Paul Dummett has not always been the flavour of the month at Newcastle United, but his recent form has reminded fans why he actually is so important.
The left back has received a lot of criticism in the past for his inability to go forward and limited passing style, with some supporters getting on his back, despite Dummett being competent at defending, which really was and still is his main job.
It got to the point where Dummett could do no right, with even his crossing being criticised despite being more accurate than some of the wingers Newcastle have had in years gone by.
Despite being solid enough last season, some claimed that Newcastle still needed a new left back for the Premier League, belittling Dummett’s credentials.
Newcastle’s number three would pick up an injury on the opening day against Tottenham, and it was from there that everyone began to realise how important Dummett really was to Rafa Benitez.
With Javi Manquillo at left back, it became clear early on that the Spaniard had a mistake in him, and that mistake was exploited week after week, making the need for Dummett greater by the week.
Since the 26-year-old has returned, Newcastle have looked much more robust and competent in defence, getting back to the gritty style that saw them do so well early on in the season.
You know what you are going to get with Dummett: He’s going to sit in defence, win his battles, and let the flair players deal with scoring at one end while he keeps them out at the other.
The role of the full back has changed in years gone by, with managers preferring their wide defenders to attack relentlessly, almost ignoring their defensive responsibilities.
We have seen this problem at St James’ Park with both Daryl Janmaat and Davide Santon; two players who did a decent job going forward but had no interest in defending, and their inability was masked by the fact they got forward on every opportunity, much to the detriment of the team.
Those days are now gone though, and the anti-modern day full back Paul Dummett is exactly what Newcastle need, and the lad richly deserves his new contract. The reaction to the news has been even better, with fans now truly on the Paul Dummett train.
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