This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Martin Dubravka has been a stalwart since coming into the team, but in recent times there have been murmurings of discontent about his performances.
The goalkeeper has been a commanding presence for the Magpies since January 2018 and he has played a big role in their success in the months since, with those at the club clearly rating him.
That is shown by the fact he hasn’t missed a Premier League game since his debut against Manchester United, but despite that there have been voices of discontent from the terraces.
An error which allowed Wolves to equalise a few weeks ago ended up costing his side all three points, and that led to an outpour of condemnation from fans, with some suggesting it was just one example of Dubravka underperforming.
They will have to get used to his presence between the sticks, however, as the Slovakia international recently signed a new deal with the club that will see him stay at St James’ Park until 2025, when he’ll be 35.
Although Newcastle were often difficult to beat under Rafa Benitez, too often they have been a side which are too easy to roll over and score goals past.
The display against Leicester this season showed that it is still a danger of Steve Bruce’s side, but with Dubravka in the net they have been a lot more effective in that department.
In this campaign alone the 29-year-old has made 37 saves, a total which is only bettered by two players in the league – Bernd Leno and Tim Krul.
Whilst it underlines Dubravka’s ability, it is a worrying sign of the number of shots Newcastle concede, despite operating with five defenders in all but one league match this term.
One way that could be solved is if he improves his organisation of the defence. Fabian Balbuena’s goal for West Ham last weekend was an example of that, as not only did he fail to set-up correctly for the corner, but he also didn’t take the command of the ball when it was crossed in.
If he can improve in that area of his game it may begin to remove any doubt that some fans may have, and lead Bruce’s side conceding less often.