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Opinion

The compelling reasons why Newcastle need to be worried about January interest in Martin Dubravka

11 months ago
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Martin Dubravka was Newcastle United’s man of the match, again.

As Steve Bruce had in place his usual ultra-negative tactics against even bottom three Southampton at home, it was only the Slovakian goalkeeper who kept United in the game.

Without Dubravka, Newcastle’s late rally yesterday would have been immaterial, as the Saints would have already had the game won.

Indeed, this was also the case against both Manchester City and Sheffield United.

Martin Dubravka man of the match both of those games as well and without him, I think it is patently obvious Newcastle would have zero points from these last three games rather than the seven they did pick up.

Just what is his value to Newcastle United and indeed, what would be his value to another club?

However, he bizarrely continues to be the Premier League’s kind of best kept secret.

Not quite totally secret as he is acknowledged up to a point BUT not the focus he should get for his displays.

I had a look around this morning for who the pundits had in their Premier League teams of the week.

Jamie Redknapp had Watford’s Ben Foster in goal after a clean sheet at home to Palace.

As for Garth Crooks, he gave Martin Dubravka a mention in passing but chose David De Gea after conceding just one as Man Utd won the derby.

‘Martin Dubravka’s performance for Newcastle saved the day against Southampton and Vicente Guaita was responsible for Crystal Palace keeping a clean sheet away at Vicarage Road. However, neither fixture contained the same temperatures as the Etihad Stadium.

De Gea was the coolest man on the pitch and produced two saves in the latter stages of the game that, under the circumstances, were world class. That’s why he’s a world class keeper.’

Surely though it can be only a matter of time before one or more of the ambitious clubs start to realise that Martin Dubravka is doing the business week after week, month after month, year after year.

He has now played 66 consecutive Premier League matches for Newcastle United and conceded only 82 goals in that time. Massively impressive, especially for a club permanently fighting relegation.

How though does this compare to all the other Premier League clubs in this same time period?

There are 15 other clubs that have been in the top tier during Dubravka’s time at NUFC and here is the comparison below.

The goals each Premier League club have conceded since Martin Dubravka made his Newcastle debut back in February 2018 (total goals conceded and then in brackets, the goals conceded in final 12 games of 2017/18, goals conceded in 2018/19, then goals conceded in first 16 PL matches of 2019/20):

43 Liverpool (7 + 22 + 14)

50 Man City (8 + 23 +19)

74 Tottenham (12 +39 +23)

78 Chelsea (15 + 39 +24)

82 Martin Dubravka (11 + 48 + 23)

83 Leicester (25 + 48 + 10)

87 Everton (13 + 46 + 28)

87 Crystal Palace (16 + 53 +18)

90 Arsenal (16 + 51 + 23)

92 Man Utd (19 + 54 +19)

102 West Ham (22 + 55 + 25)

103 Brighton (19 + 60 + 24)

108 Watford (19 + 59 + 30)

113 Burnley (16 + 68 + 29)

118 Bournemouth (24 + 70 + 24)

118 Southampton (18 + 65 + 35)

Quite incredible that both Southampton and Bournemouth have conceded a massive 36 more goals compared to Dubravka.

What about Man Utd and Arsenal though…top six clubs conceding more than lowly Newcastle United??

Our old friend at Everton, England’s number one, has also conceded more, despite Everton spending fortunes and finishing higher up the Premier League than Newcastle.

Indeed, only four have conceded less than Martin Dubravka has in these past 66 games and Spurs it is only four less and Chelsea eight less.

Compelling reasons I believe as to why Newcastle fans need to be very worried about January interest in Martin Dubravka and what Mike Ashley would do if an offer ‘too good to turn down’ does come in.

Remember, he sold Andy Carroll back in January 2011 because he thought Newcastle had won enough points to look as though they would be safe, rather than trying to push on and build success.

The same in January 2014, Mike Ashley happy to sell Yohan Cabaye rather than build on an excellent first half of the season.

Even mid-season in 2014/15, the NUFC owner was happy to bank compensation for Alan Pardew and appoint John Carver in his place, thinking what is the worst that could happen with Newcastle comfortable…only for Carver to almost ‘succeed’ in the impossible, Newcastle only staying up on the final day.

So if an offer came in of £20m-£30m, which is what I think Martin Dubravka is worth as a minimum, will Mike Ashley say no way, or will it be a case of that kind of money for a 31 year old (birthday on 15 January), Newcastle already on XX points, we only paid £4m, job’s a good un, stick that Darlow in goal for the rest of the season and we’ve got Freddie Woodman back in the summer, we could make him the new number one on the cheap (wages and no transfer fee).

With Mike Ashley I ALWAYS fear the worst, especially now we are back to Ashley’s preferred model of a Head Coach who has no say on transfers in and out.

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