee Dixon, Keith Gillespie and Ian Harte.

Who Are Ya?!:

The group play “Who Are Ya?!”, the guessing game where a mystery player must be guessed based on a vague clue. This edition features three players who all played for Newcastle United.

On Newcastle United’s Fortunes – Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce and the Players:

Ketch gives his take on why things have gone so wrong for the club since local businessman Mike Ashley’s takeover back in 2007. Two relegations later and after several famous flirtations with prospective new owners, rumblings have resurfaced about a Saudi takeover after it seemingly collapsed at the end of the previous season. Ketch is of the opinion that anything besides Ashley will be an improvement for the club at this point.

Ketch has praise for Steve Bruce the man but a lack of time for Bruce as the manager of his beloved Newcastle. He feels as though the future of Bruce much depends on the future of Ashley, who will likely be thrilled with the job that his current manager has done, not least in spite of the Newcastle supporters.

Allan Saint-Maximin is a player that Ketch thinks the world of; he’s an edge-of-your-seat footballer, the likes of which the club haven’t had since the days of Ben Arfa and players such as Ginola, Asprilla and Gascoine before him. Off the pitch, Newcastle’s French maestro is an asset to the community and a club legend in the making… if they can hang on to him. As for Joe Willock, Ketch sees a very high ceiling for the Arsenal loanee’s potential and thinks that he’s largely saved Newcastle United’s season since arriving in January.

21st Century Newcastle United XI Team Builder:

Ketch picks his best/favorite Newcastle United starting eleven of players who have worn the famous black and white in the twenty first century and shares some stories of encounters that he’s had with a few of them along the way.

GK: Rob Elliot
RB: Warren Barton
CB: Fabricio Coloccini
CB: Steven Taylor
LB: Paul Dummett
RM: Allan Saint-Maximin
CM: Yohan Cabaye
CM: Gary Speed
LM: Jonás Gutiérrez
ST: Alan Shearer
ST: Callum Wilson

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