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Last Season’s Hero Is Getting Back To His Best For NUFC



Last season it was a common occurrence to have Martin Dubravka as our lone bright spot during many matches. He made the saves that kept matches close enough for some stirring late goals to grab unlikely points.

Karl Darlow mirrored his teammate at times this season when Dubravka was injured, especially early on. However, Dubravka regained his first-team place earlier this year and has slowly gotten back to his best.

Over the last few matches, Dubravka’s made some tremendous saves to give Newcastle a fighting chance. That was none more apparent than this past weekend at Anfield. Martin’s performance kept Newcastle just a goal down for Joe Willock’s dramatic equalizer.

In our recent polls for the Man of the Match, Martin’s been outpaced by the exploits of Allan Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman has been nothing short of sensational since returning from his groin injury.

However, Dubravka has eclipsed Allan in our latest poll for the draw at Liverpool collecting 60% of the total vote. Allan did manage second in the poll for his performance which kept Liverpool on their toes. Joe Willock, with another dramatic late goal, comes in third.

Who Was Newcastle's Man Of The Match In Draw At Liverpool?

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124 comments so far

  • geordie157

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #41

    Dummett has done well in the last couple of games, all 3 centre backs will put their bodies on the line but I find Clark is the most likely to make a costly mistake of the three.

    Speaking of mistakes, Sean Longstaff, who has looked slightly better recently, in terms of getting forward, making good runs but can someone coach him not to mess about or play lazy passes in front of our area please!!!

    I think Wilson will start vs Arsenal, Joelinton on the bench. The loss of Willock, probably means M.Longstaff gets back on the bench, although I’d just throw Hendrick out of the squad and bring in Matty and Anderson, so the latter can come on and score the injury time winner.

    1
  • geordie157

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #42

    Keeper situation will be interesting this summer, Darlow will feel he can be a no.1, as probably will Woodman. Don’t really want to lose either, if Swansea come up via the playoffs just loan him back again so we can see how he does in the premier league.

    Langley sounds promising too

    1
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #43

    Like the frog needs to be told to carry on lol

    He speaks absolute nonsense with a play on rinse and repeat because he thinks he is taking on this imaginary PR but all he does is do heads in with his repetitive crap.

    Maybe he should try contributing better?

    3
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #44

    @geordie157

    Hendrick just seems to me such a waste of money as apart from his debut hes done nothing!

    Kept Murphy out the side on the wing for ages
    Got picked ahead of Almiron
    Even Sean coming in has done okay but has still contributed much more than Hendrick has
    Matty or Anderson would have surely contributed more

    Just felt like a signing we didn’t need to make and hes now stuck here on 40k a week for another 3 seasons……..

    1
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #45

    Dummett is fast, but it often takes him an age to turn or get moving.

    If we go 3 at the back, our best three are Schar Lascelles Lejuene, but there’s not a great deal of difference between all 6 of our centre backs. Rafa possibly never bought a bad centre-back in his life, defence is the area he is amongst the best in the world, so if they weren’t good defenders they’d not be here.

    Agree that collectively they’re amongst our best lot, possibly better defensively than even Keegan and Robson teams. Although the goals conceded tells a different story this year.

    1
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #46

    Dummett has good pace but he doesn’t have great acceleration

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #47

    I think Dummett can be deceptively fast but I agree that it’s his positional sense which is probably his greatest asset. He knows which players are quick so gives them space to allow him time to position and tackle, without being outran by pure pace. How often is he always getting a crucial header away in the box too? Always gives it his all for the club and has a good footballing head on his shoulders. Hope he stays injury free so he can have a long spell in the team.

    7
  • DaraghL

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #48

    Bills,

    Great to see Dummett getting the praise he deserves. Definitely in the Gary Neville mould of a player who is consistently a 7/10.

    Just does the basics but does them right. Allows others to play their game (as you noted, gives Ritchie space and comfort). I believe he was playing left of a back three for Wales before injury as well. It’s definitely his strongest position and in my opinion when fit and playing this formation he is a guaranteed starter.

    5
  • Adamn_92

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #49

    Can’t help but wonder how many goals we’d have stopped by having a certain defender here this season and not in Spain.

    5
  • geordie157

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #50

    Hendrick actually was a good player for Derby, box to box, eye for a goal. Certainly seems to be in rapid decline and we’re stuck with him unless we can offload him to someone as part of a deal.

    Not sure what Bruce sees in him but thank god he’s not starting him. M.Longstaff should be ahead of Hendrick, the only thing Hendrick has over him is experience but surely local lad, decent box to box players who will give his all trumps that experience!

    Pleased for Murphy, not just because he’s a fan but he’s kept pushing himself and seems to be adding that consistency to his game that was missing. Does still make mistakes but any winger moving to right back will.

    2
  • DaraghL

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #51

    Adamn,

    Huge Lejuene fan and not a Bruce fan but for once I think I agree with him on that choice. He looked off the pace since coming back and La Liga is more suited to his style. Would not have loaned him out for the entire season mind you. Loan until January to get the confidence back would have surely been sufficient.

    2
  • DaraghL

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #52

    geordie157 –

    As an Irishman, Hendrick follows me everywhere! The thing most managers say about him is he does exactly what he’s told.

    Seems the most negative type of player to pick. Plays the simplest of passes and worries more about what position he’s in then offering something different. Leads to him being predictable and tbh boring. Back at Derby he seemed to play with more freedom and for lack of a better term, looked to be having fun!

    1
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #53

    DaraghL

    Lejeune was thrown under the bus by Bruce by him playing him in so many close games with coming back from the major injury he had.

    Absolute clueless by Bruce, no surprise tho.

    But I heard he wasn’t happy at all and pushed for the move and I don’t think Bruce rated him which again says it all.

    Schar to be back soon and he has been a huge miss since his injury with some top top performances before that.

    1
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #54

    Hendrick has been involved in 20 league games, starting 17 of them, plus cup games. If those games had been given to Matty or Anderson one of them might have got enough experience to have developed into a first teamer by now and maybe be worth millions. At the very worst, they could have been equally as bad as Hendrick who has been an absolute waste of space. Hendrick is getting worse each season too, so next year will be even worse. Bruce has just left our two promising youngsters to rot, not even sending them on loan, all the while playing truly underperforming senior players week in week out.

    4
  • Adamn_92

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #55

    Have to agree with Mund regarding Lejeune, I’m sure I remember him saying how strange he found it being asked to play so soon and regularly after a long layoff through injury. If managed properly I feel he’d have a been huge asset this season. We’d see far less hoofball from the back for sure. You’re right though DaraghL that the loan should have only been until January. If he was playing well and staying fit by then, get him back and let him help us out.

    6
  • Carson80

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #56

    Fernandez and Clarke should really be sold or in the case of Fede let his contract run out. Hayden should be one of our central defenders next season, personally think that’s his best position for us. With him moving into defence time to get that Soumare in and Willock is a must. If Brentford don’t get promoted then buy Ivan Toney back as competition for Wilson. Would have liked to have seen Kelland Watts on loan at a Championship club this season in order to step up to our first team next. Sell Darlow and Gillespie, bring Woodman back as no2 until injury or lack of form prevent Dubs from playing and promote Dan Langley to 3rd choice.

    1
  • DaraghL

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #57

    JAFDB –

    Ye frustrating and right now Bruce will argue we’re not safe yet so can’t risk playing one of them.

    Would be great to see them get a chance surrounded by our strongest team. How well would Anderson perform linking up with Wilson and ASM. Would be great to see.

    Hendrick is the ‘safe’ option. The fact that he was replaced at Burnley by Dale Stephens says it all.

    2
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #58

    Bruce said he did try to sign Hendrick when he was Derby so was obviously thinking he was a similar player without really studying what he was like at Burnley

    He just doesn’t seem to effect the game at all I thought when we signed him he would be like a right footed Richie a terrier hounding teams but hes as weak as dish water hardly ever puts a challenge in! Richie is the far better player because he leaves nothing on the pitch probably spending too much time on that haircut than playing football 🙂

    Hes also supposedly good for playing to instruction so who knows what instructions Bruce has been giving him though

    2
  • Carson80

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #59

    You have to wonder what the thinking was behind giving Matty Longstaff a new contract, he should of been allowed to leave and Willock should have been brought in on loan in the summer. Doubt we would have been skirting with relegation with him in our side all season as for me he is a clear step up in quality to Matty.

    5
  • DaraghL

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #60

    Carson,

    Agree with a lot of what you said there and the idea of Hayden at centre back (particularly in a back three does interest me). Could be a good dynamic defence to have Dummett and Hayden either side of a ‘big man’.

    I do think Fernandez is worth keeping though. A great pro and I believe we’re more solid with him in the side.

    5
  • Just a Fat Dave Bassett

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #61

    If you made a team of the worst players we’ve had who managed to be regular starters (so excluding players like Ramage, Andreas Anderson or Marcelino who never or rarely played) Hendrick and Joelinton would probably get in the team.

    1
  • DaraghL

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #62

    LCBP –

    Clearly isn’t playing to Bruce’s instructions of “Do the goal thing”

    0
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #63

    Carson

    I have to agree. I think Clark’s time is up and Fede’s isn’t far behind. Depending on how the future is I think they need to be replaced, especially Clark, Fede’s can hang about while a new young defender takes his place. All depends on the future tho

    2
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #64

    Carson

    Don’t know if you saw the post by me yesterday but rumour has it he is being pressured to play the first team players and not the youngsters.

    He apparently wants to play the likes of Matty Longstaff and Anderson but has been told to fight for the highest place possible by Charnley

    4
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #65

    Nothing now will change my opinion on Bruce and whether he continues here or not, but hearing the things I have and putting it all together I think Bruce got picked as he is the perfect yes man for Ashley and the regime.

    Maybe he has had his hands tied for two seasons?

    Maybe he had to play big Joe like we have all mentioned?

    If any of this is true he can’t be 100% blamed for the dire shite we see on the pitch

    0
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #66

    I suppose the issue with us buying new defenders is we lose the players who were drilled under Rafa and we end up with a backline composed by Bruce!

    Case in point Lewis and Krafth look terrible under Bruce would Rafa have signed either of them? But I can guarantee either of them would be a hell of a lot more solid if Rafa had to coach them though

    On Matty not looking great a lot of the time hes been played in a midfield 2 defending for our lives would be interested to see how he would do with established wingbacks with high pressing as he has a knack of getting goals him and Willock could both play together given a chance and would give us a goal threat from midfield

    1
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #67

    @Mund

    That wouldn’t surprise me if that was true Charnley has never cared about any ambition but yeah some extra money to be pocketed they care about!

    I feel though saying Bruce is being influenced on team selection is letting him away with murder hes been poor all his career and many of the issues we have hes had at every club!!

    6
  • Mund

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #68

    Lee

    He is poor that’s a fact no arguing there.

    It’s just if his hands were tied I’d look at things a little differently than I do now but nothing will change the opinion of Bruce not being good enough

    0
  • TheTinman

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #69

    On the speed, there is something on Dummet clocking 21.8mph in 2015.

    Last season the top 10 are all above 23mph

    So in theory if Dummet is running as fast as 6 years ago he is still a canny way behind the fast players now.

    The other thing to mention is these stats are almost certainly pants!

    Personally, I think it’s the timing of the challenge and not the speed that helps him. Also got to remember when he is chasing an attacker they have the ball and he doesn’t, which is a great speed leveller

    1
  • Regan

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #70

    I’m a big softy at heart..but sometimes you gotta stand your ground..

    I don’t hold grudges with anyone..

    Anyway. .good poems lads….

    You’re all beautifulpeople. .

    HWTL

    3
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #71

    @Mund

    Yeah and I suppose it goes back to him being a yes man as no decent manager would accept those conditions!

    Does remind me of Pardew era when he had to fit in all of the purples onto the pitch even though it meant playing players out of position

    0
  • cleveleysbob

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #72

    Hi Regan, I’m a chicken and waited till you were out 😉

    3
  • Carson80

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #73

    DaraghL thought Hayden was immense when we had a centre back shortage earlier in the season, I would probably sell Lejeune as well. In reality we should really have bought Ben Davies from Preston in January and loaned him straight back for the rest of the season.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #74

    I obviously come across as being a bit obsessive about Shelvey but just to say that if we had someone better I’d be happy to see them playing instead.

    I think he’s the best we have currently in midfield but bring in Buendina or someone similar then I’d be saying cheers Jonjo but you need to step aside.

    I’d like to see jack Young given a game or two to set him up for next season along with Anderson.

    3
  • Regan

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #75

    Alex Ferguson once said he’d pay 10 million for Charlie Adam just to take corners..

    Connor Gallagher looking in the same mould imo..

    Would he be worth a punt..

    5
  • Carson80

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #76

    Mund not shocked by that at all as that is all our club has been interested in for the last 14 years. As I said earlier I wouldn’t have re signed Matty anyway I just don’t think he’s a Premier league player, mind you we have a few of them.

    1
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #77

    @Regan

    Connor Gallagher is really good have watched him a lot this season

    Him and Willock would compliment each other perfectly within our midfield would give us the energy and pace in the middle it could even then accommodate a Shelvey or Longstaff beside them or a power trio with Almiron as the no 10 ahead of them!

    3
  • Carson80

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #78

    Need to get rid of at end of season.
    Darlow
    Gillespie
    Clarke
    Fernandez
    Hendrick
    Fraser
    Both Longstaffs
    Joelinton
    Gayle
    Atsu
    Carrol
    Shelvey
    All not good enough to play for our club.

    0
  • Not another deJong

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #79

    Essex Geordie Bill

    I am not dead set against your opinion of Shelvey, but whislt he is in the team he is taking a place of someone who would improve with game time and at the same time the other midfielder is doing half of his work. Particularly now we are safe, it would be a good time to drop him from the starting 11 in preperation for next season. But no doubt some would see trying to win as the more improtant.

    1
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 27, 2021 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #80

    I think Hayden moving to centre half would be a great idea hes good in the air, fast, loves a tackle and can read a game well

    I think with the personnel we have 352 or 343 would suit us similar to how Brighton setup it then gives you that 1 extra player in another part of the field to press and attack

    3 defenders pretty much sorted could maybe do with 1 more with pace
    2 wingbacks settled maybe get another backup one
    Wilson and ASM as the front 2 first choice
    Willock and Connor Gallagher as the 2 box to box with Almiron in there

    On a budget that could still be a pretty good team for next season

    1


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