Not all criticism in football stems from performances on the pitch, especially in the north east. Fans have an expectation for players to give their all for Newcastle United and to fight for their place in the squad week in, week out.
The decision made by the front office and Eddie Howe to bring in England international goalkeeper Nick Pope did not sit well with Martin Dubravka. The Slovakian shot stopper was brought in by Rafa Benitez in January of 2018, and he has been reliable in goal for Newcastle United.
With a total of 37 clean sheets and 379 saves in 127 top flight appearances for the Toon, Dubravka’s overall form deserves praise. The problem, however, is how he handled the competition with Pope.
As soon as Dubravka got word that he was dropped to second-choice keeper, he chose to call his agent rather than fight to win his place back against a keeper who honestly is not much superior in terms of talent.
Dubravka chose to jump ship instead of jump all in for his place at Newcastle United.
What is worse, and equally interesting, is the fact that Dubravka did not pursue an opportunity that would offer him regular game time. Instead, he accepted a loan move to rivals Manchester United for a back up role.
The logic in his desire for that move does not make sense. The logic, from a Newcastle business perspective, does not make sense either, especially the way Manchester United prevented Jesse Lingard from joining Newcastle United in January despite his interest to make the move.
From a locker room perspective, Dubravka’s move makes sense. Howe has said time and time again he will only sign or keep players who have the right character and mentality.
Dubravka played a major role in keeping the Magpies in the Premier League over the last few seasons and fans thank him for that. At the end of the day though he cannot be surprised with the shade being thrown his way by fans as he bolted without hesitation just to sit on the bench elsewhere.