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“Looked As If He Had Never Been Away” – Bruce Praises Magpie After Long Layoff

Yesterday’s FA Cup tie at Arsenal marked the return of our Player of the Season from a year ago, Martin Dubravka. The 31-year-old made some outstanding saves to keep Arsenal at bay the few times they were able to breach the disciplined Magpie defense in normal time.

Dubravka had returned to the bench for the previous two matches after missing four months with a heel injury. In that time, Karl Darlow has taken the gloves as the number one keeper due to his superb displays in the first half of the season.

Yesterday, Martin showed why he was Newcastle’s number one for 88 straight league matches since his debut in February of 2018 against Manchester United. Both keepers are pushing each other to get the maximum out of their ability.

Steve Bruce said the following after the game to NUFC TV about Dubravka’s return:

“It looked as if he had never been away. He made a great save in the first half. It looked as if we were going to keep a clean sheet which we did for 90 minutes, but couldn’t quite hold on.”

Dubravka was also interviewed by NUFC TV after yesterday’s defeat. He was obviously disappointed with how the match turned out. However, he was very happy to be back playing after his long layoff.

The Chronicle have published the following comments from Martin:

“It is disappointing because we were close to penalties but to concede two goals in extra time is a pity.

“It is disappointing, especially for me, because it has been a long time since I have been on the pitch and I didn’t dream the game would be like this.

“I enjoy every minute on the pitch and as I said, it has been a long time.

“Of course, it would have been much better if we won the game and got through to the next round but unfortunately we are not there.

“Finally I am back on the pitch with the other lads and I enjoy every minute of training and on the pitch because I really missed it.

“Obviously losing in extra time is tough but I enjoyed it.”

Newcastle are blessed to have two outstanding goalkeepers in Darlow and Dubravka. Both are signed up long-term so it could be pushing each other for years to come.

However, there’s likely to be another contender soon if Freddie Woodman can continue his tremendous growth as a player over the past two seasons on loan with Swansea.

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112 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #81

    21 games left and Bruce needs a positive result at least every other game. Carver very nearly threw it away with a lot more points at this stage.

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #82

    Now that he is on 80 grand a week, there will be no shifting him.

    Isn’t Carroll on a pay per play wage?
    That might answer why Joelinton gets first pick – you’re paying him anyway, why pay and bench/drop him and then pay Carroll on top.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #83

    Jail, what I said was correct. We have this silly supposition going around that Rafa said that about muto, with the interpretation being that he had being lumped on him. I didn’t give you a quote, I gave you an article, where rafa claimed they had scouted him for ages. Now please, go stick your rafa teluban stuff where the sun doesn’t shine. This is no longer the rafa criticism free zone that you wanted. He may have done reasonably well, but that’s about it, you’ve even put him at the KK level in the past, dear oh dear.

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #84

    No way is Ashley going to sit by and pay 80K/week for him to not play.

    and no way the Hispi Hippo can get any more out of him than his limited talent allows.
    Jog around with a frown, blame anything you want, pick up your 80k and go home with a smile.

  • magicmac54

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #85

    Toon/ World

    I agree there will be a proper melt down if we dont beat Sheff Utd on tuesday, but we are the gift that keeps on giving, their tails will be up after winning in the cup, and they will see this match as their best chance of their 1st win, and thinking never look a gift horse in the mouth, what a frightening thought.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #86

    On the other hand this game could be one of our best chances to improve our GD!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #87

    And on that pearl of wisdom it’s TV time, later! 🙂

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #88


    by a maximum of 1

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #89

    Problem is you take out Joelinton and put in Carroll you lose plenty of mobility and athleticism. Basically if you play Carroll and Wilson up top one needs to drop off and run around to good effect, and that’s not really either one’s game, nor is it Gayle’s.

    We have weaknesses in terms of the make up and quality of the squad, and we don’t look as well prepared as we might be.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #90

    “but you since found quotes that said Rafael and his scouts had chased him for a while”
    You’re disagreeing with yourself, which is not unusual.

  • jazzyp

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #91

    Is he a striker? Is he a winger? Does he play much better as a No 10? These are all questions that, seven goals and 56 games on, Newcastle fans are struggling to answer with any real conviction.

    Asked to replace recently departed player of the season Salomon Rondon on his own, the Brazilian was thrown in the deep end in a negative 5-4-1 system, a move that no doubt created an avalanche of confidence issues that worsened over time he struggled to register a meaningful shot for us, never mind a goal. He was a young man in a new league, a new country and playing under a new manager who didn’t seem to ‘get him’.

    However, whatever the reasons behind his terrible form, we can not kid ourselves and deny what we have seen with our own eyes.

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #92


    mobility and athleticism are not words I would associate with Joelinton.

    You could replace him on the wing with Lewis, Murphy, ASM, Almiron, Ritchie even Hendrick at a push and all would have far more mobility and athleticism.

    He states centre forward is not his position and he prefers to play wide – but show me one occasion where he has skinned his man and put a cross in.

    He gets in the team because Ashley won’t waste the wage they pay him.

  • jazzyp

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #93


    Trying to say Joelinton is a good player is exactly my point on the acceptance on what we have become as a club.Even if we had paid 10 million for this guy i would hold a grudge because the bottom line is he does nothing. I totally agree on the point that he rarely skins a player out on the wing or puts a ball in the box,And to wear the N09 shirt is a mockery to them that have worn the shirt before him

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #94

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I’d argue we haven’t been playing to his and our other attacking mid’s strengths. He certainly isn’t a 40 million quid player, I’ll concede that. Then again, in another side he might be.

  • Munster Mag

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #95

    You’re confusing yourself shortie. He was scoured and chased and rafa said how good he was. Looks like he was talking tosh.

  • jazzyp

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #96


    Fair play mate stick to your guns. 56 games tells me by now all i need to know about the kid.And if the reasoning is he will come good with better players around him then he is destined to fail at Newcastle united

  • jane

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #97

    Adam Webster own goal (90+6 mins)

    Where has that come from!?!

    Wow, wow, wow! That is an absolute shocker from Jason Steele!

    He flaps at a cross from the right, and it just hits Adam Webster and ricochets into the net.”

    can’t even beat Newport away 😐

  • Tackle from behind

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #98

    At the end of the day, under this regime, he is what he is and we are what we are.

    We’re getting just what we deserve and as life long fans it’s us that get hurt the most.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #99

    Moanster on the sauce again, I said you found quotes and what’s with the personal insults. Just showing your ignorance again.

  • lochinvar

    Jan 10, 2021 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #100

    Man U don’t intend to let Williams leave on loan.
    Leicester likewise have no intention of letting Chowdry to go out on loan.

    No coincidence that we have now wasted 10days of the transfer window while the press have 10days of speculating on our never going to happen loanees.

    Wonder what Bruce and Charnley are doing?

  • WLtoon

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #101

    Congrats to little Crawley today, they showed that with the right attitude and total lack or respect to the opposition that David can slay Goliath.

    Tuesday night will be very interesting , i wonder what excuse Bruce will use if we lose, i don`t think we will but..

    I can hear it now, `well you know, they have their tails up after their win over the weekend and we have a shite coach running the show, oh err, that`s me isn`t it`

  • jane

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #102

    only 2 Premier league teams have signed a player this window so far.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #103

    Just one last post on Joel. I’d replace Krafth, Yedlin, Clark, Schar, Dummett, Shelvey, Hendrick, send Matty out on loan, Carroll, Gayle, Lewis and possibly any one of our other attacking mid options before I’d ship out Joel, unless someone offered 25 mill plus, which they won’t, and we used that dough towards buying a 40 mill centre mid.

    The simple truth is we have the 12th most valuable squad in the EPL, one of the weakest central mids and a bottom third manager. I’d say that’s where we should look first if we want to to fix our problems.

  • WLtoon

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #104

    A bottom 3rd manager is a bit of an overstatement there Nicky, i am struggling to think of a manager who i wouldn`t have in the bottom third ahead of Bruce, not sure about Wilder mind, but look at his squad compared to ours.

  • Legolas

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #105


    I’m not sure if you seen my response to your question, but here is my answer.

    Ok Jail,

    Playing devils advocate here.

    Mats Sels,

    Grant Hanley,

    Jesus Gamez,


    Islam slimani,


    Sorry, if my spelling is off. Also, you could argue Daryl Murphy even though I thought he did very well.

  • Not another deJong

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #106

    Clue: big n hairy

  • lochinvar

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #107

    Is Joelinton here against his wishes due to being traded like a commodity by agents and owners?

    One way to protest is not to show your full potential or effort. Just ticking along might be his own protest to circumstances outside his control.

    Or is Bruce just playing him on the wrong position? Perhaps he’s the box to box midfielder we crave for?

  • beermonkey

    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #108

    Ashley wanted joelinton in the jan Rafa said no
    He ain’t worth it
    In Ashley’s own words ( worth bugger all )

    He offered to pay 20 mill Rafa still said no

    So Ashley thought joe was worth 40 mill
    Who is advising on football matters

    If Ashley has a water leak does he phone bill gates
    I would love to know who is in the background
    When we all find out I am sure we will all go aghhh now it all makes sense

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 11, 2021 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #109

    Haha I can’t believe people on here still arguing about Rafa’s abilities.
    Consider coaches we’ve had including Bruce against a world renowned winner like Rafa.

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 11, 2021 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #110

    Bruce has to play Joelinton because he signed him to please Ashley, whatever the dubious financial reasons were.
    There’s no way he’d even be on the bench if he was a free signing.
    Unfortunately it’s worse when he plays cos he does more bad things than good, like giving the ball away in midfield!

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #111


    Joelinton could be a box to box midfielder!
    If….he could trap a ball, had any positional sense, real pace, or passing ability and didn’t freeze when a scoring opportunity occurs!

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 11, 2021 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #112

    This was me 1958:
    It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.

    Sir Bobby Robson


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