Thursday saw Newcastle United announce that Paul Dummett had signed a new long-term contract.

Despite being set to turn 27 in September and having made over 130 appearances for the Magpies, debate still rages over the Geordie defender.

Injured after only a few minutes of the opening game of the season against Spurs, Dummett returned to Premier League action for the defeat at home to Manchester City in December.

Starting six PL matches since then, if you ignore the 3-1 defeat at The Etihad, Newcastle have only conceded three goals in the other five games.

The problems are more at the other end of the pitch, with the last eight Premier League matches seeing Newcastle unable to score more than one goal in any of those games.

Despite this, the new Paul Dummett contract prompted a reawakening of the debate as to whether he is good enough for the Premier League.

One side arguing that he is a dependable defender who is reliable, gets stuck in, and helps make Newcastle a more solid proposition than any of the other options.

Alternatively, others say that Dummett doesn’t give enough, if anything, going forward and NUFC need a better player who can do both, defend and get up and down the pitch to help the attack.

The fact is, even though neither want to accept it, that they are both right – at least up to a point.

Paul Dummett is the best left-back we have got and yes, Newcastle could do better than him.

However, you could say that about every position on the pitch.

Actually, Paul Dummett maybe ideally sums up the current squad/team, tries his heart out and always attempts to give his best.

My thoughts on the Geordie defender have never really changed, I think he has earned the right to be part of a Premier League Newcastle squad and is an asset, but if we are to look to be a top half side then United need a first choice left-back with more quality.

We aren’t at that point yet though. Rafa hasn’t been backed in the transfer market to bring in better quality players, so without doubt Paul Dummett has shown he is one of our best current 11 players.

Lazaar is hopeless, Haidara little better, Gamez looks finished, whilst Manquillo also gives everything but isn’t as good a defender as Paul Dummett.

What is beyond doubt for me is that the arrival of Kenedy has made a massive difference.

Whoever has played at left-back this season has invariably had Christian Atsu in front of him, the Ghanaian winger turning up only once every four or five matches and only rarely showing any real quality.

Until Kenedy’s arrival, Newcastle didn’t really have a single player who was prepared to take on his man, the best we had was probably DeAndre Yedlin who would occasionally just put his head down and attempt to charge past/through his opponent using his blinding pace.

The Chelsea loan player has not only massively helped the left-back position in terms of less expectation/need on Dummett to get forward, it has indeed transformed the whole team. Having somebody prepared to run with the ball means that the opposition can’t just sit there in the knowledge that Newcastle have no other option than to try and pass through you, looking far too predictable much of the time.

I look forward to a time when Rafa Benitez signs a new exciting quality left-back who can attack and defend, with Paul Dummett becoming the challenger for the position, as well as being cover for left-back and centre-back, a position that many fans think is his best, particularly as it negates his lack of pace and ability to get forward.

I think he would still be a valuable squad member and in the first 18, whilst in the meantime Dummett is a surefire starter.

The fact he is the one Geordie in the team/squad who has come through the ranks makes him unique as well, hopefully that area will also show massive improvement in the years to come, if Ashley goes and Rafa stays – then is properly backed by new owners.

In the shorter-term Newcastle most definitely need character to help survive this relegation battle and Paul Dummett is definitely one of the players who can supply that.

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  • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

    i actually think the whole “aw bless him, he tries his heart out” argument with Dummett is incredibly patronising.

    doesn’t matter whether he’s from Newcastle, London, Spain, France or bloody Mars, at the end of the day he’s a half decent Premier League left back and we should be happy to have him.

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      The same thing happened with Stephen Taylor who was part of a defence which had an incredible run in the Premier League one season. However the local lads tend to give their all when the chips are down and not go missing like foreign players who want away.

      • Jimmy_toons

        Far too simplistic that all foreigners are mercenaries and all local lads play their heart out. If that was the case why did Waddle, Beardsley and Gascoigne leave in the 80s?
        Like today a lack of ambition at the top of our club, and the willingness of the club to cash in on our best players – English or from abroad – leads to mediocrity and ultimately relegation.
        Most teams have 4-5 Paul Dummet type of players in their teams, but it’s the clubs who invest and surround these players with 5 or 6 quality players that determines if you scrap about battling against relegation for years, or compete for European places and go on cup runs.

        • Monkseaton Magpies

          Those three betrayed the club who for two of them would haver never made it in football if it was not for Newcastle.
          The third jumped ship for a club which finished well be low us when we finished eighth . They were rotten to the core but most local lads have given their all.

  • Paul Patterson

    I seem to remember people slating Danny Simpson for not being a great right back, then he leaves and wins a PL medal.
    I’m sick of people knocking ‘steady eddies’ and favouring more continental players who don’t want to be here.

    • Leazes.

      I remember centre back Frank Clark, recognised by Clough but not here, backtracked all of the time without tackling to the consternation of fans.

      I was in the Gallowgate when he scored his goal….

      Dummy is okay.

      • Scott Robinson

        Was that the League Cup game (Scunthorpe?). He celebrated like I would if we ever won something. Clark never dived in and was a good reader of the game, great positional sense and a surprisingly good crosser of the ball, whilst the fans always wanted defenders to get stuck in (if you ever witnessed Peter Kelly-fast, got suck in, and a crowd favourite revelation until he got injured). We had decent full backs Craig/Clark, then another two Nattrass/Kennedy, but never had a decent CB alongside Moncur or a great keeper. A great CB, and a keeper like Shilton, we would have possibly won something as there was little wrong with our attacking players!

      • Viru leckworth

        So was I. Against Doncaster rovers wasn’t it?

      • Jimmy_toons

        6 nowt I think against Donny in the non-sponsored League Cup and Supermac didn’t play but Keith Robson took his chance and got a hatrick. Clarke got one and it could have been Cannell who also got on the scoresheet, but I remember Clark as a left back.
        I think teams can have players like Dummets playing for them, so long as you have a number of quality players in the team as well. We don’t have that which I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this post, due to lack of, or more realistically, no ambition from the owner.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Danny Simpson had HBA as a foil in front of him, people wonder why he was exposed.

      I agree with you, good defenders are only missed once they are gone.

  • mactoon

    He’s a steady performer and he is the best we have but the fact we have given him a new long contract indicates to me that he is the best we are going to have. Rafa wanted a new left back but I doubt this will happen now

    • Jezza

      The new contract for Dummett is Ashley’s way of telling Rafa there will be no new left back.

      • Paul Busby

        Perhaps, but I think Rafa quite likes Dummett.

        • mactoon

          Maybe but he wanted a left back in the Jan window so he wanted better. As Jezza says I think this shows he isn’t getting one

          • Peaky Magpie

            Dummett IS the summer transfer budget.

  • Damon Horner

    I think whether we need a new left back or not, there should always be a place for Dummett in the squad – not just as a left back. He is tactically aware, good in the air and has that desire to dig in and help his team, I always wonder if the likes of Dummett would have been the difference in moments like the Perez O.G. Vs Leicester.

  • robbersdog

    He’s a decent player with a great attitude. I’m glad he’s signed a new contract, and it’ll give him the confidence and peace of mind to perform to the best of his abilities for the rest of the season.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    There is next to no difference between the team in seventh Burnley and us and all the teams at the bottom. To break into the top six on a regular basis you are talking about spending hundreds of million perhaps fifty million for most positions. When or if Ashley leaves the fans may have their party but the after party will leave them with a big hangover. It’s great to have players like Dummett and Steven Taylor who care not foreign players who jump ship when a higher wage offer comes in and that includes Shay Given as well as the many full backs who have left.

    • mactoon

      The prime aim of a football club is to compete on the football pitch. It’s a football owner’s responsibility to improve the club on the football pitch to enable them to compete and improve season by season. Ashley has purposely failed to do this and as a result we struggle, not compete. If the next owner aims to improve the club I won’t be having a hangover because Ashley has left.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Fat Lad does know Ed Sheeran is a musician when he turns up at SJP in June doesn’t he and not the creative midfielder we’ve been yearning for ???

  • NUFC9

    While he is of lower quality than Aaron Hughes, Dummett is to us at our current level what Hughes was to us when we were a top 6 side. Solid, dependable, has his heart in the club, no nonsense, good professional, can cover a couple of positions but just not good enough to move us forward.

    I’m happy to keep him with the hope we aim to sign a better LB and Dummett can provide back up and competition – assuming he’s happy with that role and isn’t on daft money.

    Hughes was never one of our star players but letting him go for a million quid was a bad move. We spent far more money on replacements that weren’t as good or committed. I think the same would be true of Dummett. I just hope this isn’t Ashley’s way of copping out of strengthening at LB.

    • Scott Robinson

      I doubt we ever replaced Hughes, so there’s a warning.

      • NUFC9

        True. All kinds of bigger/more expensive names were signed to push him out or as supposed replacements but none did a better job. Boumsong, Bramble, Babayaro, Stephen Carr, Rozenhal, Cacapa, Geremi, Ronnie Johnsen.

        I think we all know that under the current regime, if Dummett was allowed to leave he wouldn’t be replaced and we’d have Manquillo at LB with Haidara as back up.

  • Wor Lass

    ” … debate still rages over the Geordie defender.” Really, Jane? I thought he`d seen off the boo boys with his performances over the last couple of seasons. I don`t remember seeing many posts this week knocking him. Virtually every one I`ve seen has been along the lines of, “Well done lad, richly deserved …” etc. I don`t think his lack of enterprise going forward is so much because he can`t do it as as that he`s felt, in the past, that he shouldn`t do it. He`s looked more confident this season and should benefit from having a player, Kenedy, in front of him who`s both hungry for the ball and can actually do something with it.

    • mentalman

      Kenedy also doesn’t shy away from his defensive duties, Dummett is quite often left against two opposition players when the likes of atsu are ahead of him

      • nufcslf

        So true and those who don’t know a bloody thing about football would blame the defender and not how they ended up in the sh*t trying to play two positions in the first place. Not a fan of lazy players at any level, they are usually the ones moaning to everyone else on the pitch for the same mistake they just made themselves. Something when coaching I stomp out immediately.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Reliable 100% player

    • Leicester Mag

      Agreed and happy to admit to being wrong in the past

      • Geordiegiants

        Nice one !

  • Scott Robinson

    Dummett is a very good defender. He is one of the fastest players on our books and one of the fastest defenders in the premiership, yes ‘officially’. He can tackle. He can head the ball. Has phenomenal energy; witness his saving tackles late in the match. Reads the game well and can use both feet. Unlike most full backs he can cover the whole defence and perfect defending dead balls situations as he has that ability to play CB. WE play with wingers and there is no need for every full back to be over lapping. He can do it, but maybe not as well as some, with the final cross. Yet ‘some’ don’t defend as well as Dummett and many full backs are useless in the air defending corners etc.

    He has the burden of being a ‘Geordie’ which always is a sack on the back, with the odd exception like Peter Beardsley. It is a fact that Gazza and Waddle got more stick than Tommy Gibb and Frank Clark from the terraces as I was there to witness!!!

    • Damon Horner

      Totally agree, all about the large disparity when it comes to people’s opinions on a full back’s purpose between defending and attacking, sometimes the full back is just a defender and this is the case with Dummett, he is a defender first and even if replaced at LB, is there a better player to be the “next one in to the team” or to push the players in the team?

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      i can’t recall Gazza getting stick, the Waddler, yes. With Waddle, we didn’t appreciate how good he was.

    • Michael Lisle

      I agree with everything you say Scott apart from saying that Dummett is 2-footed. Like several other left backs he can,t/wont use his right foot. It limits his ability going forward as he can never come inside and defensively he struggles with crosses from the other wing as he prefers his left which usually results in the ball ballooning up in the air. He has been great in the last few games and deserves a contract but I do wonder why coaches don,t work on this [ I will leave Messi out of this]

      • nufcslf

        An educated left foot is nothing to sniff at. There very very few players lucky enough to be two footed. Just about all have a favourite, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to swing your weaker foot at the ball and make half decent contact of course, especially at a professional level.

  • mentalman

    good article until you got drawn into the stupid comment of having a lack of pace

  • Paul Smith

    He’s a decent crosser too… Nobody ever mentions that when criticising his contribution going forward.

  • Mirandinha9

    The awarding of a new contract to Dummett is utterly symbolic as to the mediocrity of the club – he is lower Premiership level at best and if the club ever harboured aspirations of getting into the top 6 (which it never will with Cashley at the helm), he wouldn’t be about. He’s a million miles from the quality of Beresford or even Robbie Elliott.

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment. A player of Dummet’s ability would have been quickly moved on during the Keegan era.

      • Mirandinha9

        Precisely and that’s the ambition that the club should have, not the primary ambition of finishing 17th every season. The fact Dummett is a Geordie holds no weight for me. People will say the Geordie lads ‘never hide’ when the going gets tough, but, Shola, hardly ‘busted his gut’.

        • Geordiegiants

          He isn’t Shola though, so to compare them is just plain daft,

    • Geordiegiants

      The thing is we arent and never will be challenging for top six under the cancer, so it nice to have a solid home grown player in the ranks that knows what it means to roll up his sleeves and go out to battle. You are going all the way back to Beresford and Elliot to point out a good left back. Dummett is one of the best we have had since then, probably only Enrique been better.
      Im also sure people were saying the same about Danny Simpson a few years ago.

  • Stephen Paylor

    Pleased we have him but left back will be a position Rafa will be looking at in the summer. He can play at centre back, is home grown too and i think is a great squad player. Haidara contract expiry, Gamez released, Lazaar an unknown future. New left back in the summer will happen

  • Geordiegiants

    Dummett is our best left back since Beresford, Enrique might possibly be ahead of him attacking wise, but Dummett is the best defender by far.

    • Lhc

      Olivier Bernard was our best left back since beresford, good going forward good defensively. Very underrated. Always remember him taking a Robert free kick square on in face, bambi on ice.

      • Geordiegiants

        Very very erratic, he had a good game here and there and was a decent player but hardly a world beater.

        • Lhc

          Out of Bernard and Dummett tho you would rather have Dummett? Bernard was in a champions league campaign UEFA cup campaign, could you ever see Dummett in either of those, giving Dummett this new contract shows how times have declined.

          • Geordiegiants

            In this side Dummett, in an attacker all out Keegan/Robson style team Bernard.