Competition improves everyone and that implies to Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett.
However, it seems the 27-year-old is unusually confident about his first-team spot as he appeared to suggest in a recent interview that he wasn’t really overly sweating about losing his first-team status even when he read Antonio Barreca would take his place.
“Of course, it’s nice to hear the plaudits,” Dummett told the Daily Star in an interview.
“I even had my first nine out of ten in the papers last week!
“But I’m still the same guy everyone thinks is going to lose my place when a new signing comes in.
“Last season, I remember reading that Antonio Barreca had been signed to replace me but it never happened.
“I know I’m not the most fashionable player. Maybe because I’m not good on the eye.
“But fortunately all my managers have liked me. They see me as the steady, consistent, dependable sort.”
Dummett has impressed so far this season as he has not only averaged a rating of 6.86 across his three outings, his performance in the 3-1 loss to Norwich makes his rating seems worse than it is, but he stole the show against Tottenham. (WhoScored)
The Wales international made a staggering 13 clearances to maintain the Magpies’ narrow 1-0 lead as well as made one tackle and two vital interceptions. (Source: WhoScored)
So while Dummett has more than earned his spot in Steve Bruce’s side, him not sweating over losing his place is surely a double-edged sword.
The 27-year-old confidently believes managers like him because he is steady and consistent, which is true, yet if he had someone breathing down his neck to start then he’ll be kept on his toes and would have no choice but not to let his performances drop.
However, Dummett doesn’t seem to have that fear in place and surely that means he could end up becoming complacent because even great footballers are suspectable to that.
With the Magpies defender playing as a centre-back this season, it seems the only players on the books capable of taking his place are Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark.
Fernandez has only been deemed good enough to play eight minutes of league action so far this season, as per WhoScored, while Clark hasn’t featured in the Premier League at all, so Dummett isn’t exactly got any reason to feel threatened.
This is especially the case when you consider the Magpies have crashed out the League Cup so the only way the duo are going to get an opportunity to leapfrog Dummett in the pecking order is by blowing Bruce away in training, which seems hard for a defender to do.