Vitals

 

  • Birthdate: 15 January 1989 (29 years old)
  • Birthplace: Žilina, Slovakia
  • Height: 187 cm
  • Weight: 80 kg
  • Transfer Status: On contract to June 2022

Background

Club

Martin went through the youth set-up in his hometown of Žilina, Slovakia. He made his senior debut for the MŠK Žilina club at age 20 and stayed with the club through 2013.

In MŠK Žilina’s ‘10-’11 season, the club participated in the Champions League, with Dubravka starting every match in the group stage, after which they were eliminated.

From here, Dubravka becomes a bit of a journeyman. 3 years after the CL performance, Martin transferred to the Danish Superliga club Esbjerg fB. 2.5 years after that, Dubravka joined Slovan Liberec of the Czech First League.

After one season here, Martin transferred to Sparta Prague (also of the Czech First League) in June 2017.

On 31 January 2018, the last day of the transfer window, Martin Dubravka transferred to Newcastle United. He made his debut on 11 February, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win against Manchester United. He became the 16th Slovak player and only the 2nd Slovak goalkeeper to start in a Premier League fixture.

Country

Martin Dúbravka got 6 call-ups to the Slovakia U-19s, and 12 to the U-21s.

Dúbravka made his national team debut against Montenegro on 23 May 2014 (2-0 win). He made his competitive debut in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, against Lithuania (2-1 win), on 10 June 2017.

Martin has held his starting role ever since, with 9 caps so far for the senior side.

General GK Stats

In terms of footballing quality, the Czech league is a major step down from England’s Premier League. For context, its UEFA coefficient neighbors are Switzerland & Cyprus. In spite of that, we wanted to crunch the numbers to get a sense of how Dubravka might stack up.

Shot Save = the % of shots on target that are saved

Distribution = the % of passes that are completed

StatDubravkaElliotDarlow
Shot Save 87%67%69%
Distribution87%52%54%

GK Analysis Disclaimer

Goalkeeper analysis is perhaps the most complicated position in football to assess.

Along with the fundamental skill of shot stopping, there’s also an assessment of their judgment in rushing off the line vs. holding their ground. Not to mention a GK’s ability to deal with high crosses, distribute, and organize/communicate with the defense — it’s a complicated, nuanced position that won’t be served with highlights & typical match footage.

Dubravka Performance Analysis:

11th Feb 2018 vs. Man United (NUFC Debut)

Showed excellent footwork throughout, both in short passing situation and longer distribution.

Came out in smart situations such as claiming crosses and punching out from corners, but he also has a tendency to stay on his goal line in situations he could’ve been more proactive in coming out (See clip 7).

Helped us build from the back easier and also press in more numbers in central positions as his distribution didn’t put the team under pressure by losing the ball in high areas.

Sparta Praha Fan’s Analysis

“His main strengths are distribution, he’s very confident on the ball. He has great reflexes on the line and is really good at 1 on 1 too. Weaknesses are probably crosses, but I feel like it depends on how he slept the night before. Sometimes he snatches every ball coming in his direction and sometimes makes a silly mistake.

I feel like it’s all about his head, because when he’s not 100 % concentrated he does a mistake from time to time. Watch highlights from our matches against Crvena Zvezda in Europa League qualifiers. He wasn’t very good in neither of those. Made a horrible mistake in the league against Bohemians that costed us points too. He was benched for a match or two but our other GK Koubek was sold to Rennes so he became our no. 1 GK again very quickly and was rock solid ever since.”

In Conclusion

In terms of shot-stopping reactions, commanding his line, high cross abilities, and distribution, Martin Dubravka seems to be the complete package. Though he came from “watered-down” leagues and has potentially misleading stats, his debut against Manchester United removed doubts that Dubravka was a big fish in little ponds.

HTL.