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Opinion

New published statistics suggest even Martin Dubravka struggling under chaotic Steve Bruce style?

1 year ago
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Martin Dubravka quickly became Mr Reliable when he arrived at St James Park.

Stepping up to a major European league for the first time at the mature age of 29, he excelled from the off.

Thrown in for his debut at home to Manchester United and Newcastle deep in relegation trouble, Martin Dubravka kept a clean sheet and was man of the match as NUFC beat the Mancs 1-0 in February 2018.

He never looked back.

The keeper only conceding 11 goals in 12 Premier League matches in 2017/18, only two clubs outside the top four conceded less than Newcastle that season.

Seamlessly moving into 2018/19, Martin Dubravka made it 50 Premier League appearances in a row.

The NUFC keeper conceding only 48 goals in 38 games despite it being yet another relegation fight. Once again only two clubs outside the top four conceded less goals than Newcastle.

Martin Dubravka and his defence benefiting from the expertise and experience of Rafa Benitez, relentless drilling his team on the training pitch so that everybody, especially the defence, knew their jobs.

Fast forward to 2019/20 and Steve Bruce has now already decided that extra training is needed on what should have been a day off after losing 3-1 at Norwich and then LESS training was needed after Leicester, cancelling a training session as he was so angry (confused?) with the 5-0 hammering.

Martin Dubravka is even being dragged down by this Steve Bruce chaotic attempt at managing/coaching, the keeper already having conceded 13 goals in only seven Premier League games this season.

His average goals per game conceded for Newcastle being:

2017/18: 0.91 goals per game

2018/19: 1.26 goals per game

2019/20: 1.86 goals per game

In 50 Premier League games under Rafa Benitez it was an average 1.18 goals per game, under Steve Bruce so far it is 1.86 goals per game.

That is worrying enough but new stats from The Other 14 (who present stats and tables for the clubs who aren’t the ‘big six’) give extra cause for concern:

As you can see, out of the 14 non-big six clubs, only once goalkeeper has a worse save percentage than Martin Dubravka. Watford’s Ben Foster with 48% and Tom Heaton at Villa & Dubravka on 58%.

Martin Dubravka has still been one of the few Newcastle players to do themselves justice this season but I think it does point to him not quite hitting the heights of the previous year and a half.

The chaos Steve Bruce is overseeing certainly doesn’t help with ever changing team selections and formations. Can the Newcastle players prove they are better than what we have seen so far if this head coach remains in position?

We are about to find out because once Mike Ashley has a patsy/stooge in charge of team affairs, history tells us it takes an awful lot for him to finally get rid of them.

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