Greatest News:Newcastle United’s back four are not responsible for the quantity of goals conceded.

There’s been a lot of chatter regarding Newcastle United’s back four recently.

Even more so after Monday’s Chelsea match and three more goals scored by the opponents.

I see a lot of journalists, pundits, and fans asking why the Newcastle United back four is conceding so many goals.

Here’s my view on it.

The Newcastle United back four are not to blame for the high number of goals that have leaked.

Let me clarify.

Martin Dubravka opens up on injury problems and says he is 'unlikely' to  start season - Chronicle Live

It is the fault of the entire Newcastle United team, particularly the back five! Not the back four.

You may dress this up whatever you want, but the figures are simply stunning.

Newcastle United’s Premier League goals conceded since Nick Pope joined at St James’ Park in the summer of 2022:

They refuse to even acknowledge, let alone understand, that losing Nick Pope to injury has been the worst nightmare for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United.

Of course, this severely restricts the ferocity with which they bash Eddie Howe and many of his players.

I’m sure Eddie Howe had no idea how poor Martin Dubravka (Loris Karius is an even inferior alternative, unfortunately) would be in Nick Pope’s absence, but I believe he did know it would be a significant decline in quality.

I believe the largest issue hasn’t been Martin Dubravka changing, albeit he has declined.


Nick Pope Newcastle United
It’s more like Newcastle United has changed.

Dubravka joined in February 2018 and was the first choice goalkeeper for over four years.

He performed a pretty good job as well.

However, you must dig deeper.

Martin Dubravka joined Rafa Benitez’s team and played in a defensive-minded system.

Under Steve Bruce, United became even more defensive, with a deep defence and a midfield that frequently kept them on their feet.

Eddie Howe arrived and saved us from what looked like relegation.

The second half of the 2021/22 season was magnificent, with only Manchester City and Liverpool scoring more points than Newcastle United in the last 19 Premier League games.

However, practical and pragmatic Eddie Howe determined that a hardworking solid team built on a tight defence and then striking the opposition on the break would be the foundation for safety. As the season progressed and safety approached, Howe did loosen the shackles slightly, but that was his overall aim.atseason.

Newcastle only scored 25 goals in the second half (19 games) of the season while having the third best form in the Premier League, but they conceded even fewer, only 20.

Eddie Howe, however, understood that this was only a short-term strategy and that in order for Newcastle United to grow, they needed to become a more offensive, threatening, front-foot team, which required a new first-choice goalkeeper.

England goalkeeper Nick Pope, who cost £10 million from then-relegated Burnley, is unquestionably one of the best buys of all time.


Premier League top four odds: Can Newcastle still make it or will they be  caught?
Martin Dubravka took this extremely badly and instead chose to go on loan to Manchester United and sit on their bench.

Have any Newcastle fans wondered what Eddie Howe was doing replacing a perfectly good first-choice goalkeeper? That was quickly answered while watching Nick Pope from August 2022 onward. An superb, very high-quality keeper who was likely the major player in Newcastle’s fourth-place finish last season AND Newcastle’s performance this season in all competitions, despite an ever-worsening injury problem.

When it comes to keeping the ball out of the net, I have no doubt that Nick Pope outperforms Martin Dubravka in almost every facet. Better positioning, crosses, saves, etc.

However, I believe that one area in particular where he shines has weakened and harmed the rest of the defence, and indeed the entire team, since Martin Dubravka arrived.

Eddie Howe needed his defence to push up nearer the halfway line, as did the other top teams, in order to get a stronger attacking front foot set up. A goalie who is skilled at sweeping behind his defense is essential for success in this endeavor. A keeper who is quick and daring enough to come out and assist his defense when the ball is passed behind and through them.

Newcastle are back in the big time – the reaction to the Champions League  draw proves it

Eddie Howe’s defence, like the other elite teams’, needed to push up closer to the halfway line in order to establish a stronger attacking front foot. A goaltender who can sweep behind his defense is critical to success in this quest. A goalkeeper who is quick and brave enough to come out and help his defense when the ball is passed behind and through them.


Eddie Howe’s defence, like that of the other best teams, needed to move closer to the halfway line in order to generate a stronger attacking front foot. A goalkeeper who can sweep behind his defense is essential for success in this endeavor. A goalie who is quick and daring enough to rush out and assist his defense when the ball is passed behind and through them.

So, when a ball is played behind or over the defence, the goalie must assist the defence.

Dubravka’s inadequacies, particularly his fear of leaving his line / penalty area, have had a significant impact on our ability to play and the number of goals surrendered.


Martin Dubravka Newcastle United
Nick Pope would have prevented many of these goals from becoming chances by sweeping behind his defence. He would have had better positioning to prevent a few more and make saves easier, while there is no way he would have allowed goals like that embarrassing opener at Chelsea.

We have to make the best of it this season and hope Nick Pope returns soon.

What I can say with certainty is that Martin Dubravka will not be Newcastle United’s number two next season.

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