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The Race For Number One

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Ever since 2018, us Newcastle fans have known who our Number One is in the net. Although our team's performances have been somewhat unsuccessful we have always been able to rely on our Slovakian brick wall Martin Dubravka.

Last season Dubravka had made the most saves in the Premier League and altogether in 88 appearances he has made 261 saves in England's top-flight division. This is according to the Premier Leagues official website statistics. According to the statistics Dubravka has faced a total of 378 shots making his save percentage stand at roughly 69% whilst conceding 117 goals which 9 goals were results of his mistakes. In 88 appearances he has kept a total of 26 clean sheets. Dubravka has been on the receiving end of 38 defeats whilst overseeing 29 victories. It is safe to say Martin Dubravka has been rather reliable in a Newcastle United shirt, but unfortunately, he is yet to make a single appearance this season after a long spell in the treatment room, sustaining an injury to his heel.

In Dubravka's absence, Karl Darlow has had to step up and become the hero at the back. And step up he has. Like Dubravka in the previous season, Darlow is currently leading the line with the most saves this season so far, with 89 saves this season according to the NUFC website and a total of 102 Premier League saves in total, out of 29 appearances and 7 clean sheets, according to the Premier Leagues website. Darlow has faced a total of 143 shots giving him a save percentage of 71%. Out of the 29 appearances for Newcastle, Darlow has tasted victory only 8 times whilst suffering from 11 defeats, conceding 41 goals, only one of which were a direct result of his mistake.

It is hard to judge whether or not Dubravka steps back into the role of the number one goalkeeper and thankfully I don't have to make that decision. The statistics between them are so tight it would be a headache for any manager. A good headache at that. It could be argued that it would be foolish to drop Darlow whilst in such fine form, but on the other hand, Dubravka has done nothing to warrant losing his place in the starting eleven. Whoever retains the position it is nice to know that we are well covered in the Goalkeeper spot and with players such as Freddie Woodman rising through the ranks, impressing on loan at Swansea City. We needn't worry about our shot-stoppers in the near future. But for now it's up to Steve Bruce.

By Sam West

Howay the Lads



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