Martin Dubravka is not happy about his lack of game-time at Newcastle United – a statement which does not surprise me after our number 1 has remained on the bench despite returning to full fitness.
Bruce has said he is happy with Darlow’s performances and has earned his run in the team. However, the NUFC boss may have a difficult job keeping them both (Dubravka and Darlow) happy until the end of the season.
Dubravka suffered a ‘cracked heel bone’ back in pre-season and has only played one game this season – against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
When asked about Dubravka, Bruce said this to BBC Newcastle:
“He’s been very professional but that doesn’t mean he’s happy (with not playing) and I wouldn’t expect him to be.”
“I’ve stayed with Karl because I think he deserves it – all season we’ve said how well he’s played but I need that competition.”
Most fans now believe it is the time for Dubravka to come back in the side – away to Manchester United tomorrow night. As Bruce said, Darlow hasn’t really done anything wrong to be dropped, but when the best goalkeeper at your football club is fit, he should play.
There is worry that if Dubravka doesn’t play much until the end of the season, he may feel his future lies elsewhere. The club may also feel ‘Darlow is just as good , let’s cash in’ – something which wouldn’t surprise me at all with Woodman coming back from his loan.
In 8 of the last 10 games, Darlow has conceded 2 or more goals. Usually when that happens, your unlikely to win many games. The situation to score 3 is also made even harder by the absence of our biggest goal threat, Callum Wilson.
If Dubravka does come back in, Darlow deserves huge praise for the performances he’s produced this season – but the time is now when we need to play our best team and get our number 1 back between the sticks.
The issue is, Bruce’s comments tell me that Dubravka will remain on the bench, something that won’t help his happiness off the field or our form on it!