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Coach Praises Goalkeeper – He Set His Standards Very High

Martin Dubravka was named the North East Football Writers’ Association player of the year award.

That coincided with a rare error the goalkeeper made that costs us 2 points at Wolves.

But when you see the replay, Dubravka was definitely fouled by goalscorer Willy Boly, but the referee allowed the goal to stand in the 95th minute.


Apart from that Dubravka had played well in the game and had made some good saves.

Simon Smith is the goalkeeping coach at Newcastle, and he has full confidence in the 30-year-old Slovakian goalkeeper who has set his standards massively high since coming in on loan 13 months ago.

Martin Dubravka – sets his standards very high

This is what Smith told ChronicleLive today about Newcastle’s number one goalkeeper:

“He has played so well, and the expectation levels have gone up so much for him.”

“No disrespect to Martin, but we paid €6M for him.”

“You look at Liverpool, they paid over €60M for their goalkeeper Allison and Chelsea paid around €76m for their keeper.”

“Martin has shown that he is probably in the top six most consistent goalkeepers in the league and I think that is why there has been that attention on him.”

“His consistency and his high standards are why we all trust him so much.”

“When the crowd sing his name, it’s not something he has been used to earlier in his career.” 

“I was saying to him the other day that it is another side of playing in the Premier League that he has had to deal with.”

“With all respect to where he has been before, there is a massive gulf to the level he is at now.”

“He made his debut against Manchester United and did really well.”

“His performance didn’t surprise us because we saw what he was capable of in training.”

“But he also showed that he could handle playing in front of 52,000, because that is something he wasn’t used to doing and it shows what he is about.”

“Doing well obviously helps, but I think it’s clear that the supporters appreciate him, and I know that he appreciates their support.”

“On Saturday, Karl Darlow played the first-half and Freddie Woodman came on and played the second-half.”

“You’re never worried about any of them playing.”

“The competition between the three of them is excellent and, as a bonus, they all get on with each other very well.

“They know only one can play, and that’s up to the manager.”

“I give the manager feedback on all of our goalkeepers, but it’s up to him who plays, so that takes a bit of the pressure off me.”

“But it’s an area where we are very strong, and we are very lucky in that sense.”

We expect Dubravka to return to his impeccable form during the 12 game run-in to the season.

His own standards are sky-high, and he’s been an excellent acquisition by the club.

Comments welcome.

61 comments so far

  • geordietom

    Feb 19, 2019 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #1


    i know what you mean a Dwight Gayle type player … without the fitness issues … who can bang them in …

    that sort of player costs big ( decent ) money …

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Feb 19, 2019 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #2

    Wonder if there’s the possibility of a straight swap with WBA so they can keep Gayle and we get Rondon? Gayle is slightly younger, seems happy and settled there, and Rondon is a bit older, with a contract that’s due to expire in the near future. Both parties (well, maybe not Ashley) would be pleased with a deal I reckon.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 19, 2019 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #3

    Photo caption :-

    “Hoss! ……..Hoss!………HOSS!! – THAT WAY!”

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 19, 2019 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #4

    We need to be patient, especially with keepers. We know they all make mistakes… De Gea, Cech…all of them. He’s done great, hats off to him, a real find. If he can develop his command of the box on crosses then great!

  • Mag52

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #5


  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #6

    If Chelsea get humped at Wembley on Sunday
    vs Man City in the Carabao cup final I think
    Maurizio Sarri will be down the road.

  • Mag52

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #7


    We’ve not seen eye to eye on various things in the past, and no doubt won’t at times in the future, but I have to say that, like you, as stated two or three threads ago, should Rafa call it a day, I’d be OK with another visit to the championship if for no other reason than to know that Ashley wanted it so much less than me, and the fact that he had brought it entirely upon his own head, and that it would cost him serious money, would make it all the more acceptable.

  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #8


    Unless Ashley changes dramatically , the only hope
    for success for NUFC is for him to sell up.

    If you agree with that – surely a relegation makes a sale less likely.

    Therefore you could be accused of cutting off your
    nose to spite your face – no ?

  • hibbit

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #9

    well its off with the nose for me no other course of action will have any effect on ashLIE cut off the sky money and as many season tickets as possibly.
    its the only action he will understand,

    Rafa goes we go all 9 of us.

  • chicousa

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #10

    As the frog “subtlety” suggests “occasionally”, Mike Ashley May have no intention of selling the club as long as it is making him money and offers nearly free advertising for SD.

    If we a stay up in the EPL with minimal transfer investment on Ashley’s part, then a sale may be LESS likely!

  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #11

    If toon 22 was correct your argument is strong.
    However the ex NUST guy who now lives in Dubai
    said the other day , that a contact told him , that a team
    of Kenyon’s people were in SJP last month having a
    sniff around.

    So it would appear the desire is there – just that it’s haggle
    time at the moment.

  • chicousa

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #12

    I hope MA DOES really want to sell! I also hope he does not d!ck around with prospective buyers!

  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Feb 19, 2019 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #13

    I hear that the leaked tops for next season are already able to bought via the Chinese market.

    It got me thinking that would it not be a good idea for someone to forward the notion to Toon fans to boycott official shirt sales and buy the Chinese knock offs instead of lining the cretinous owners pockets with £60 a pop tops that the playing side (or stadium and training ground for that matter) don’t see a penny from?

  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #14

    Neil Mitchell the ex chair of the NUST (now living in Dubai)
    said last week:-

    “Word from a well-placed source reached me a few weeks ago
    that not only was the interest from Peter Kenyon genuine , but
    that accountants and lawyers were in the club and , over the course
    of four or five days asking the kind of questions, both operationally
    and financially, that seemed to hint something big was under way.”

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #15

    Neil Mitchell has also previously stated:

    “”Is Mike Ashley really a willing seller?
    There is, however, one common theme in how these bids progress: Mike Ashley. He is possibly the least willing seller of a football club I have ever come across.

    He seems to find a way to be the Becher’s Brook in the course of any sale. His opening gambit is often a ‘show me the money’ move – asking potential buyers to buy a box for five years to prove they have the funds. They want potential buyers to pay a deposit to get around the table – that sort of thing.

    If that isn’t in the mix one tactic that always seems to come into play is the moving goalposts of asking price. Be that publicly, as seemed to happen with PCP, or privately where once a bidder is at the table an excuse is found to ramp up the price as negotiations are started.

    Then there are always the little details. What income stream does he want to continue to get from the new owner? Does he want free advertising for a period? Does he want control of merchandise for a certain time post sale? There is also movement of club assets between divisions of MASH (Ashley’s businesses grouped together) which makes it difficult to tell if what you are buying is the whole entity that he originally bought? (Hint: it isn’t).””

  • chicousa

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #16

    The fact that Mitchell was previous so skeptical of Ashley’s true intentions, makes his more recent statements provided by Jib a bit more hopeful!

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #17

    From the article yesterday:

    “”My take? I believe there was genuine interest. I certainly don’t think this was part of an elaborate hoax. I do believe, however, that after a period of investigation Mr Kenyon’s team came to the same conclusion others have: Mike Ashley has significantly overvalued the club whilst continuing to harm his asset by running it like a ghost ship.””

    The conclusion is that any potential buyer would need to invest in the stadium, training facilities and Academy and presumaby higher extra staff to actually run the club as a proper self sustaining business. All whilst making funds available for better quality players, whilst the current owner probably wants to keep certain revenue streams out of the sale of the club and there by making it impossible for any investor to logically meet his asking price.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #18


    We are all hopeful of being rid of our current owner, which makes any sniff of potential news all the more encouraging but not any more of a real.

  • chicousa

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #19

    Lindisfarne @17
    Ok, mate, my slightly raising hope is fading again! 😉

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #20

    Sorry to be so pessimistic

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #21

    ….time to catch up on TWO episodes of True Detective, with maybe the Liverpool match in between. My night is settled.

  • Average_Contents

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #22


    Being the operative word you little shit stirring no mark.

  • Mag52

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #23


    The SD adverts around a champo ground would be nothing like as effective.
    The PL payments, of course, would no longer be there.
    He’d need to dig deep in order to bolster the team in an attempt to get back up quickly, and that with a lesser manager than Rafa.
    There won’t be 52,000 each week for home games.
    All this would point to Ashley looking at NUFC in the champo as a pain in the butt and not the cash cow it is at the moment. IMO he’d look seriously at selling up.

  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Good news for Munster
    Our game vs @Udders
    is the Sky PL game on
    Saturday in the R o I

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #25

    We don’t agree on Pardew which is a shame as I was once a big supporter of his but you won’t seem to afford me that. I agree that it won’t bother me nearly as much as it’ll bother him being stuck in the Champo for the next five years, the footballing world and therefore wider world we see him as the mug for screwing this up, not us as fans for showing nothing but loyalty. I for one have had enough of scraping by in the PL and I’m not going back anyway once Rafa goes. As for being easier to.sell while in the PL, that’s nonsense as he simply does not want to sell while being given free money at minimum outlay.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #26

    Evening all been away in the lakes for a few days. Been dropping in on the blog but it’s hard to keep a proper eye on things. What was the reaction to the CSKA result like? Seemed like a decent result but how was the performance? How did the new boys fare?

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #27

    People still talking as if it’s certain Rafa will leave. I’m not so sure about that. Not at all. I think what he’s been saying is more encouraging than what we’re surmising on here. I could be wrong though.

  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #29

    Never was a big RvP esp after
    his run in with Tim Krul but this
    is class.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #30

    He’s giving the owner every opportunity to make him the offer he wants to make us successful, but he is also giving the impression that he might be staying, if he went public with ”sod this for a game of soldiers, I’m off” then the morale of the place would plummet and with it relegation.

  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #31


    Nobody believes the sale lie,not even this years double sale lie

    Why would he sell,hes making a load of money and getting his free advert

    Sadly he wont go till he is forced too

  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #32

    I think a few seasons in the championship sprinkled with constant protests might force the issue with him

    He would have to spend money on the club instead of milking it

    But if not theres always the Dubai court case in 2020 and the HMRC


  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #33

    Sadly even once he is forced out of the club you can see him hanging around,like a bad smell for years

    Rangers and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley wait for judge to rule on strip deals


    Can you imagine the absolute mess were in right now if he was able to do this to Rangers in a few months ?

  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2019 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #34

    I seriously doubt its even possible for him to sell us

    He will have split every possible asset and revenue stream into just about oblivion
    IS Charnley director of something like 30 companies ?

    I bet he couldnt sell us due to just how much of a mess the accounts are in

  • jane

    Feb 19, 2019 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #35

    “People still talking as if it’s certain Rafa will leave.”

    the likes of c-dog, Jail, toon22 can hardly say Rafa will stay as that would go against their Ashley agenda.

  • Jib

    Feb 19, 2019 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #36

    Hey up lass

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 19, 2019 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #37

    Jail agreed if he left out would be a big blow to the club but if he was determined to leave anyway how much would he care?

    He’s a professional pragmatist, not a romantic. The polar opposite of Kevin Keegan. What I mean is that he makes his decisions with his head, not his heart and if he felt he had to go, he would just go.

  • toon22

    Feb 19, 2019 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #38

    I hope Rafa stays

    I just cant see him being keen to be made a mug of for another 3 years

    Thats not opinion but what has actually happened

    Its hard for you defend it isnt it

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 19, 2019 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #39

    Bairn Munchken obviously hasn’t been reading the newspapers. Seem pretty sharp to me.


    Feb 19, 2019 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #40

    What’s up, is Mike Ashley still using NUFC as a money laundering facility just like many other clubs?


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