It is the toughest position in a team because if you make a mistake it almost always means a goal conceded AND Karl Darlow was badly at fault for both the first and third goals against Brentford.
However, in truth, he has been really poor this season so far and there have been a number of goals in his other seven Premier League games, when you think if Martin Dubravka had been playing, it would have been a different story.
On top of those goals conceded against Brentford on Saturday, Darlow’s distribution was really poor and his decision making on whether or not to leave his line, both on crosses and when balls played through and over the defence, was shocking. He gives his defence absolutely zero confidence AND this is a defence that absolutely needs somebody to give them some (confidence).
I don’t know any Newcastle fan who wouldn’t have played Martin Dubravka yesterday and Eddie Howe has learnt a painful lesson in his first game.
If he has any lingering doubts…you only need to look at the stats…
Since the start of the 2020/21 season in Newcastle United Premier League matches:
Played 33 Won 7 Drawn 9 Lost 17 Goals Conceded 58 Points accumulated 30
Average points per game – 0.91
Average goals conceded per game – 1.76
Played 13 Won 5 Drawn 5 Lost 3 Goals Conceded 19 Points accumulated 20
Average points per game – 1.54
Average goals conceded per game – 1.46
Out injured for the opening 14 Premier League games last (2020/21) season, insult was added to injury when then Steve Bruce failed to put him in the team, despite Karl Darlow’s rapidly deteriorating form after some promising performances early on.
From late December, Bruce kept Martin Dubravka on the bench for 11 PL games and Newcastle won only two them. A different story though once restored to the team, the final 13 PL match seeing Dubravka and NUFC losing only three of them, with five wins and five draws.
Ahead of this past fortnight’s international games and Eddie Howe’s first match against Brentford, Martin Dubravka talked to media (see below) in Slovakia about the new Newcastle United owners and Eddie Howe.
Martin Dubravka has been fully fit and available for a month now and kept a clean sheet against Malta when playing for Slovakia last week.
Even without that Karl Darlow horror show yesterday, a fully fit Martin Dubravka has to play every match, and having seen that at St James Park on Saturday, Eddie Howe certainly won’t have any doubts now.
Martin Dubravka talking to sport.sk – 8 November 2021:
“The new management [Newcastle United owners] came to see us and expressed their great support.
“They outlined some short-term plans to us and I can tell you that they are planning to rebuild the training centre, which is the first goal so far.
“Of course, some reinforcements should come in January [as well].
“It was positive for me that they came to us and said plainly how things were.
“They wanted to bring in a new coach and I think this should be an announced change in the coming days.
“It is positive for me that they communicate with us every day and they are also often in the training centre.
“Some negotiations have probably already taken place [with Eddie Howe], as he also appeared at the last match [at Brighton] but I do not know anything more.
“I would like the situation to be resolved, to let us know with what style and philosophy the new coach will want to present himself, so that we can concentrate only on football.
“I see Eddie Howe positively because I had the opportunity to play several matches against Bournemouth and his team always presented itself with combination football. It was not at all easy to play against him, which is good if such a change were to take place. If it’s him, then time will tell if it will be the right move.
“He is a modern type of coach and Bournemouth, a relatively smaller club, was not only able to get into the Premier League, but also keep them there for a long time with a low budget, which is also a certain indicator.
“Wherever I worked, I had to fight for my position. Whether it was in the Czech Republic, Denmark or Slovakia.
“In my view, nothing changes. I always had to show myself in the best possible light, [so] if the new leadership [owners] decides to bring reinforcements, whether to a goalkeeper post or some other position, it will be up to the individual players to deal with it.
“At the moment, I am just thinking about being in good health and getting back in goal as soon as possible.
“I believe that in the future I will be part of the ‘new’ Newcastle, which has great goals and ambitions.”
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