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‘He Hasn’t Saved Anything Yet’ – Dubravka’s Tough First Week As A Magpie

Newcastle’s head of goalkeeping, Simon Smith, has done an extensive interview for nufc.co.uk.

Smith is a former Newcastle United goalkeeper himself having come through the Academy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He never made an appearance for Newcastle but did play over 500 times for Gateshead.

The 57-year-old replaced Andy Woodman, Freddie Woodman’s father, as Newcastle’s head goalkeeping coach in 2016 after rejoining the club as part of Steve McClaren’s staff a year earlier. He had previously been a goalkeeping coach at Newcastle under both Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson.

During part of Smith’s interview, he touches on Newcastle’s current group of goalkeepers in Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow, and Rob Elliot.

Martin Dubravka– flying high as a Magpie

He had some interesting comments about Martin Dubravka’s first week of training after joining on loan from Sparta Prague in January of 2018.

This is what Smith had to say about Martin when asked about the difficulties goalkeepers face when coming to the Premier League:

“Martin, for me, is a classic example. He’s been scouted by the scouting department, Rafa’s watched him, I’ve watched him. Those technical bits of goalkeeping look fine.

“He comes to training, and in the first week, the ball is whizzing past him – we’re doing shooting, and the ball is whizzing past him for fun. The manager says to me, ‘what do you think?’ ‘Well, he hasn’t saved anything yet’.

“Another week goes past, and he starts to save the ball, because he’s got the technical ability and is realizing maybe he needs to stand an inch, foot or yard further back to be able to make a save.

“He works it out for himself, and I hope that our practices helped to bring him up to speed. After two weeks, the manager played him against Manchester United.”

The rest is history as they say. Martin was outstanding in that debut and has started 61 straight Premier League games since. A couple of weeks ago, he agreed to a new six-year deal.

Martin too reflected on his first week at Newcastle as he talked about the noticeable difference in the quality of shots he faced:

“Everything was much faster, much quicker, the decisions, the shots were more powerful. In that moment I thought, ‘wow, that’s tough, but I need to get used to it, because this is my only chance to be here’.”

It didn’t take Dubravka too long to get used to a higher level of football. He was some find by the Newcastle scouting team and has grown into a top Premier League player.

18 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #1

    Just a fan,
    And the point just sails right over your head.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #2

    What is the incentive for the unders to get promoted?Does it give us better access to players and possibly money?

    Just thinking that us signing O Connor is maybe to help us win the league ?

  • Assassins Inc

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #3

    O’Connor was let go due to Ashley thinking he was only worth a pie and a beer, now Ashley knows he’s worth three pies and four beers, Ashley loves pie and beer, it’s the only thing at the club he knows anything about.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #4

    On buying players to make a profit…

    All clubs other than the elite are looking for players who could potentially soar in value and that will be a significant factor in the signing decision.

    As a couple of others have pointed out, it’s not a bad business model but a good one – a bit like buying your first house and being able to continually move up the ladder by selling and using the profit to buy nigger and better.

    Our problem has been that, unlike the classic examples of Spurs and Leicester, we haven’t bought players who have sold for £40M – £90M like Modric, Bale, Walker, Kante, Mahrez and McGuire.

    Those massive, way above average fees, are what allowed Spurs and Leicester to move up a gear, by comparison the fees we received for Ba, Cabaye and even Sissoko were marginal by comparison.

    Only Carroll’s fee was in the mega bracket at the time.

    I’m not arguing that the money from our sales could not have been invested better, I agree with that, but let’s not kid ourselves that we’ve generated the fees to flash around like the other two who have moved on a gear.

  • Genjikai

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #5

    Didnt we get 30 mill for sissoko aswell?
    30 mill for perez
    Nearly 30 mill for mitro.
    The money recieved for players never goes back into the squad.
    And that is why we never go further.
    It is down to one man, Ashley.
    Break the shackles, join in together we can end ashleys. The man is getting more and more skint each day.

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #6

    Re last nights political comments ………. I remembered that a few days ago Lesh had given one of his political lectures to OLG and the blog full of his normal far left Corbynista propaganda . This went completely unchallenged which to me is not fair as Lesh is prone to assuming that everyone should agree with his political views.

    I therefore decided to post a satirical tongue in cheek political comment of my own which was not intended to cause offence to anyone. If it did offend then I apologise. I appreciate that this blog is not here for political debate but neither is it here for someone to continually drop in unchallenged political propaganda.

    Anyway on more important matters………. It was I who pointed out that the Tanzanian lad Samatta would be a great acquisition for us. I have seen quite a bit of him and if we are looking at him then I would repeat that for around £10 mil it’s a no brainer. He is a natural goalscorer and has the speed, skill , power and determination to be a big success in the PL. IMHO.

  • Just a fan

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #7

    Yes of course it is.
    Just putting it out there of the extremes.
    People think smaller gates will get Ashley out.
    Personally I disagree.

  • cockneymafiaout

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #8

    Bill son is back

    Cabaye sold for 20 million at the time which was a decent fee. If I remember rightly we brought in amalfitano for free in around the same time. He was useless. I can’t remember us bringing in another midfielder which when you consider Cabaye was our best player it is pretty inexcusable to not replace him, Or at least try to adequately.

  • Just a fan

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #9

    Which point you have so many.
    You must have a lot of time on your hands.
    You seem to be well paid for not doing very much..

  • cockneymafiaout

    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #10

    Look at every team you can remember in recent times that have sold their key men and not replaced them.

    Ronaldo at Real Madrid.

    Suarez at Liverpool.

    Costa at Chelsea.

    All those teams struggled afterwards. Our situation was no different just because we were competing at a lower level.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #11

    The thing that annoyed me most about Cabaye leaving was that Liverpool fought so hard to keep Suarez that season and they nearly won the league ! We were doing great at that point with Cabaye in the no 10 role could easily have qualified for europe but we decided to sell him and not bother getting a replacement in!

    Sigurdsson was available that window and he eventually went to Swansea on loan theres no way he wouldn’t have came to us first if we had bothered to get him in! Would have also meant Luuk De Jong could have played as a striker !

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Bill’s Son is Back,
    We could have signed Modric but Fatty wouldn’t, Van Dijk, PEA Remy, Bony, so don’t harp on about the fees we never recieved when Fatty wouldn’t invest in the first place.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #13

    Just a fan,
    It depends which asset I’m on, on the big ‘orrible one there’s not so much sitting around waiting for stuff.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #14

    The last few trips we’ve been on the tanker because there’s no beds on the big ‘orrible one, there’s only 16 people here and the manager doesn’t give a foot.

  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #15

    Bills sin @4 – “by selling and using the profit to buy nigger and better.”

    I’m putting that down to “b” and “n” being next to each other on the keyboard and not because your autocorrect is familiar with that word….


  • Bleatin' n Bruced

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #16

    Ha ha Bills Sin! He he he….

  • Assassins Inc

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #17

    It’s amazing the players that Ashley thought were not good enough for the club, Modric he thought was to lightweight and Salah he didn’t rate, not remembering all players, I wonder what the starting eleven would have been if Ashley actually got the players who are now world class, I start with those two, one in midfield and one forward. Anyone else comes to the blogs mind, I wonder if we can get to an actual starting eleven that Ashley thought were crap.

  • Bills Son Is Back

    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #18

    Assassin – It’s amazing the players that Ashley thought were not good enough for the club, Modric he thought was to lightweight and Salah he didn’t rate.

    And who told you it was Ashley that didn’t rate them???

    Another pie in the sky post.


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