By Noel Whelan

18th Feb, 2020 | 12:21pm

'You simply cannot do that' - Exclusive: Newcastle fans favourite panned by pundit

Noel Whelan claimed Newcastle United “cannot afford” to make mistakes as Martin Dubravka did against Arsenal this weekend.

The former Leeds United and Coventry forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted it comes down to “a lack of concentration” which the Toon can ill afford right now.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper, who signed a new 6-year deal at the club this season, was at fault for the second goal of Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at the Emirates in what was a dismal second-half display by Steve Bruce’s side.

Alexandre Lacazette’s tame effort appeared to be a routine stop for the Dubravka but it somehow found it’s way into the back of the net.

When asked for his assessment of Steve Bruce’s sides performance in the capital, Whelan told Football Insider: “Defensive mistakes, you simply cannot do that.

“The header by Aubameyang – too much space, no-one challenging him.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“You cannot do that against top players! You will get punished! That is when you need to be ruthless. There is no way a player of that ability should have that much time.

“Dubravka – that is a simple save. That is a lack of concentration and you cannot afford that because the second goal kills the game.

“Lacazette with a little bit of luck but he gives himself the opportunity and it could have been more in the second half.” 

The Magpies matched Mikel Arteta’s side in the opening exchanges and went into half time with the sides level.

However, a second-half capitulation leaves United winless on the road since early December.

In other Newcastle United news, Alex Bruce has told Football Insider the three players who are letting his father down.