We are all fully aware of Newcastle’s incredible form under Rafa Benitez. Sitting at the top of the table, the Magpie’s rejuvenation can be easily credited to the likes of Dwight Gayle, Jonjo Shelvey or even the formidable partnership that has been formed between Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark. However, I feel there is one player that is overlooked when there is a discussion about Newcastle’s success, the local lad, Paul Dummett.
Having played in 19 games this season, totalling 1552 minutes, Dummett has quietly established himself as the first-choice left back. At 25 years of age, the benefits of playing under a world class manager like Rafa Benitez are now starting to show, with the captain’s armband finding its way to him on multiple occasions already this season. Although the manager clearly has an abundance of trust in the academy product, a number of fans seem to disagree.
The complaints about Dummett are sometimes justified, however, even Paolo Maldini, a master of the art of defending, had a bad game now and then. I feel he is often a scapegoat and targeted because he is simply from Newcastle himself. It may be jealousy or another motive but surely we should support even more than normal, one of our own? It’s every lad’s dream from Newcastle to one day play for the famous black and white shirt and this lad’s hard work and talent has allowed him to pursue and achieve his dream, which is even more of a reason to get behind him.
Dummett’s disciplinary record is pretty immaculate, with the exception of the now overturned red card from Friday night’s refereeing horror show at Nottingham Forrest. He’s clearly bought into Benitez’s philosophy with a total of 625 short passes completed this season as opposed to the 116 long balls he’s played. He’s been responsible for a staggering 24 tackles won which is the most in the squad with the second best standing at 13 from Ciaran Clark. Overall, he has a win ratio of 68% and if he adds a few more goals now and then to his game, I’m sure he’ll slowly but surely turn into a terrace favourite.
Only a few have recognised Paul Dummett’s efforts. He’s certainly the unsung hero that provides consistent performances that Newcastle United depend on. If promotion is achieved, which looks more than likely; it will be exciting to further follow his development on the main stage down that left side.
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