It’s emerged this week that Martin Dubravka has made a massive 102 saves this season – a tally that surpasses any other Premier League goalkeeper by quite a margin.
The Slovakian has been outstanding this season, with his save percentage only bettered by Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson (based on club’s outside the ‘big six’), but the fact he’s had to face so many shots tells us two things..
- A) He’s bailed us out on countless occasions this season.
- B) our defence hasn’t done enough to protect him this season.
Only FIVE Premier League clubs have more than the 7 clean sheets we’ve managed so far (Liverool, Sheffield Utd, Burnley, Leicester and Watford), yet that’s come via Martin Dubravka making more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper:
As the above save table highlights, the likes of Norwich’s Tim Krul (81), Watford’s Ben Foster (79), Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale (82) and Burnley’s Nick Pope (77) have all been forced to make considerably less saves than Martin Dubravka (102!).
We’ve rarely lacked heart and determination this season, with our clean sheets and results up until now proving how well Bruce has done to keep the spirit high following Benitez’s exit, but we’ve definitely got away with it at both ends of the pitch.
Take last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Norwich as an example. Pukki got in behind our defence on countless occasions, we gave them TWO free headers from corners and could’ve conceded 2 or 3 on another day – but for Martin Dubravka.