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All aboard the overdone train, unless of course you’re already on board.
As soccer fans, we are no strangers to the train, and Twitter has made immediate post-match analysis an opportunity to screw up a player who has had a bad smell, or make sure everyone knows that his team is full of beaters. worldwide. Maybe this is a justified train.
After a 0-0 draw against Liverpool on Wednesday night, Newcastle fans revealed themselves in a performance that actually deserved a point, a rare commodity this season.
This was due in large part to the contributions of the man between the suits: Karl Darlow.
The rest of the team certainly did their part, but had it not been for their masterful positioning and reflexes, Liverpool would surely have left St. James’ Park with all three points.
Darlow only made four saves according to the stats, but all were gold-edged chances (particularly Mo Salah’s) that you would have backed Liverpool forwards to save. They probably would have done it against a different goalkeeper.
With calls for a place in the England setting, some Toon fans are likely to be labeled delusional for even entertaining the idea. You can imagine the conversations in the pub, if they ever let us go back: “Darlow ?! To England? You must be kidding!”
In fact, I am not.
This has not been a flash in the pan of English, it has been a constant standout performer for Steve Bruce’s side.
Any fan who watches Newcastle regularly will tell you that they have often kept the Magpies only in games where, given the performance of the rest of the team, the opposition should be home and dry.
Making his Premier League debut in December 2015 after his purchase of Nottingham Forest, it wasn’t until Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship that he became a starter. Darlow enjoyed 34 appearances in his quest for the No. 1 jersey, most notably two penalty saves in a game against his former club.
The arrival of Martin Dubravka meant that Darlow once again found himself in the background. So it might come as a surprise to learn that Darlow turned 30 this year. The ‘Peter Pan’ figure has emerged from Neverland to finally get his shot at the first division after Dubravka’s heel injury in August.
He has caught it with two hands, making 63 saves already, the second highest in the league, with a 70.9% save success rate.
It’s true that your savings percentage ranks only eighth among your peers, but that’s not a fully accurate reflection of your contributions. Darlow’s save number is only three less than West Brom’s number (they are first on the list), and the same as Leeds’s.
His performance against Liverpool received praise from his coach on Wednesday. “Our goalkeeper has produced some great save, “said Bruce.” I am very happy for him. He’s doing everything he can to make that (number 1) shirt his. “
It certainly is, and has been doing it all season. His 11 stops at Tottenham Hotspur come to mind, where Newcastle somehow escaped with a point thanks to their brilliance.
Dubravka has returned from injury, but the Slovakian’s return to the starting eleven seems unlikely given Darlow’s form.
The question arises why not for England. Gareth Southgate should stop lingering on error-prone Jordan Pickford and give the man who turned down a Ryan Giggs approach to play for Wales a chance for the Three Lions.