News yesterday that Steve Harper has thought about leaving Newcastle before now. That’s not at all surprising as Steve has been on the bench a long time over his Newcastle career, playing second fiddle to Irish International Shay Given
However, even though Harper has been a great servant of the club we’ve always believed that as far as his career goes if he had left Newcastle and played regular Premiership football, he would have been an England International by now.
That’s especially true of late with goalkeepers James and Robinson not exactly being mistake free when playing for their country.
Steve Harper – determined to keep his place
Steve Harper now admits he is determined to keep his place in the Newcastle team and it’s going to be very interesting when Given returns from international duty next week. We do believe that Harper will keep his place for the game at Derby County on Saturday, and at the latest Given will play in one of the 3 games in 6 days coming up. Whether Given makes too much of not being in the team, as he did a few years ago under Sir Bobby Robson, remains to be seen. But we don’t expect him to under Big Sam’s guidance.
This is what Steve said yesterday.
“It has been difficult at times and I can’t deny there have been times when I’ve questioned my decision to stay here,” “A lot of people have said the manager’s decision to keep me in the team sends out the right signals. I’ve got the jersey and it’s up to me to keep it. It will be down to me if I lose it and that’s what you want in the team.â€
“I’m determined to hang on to the shirt, even if Shay is a friend. The long periods I’ve been on the bench have been the hardest period of my professional life and, now I’m in the team, I want to stay there. You do hear stories about goalkeepers at other clubs who don’t get on, but Shay and I have been together for the best part of 10 years.”
“We have a good relationship on and off the field. It’s difficult when one has to miss out on match day, but we both know that is football and we are supportive of each other.”
Steve has been a great servant of the club and is well respected within the squad of course. But has he impacted his career by staying at his home town club?
Comments on this welcome â€“ we have also opened up a new discussion point on our Newcastle United Forum to discuss the Given – Harper competition. Certainly Steve has been first rate this season and it’s hard to leave somebody out who been playing faultlessly for the team.