It has been a miserable start to the season for Newcastle United but Martin Dubravka has been excellent.
Newcastle are without a win after eight Premier League games. And with just two draws, they sit in 19th place.
Things are looking bleak at St James’ Park but all hope is not lost yet. Rafa Benitez will be trying to turn things around.
And he will hope that the rest of his players can match the performances of Dubravka.
The 29-year-old has set the bar high. And the others Newcastle players must follow his example.
Things could have been a lot worse for Newcastle had Dubravka not been stood between the sticks.
The Slovakia international consistently makes good saves and commands his box well, making him a perfect well-rounded goalkeeper.
Moreover, he appears to be endearing himself to fans. Dubravka is already establishing himself as a firm fans’ favourite and could go down in Geordie folklore.
He still has a number of years ahead of him and if Dubravka can help keep Newcastle up then stay with them for their rise up the league table, he could be remembered fondly on Tyneside.
A bit of a gamble
Before his move to Newcastle, Dubravka was a relatively unknown quality. But their recruitment was wise as they ran the rule over the commanding stopper on loan before signing him permanently.
This was a shrewd piece of business by Newcastle and it was uncharacteristic given some of their other deals in recent years.
But Dubravka is developing into a top player at Newcastle and he has been the shining light in the team this term.