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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Poll: Given vs Harper – Who Should be Newcastle’s Goalkeeper?

8:07 am, Saturday, September 8th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 42 Comments

There’s some growing controversy among supporters about how long Shay Given will be kept out of the Newcastle United team by in-form goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Of course Shay Given is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premiership and has won the award twice when voted as best keeper by his peers in the league.

Steven Harper has been tagged as the best back-up in the league so when Shay was injured and Steve came in during pre-season, he’s played faultlessly for Newcastle. Big Sam is probably loathe to drop him right now as he’s asked players to make that hard for him when they do get their chance in the team..

stephen-harper.jpgstephen-harper-2.jpg

Twins Steve Harper and Shay Given

So Here’s the poll – we’ll announce the results on Monday morning.



Tags: Newcastle News · Players · Shay Given · Steve Harper



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42 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Arthur Prince // Sep 8, 2007 at 8:28 AM

    I think that both should be by rotating them as long as they both work hard at raising or maintaining their standards . There will be many matches for both to contribute significantly to the cause .
    BSA knows best . Good to have competition for all the places . No Places by right or Prima Donna expectations or favourites. This way everyone knows what is expected from them and standards are maintained . Both are top Goalies however they surely know that we all think they are great . The grass isnt greener elsewhere either!!

  • 2 Stephen // Sep 8, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    You know like Harper has done very well when he has come in and has kep clean sheets etc etc…….

    So he deserves to keep his place like because he hasnt put a foot wrong but i see it in another view…….

    Shay Given is Quailty and for me the best keeper in the league and Quailty comes over good performances anytime……

    An example is Ameobi scoring goals for us a big cup game comes up for us would you prefer him or Martins or Owen when you know them 2 can make something happen Ameobi i dont think cant same With Given and Harper i think Given can make saves which Harper cant…

  • 3 Ed Harrison // Sep 8, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    If the poll is not shown it’s because the blogflux service is having difficulties with their this morning – Saturday.

  • 4 Lamesley Mag // Sep 8, 2007 at 9:46 AM

    Given has proven himself to be a very good goalkeeper for many years; when injured, Harper comes in and deputizes for him very well.

    BSA has a big squad of players to keep happy and not only 2 goalkeepers who are equally as good…….

    We have Krull coming through the ranks, possibly knocking on the first team door and looking for a starting position next season. Decisions-decisions…….

  • 5 pratish solanki // Sep 8, 2007 at 9:59 AM

    why drop harper when he is performing…remember given has already threatened twice to leave the club after being dropped while harper gave up on england dreams just to play for us!!! now what player would do that?! . yes given given :) may be slightly better but thats because he has played so much both for newcaste and ireland!!! give the lad a chance until he commits a blunder!!! and if given doesnt want to sit on the bench, then cash in on him and invest in another young one like krul(though i doubt he will leave) plus we have krul and he should be ready by next year . HOWAY THE LADS!

  • 6 Whitey // Sep 8, 2007 at 10:53 AM

    Given Should be number 1 but let harper see out his great form. Maybe he could then get a deserved England Call up

  • 7 Dave // Sep 8, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    wky would we leave given out of the squad. the goal keeper who was voted to be top 5 keeper rank in the premiership. Remember how the defence really fell apart last season when given was out. He can not only make better saves then Harper but he is also a better organiser of the defence.

  • 8 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 11:48 AM

    pratish solanki , frop him, why drop him, I don’t know let me see, oh ya cause Given is better. He is one of the best in Europe, I don’t care if Harper hasn’t made a mistake or not, I don’t care if he doesn’t deserve to be droped. Given is better why keep the better player on the bench just cause the other one hasn’t screwed up yet. Given can make saves that Harper can’t. Nobody has wanted Harper, no one’s put in a major offer for him, no big club has shown interest in him, if they did I doubt that he’d still be there, Given has given so much to the club and he’s put up with so much crap, playing behind one of the worst defense’s in the premiership and he could have left and went to Arsenal or Man U or anyone, he could have and will still probally get the no.1 jersey anywhere. He doesn’t like sitting on the bench, most players don’t like to. He doesn’t deserve to be on the bench he’s better then that, if I were ye I wouldn’t want him to leave, but if he doesn’t get regular football, then why should he stay, he’s given enough allready, his patience most be coming to an end like. I can’t believe that people think that Harper is as good as him or better. I would be begging him to stay, not thinking about cashing in on him like but why should he if he’s not getting the games, he’s given enough, if he’s sick of it, well then it’s been overdue.

    Why should it be double standards, I don’t see anyone here saying that we should cash in on Owen, Ameobi hasn’t done anything wrong, he’s done well. He preforms. Double standards..typical Newcastle striker obbsesion.

  • 9 Cathal // Sep 8, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    given is by far the better keeper but harper deserves his chance to retain the jersey. if he makes a mistake or gets injured then given comes in and vice versa. its called competition for places!

  • 10 hadrian // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:01 PM

    be great if we could push harper into the england side wouldnt it ? what a story that would be , and the guy could probably do well for us .
    but its given all the way for me in goal for the toon, thats not to say harper shouldnt get his share of games , like to see sam rotate the whole team where possible .

  • 11 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:07 PM

    Harper is ok, he’s good enough like but Given is alot better. It’s that simple, well it should be. There is no question, Given should be no.1. But there’s a problem and there’s nothing Given can do about it, he can play absolutley outstanding and wouldn’t matter. Because people in England believe that Harper should be playing for England.

    “Given is one of the best in Europe, and for the past couple of years I have believed that if Harper was getting regular first-team football he would have a chance of playing for England.”

    And that is why Harper would get picked ahead of Given, which is wrong. I don’t care how loyal Harper may seem, or how he hasn’t screwed up in a while, Given is alot better and shoudln’t be forced out of the no.1 spot because of football politics cause the only way ye will see Harper in the England side is if he gets more games and thats unfair on Given because he is the better keeper and shouldn’t be kept out in those circumstances.

  • 12 Jon Armann // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:12 PM

    just so you know!!! the pictures you have of super shay and Looky Loverson(Harper) is both of Harper??? Twins alright ;) heheh

  • 13 iain // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    just letting shay back in the team is unfair imo. and id rather be safe than sorry with his injury problems as well.

    it sends the wrong message imo if sam jus throws given back in on his reputation (is it just me or has he looked unfit ever since the harewood injury, never lookec comfortabel extending himself), it goes against the idea of competition for places as well.

    it wouldnt be a problem if harper wasnt such a good keeper, his save vs villa off reo coker was as good as anything shay does.

    there both average kickers/not great at coming for catches from crosses/but very good punchers to make up for that.

    only gripe i have with harper is he is too slow at releasing the ball for quick attacks, sometimes looks like hes waiting for the opo to line up rather than for one of our players in space.

    best thing to do imo is faze shay back in slowly in cup games. then see how harper carries on. i doubt shay will be out the team come january, but if he is i think arsenal will move for him. i also dont think he will get back in as 1st choice straigh away.

  • 14 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    I think leaving OWen straight back into the team is unfair. I think it sends the wrong message.

    Whatever Harper can do Given can do alot better.

    And I think if Arsenal go for him come January and if he goes I think Arsenal will win the premiership.

  • 15 Jonny // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:34 PM

    GIVEN no doubt about it whoever says Harper is stupid

  • 16 Bailey // Sep 8, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Should be Shay every time no question. Harper has shown no ambition whatsoever and hung to what for him has been a cushy number. Alan Oliver states most fans think Harper should be playing for England a typical stupid comment from him. Most fans I know would not have him in Blyth Spartans team.

  • 17 Andreas // Sep 8, 2007 at 1:10 PM

    Given should be our no1 keeper. However, a player shouldn’t cry out load for a few games on the bench (espcially after a injury). If the the situation goes on then Given have every right to be pissed off and seek “showdown talks” but not now when he just got back from the injury.

    Btw, Sinead – I think most people have got the message now. You adore Given and reckons that NUFC-fans/manager/managemet/et al don’t give a shit about Given and only think about our strikers/attacking players… Well think that’s not the case and as said, we got your point in any case so please – there’s no need for your “you-people-don’t-care-about-Given-crusade”.

  • 18 Joe // Sep 8, 2007 at 1:10 PM

    Harps has been fantastic and fully deserves his run in the first team but I can’t see why – if NUFC are looking to compete in all competitions – they can’t both rotate. Given can’t come back from injury then throw a paddy for not coming back into the team..that doesn’t happen anywhere else so why should it happen at the toon? If someone shows great form, you’re only killing their confidence by dropping them. It’s counterproductive for the team spirit..shows that even if the smaller names at the club perform brilliantly, as soon as the big name is fit they’ll be dropped..how’s that going to improve our performances if the big names think they can just walk in to the team?

    It would be interesting – and maybe you could sort this out Ed – to see over the years who has kept the higher percentage of clean sheets. Because I don’t know if anyone remembers but Harps played in every FA Cup game leading up to the United final in 99

    Which leads me onto another point.. I know Harps doesn’t play that much but McClaren has a very experienced deputy in him who has played every level of club football and generally doesn’t make blunders..why not use him? James and Robbo are decent but they make silly mistakes and can’t keep cool in big games whereas Harper is exactly the opposite

    PS. Can’t understand people who say Shay makes ‘better saves’ than Harper does..don’t get me wrong Shay is one of my favourite players but surely clean sheets are more important than making saves look good!?!

  • 19 Joe // Sep 8, 2007 at 1:13 PM

    Oh and btw Sinead..Irish by any chance? You’re correct, the game is littered with football politics…

  • 20 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 1:29 PM

    First of all I think that we’ve established the media making a mountain out of a mole hill. GIven hasn’t deamanded anything, all he wants is to no where he stands.

    Grand so, tell me that ye HONESTLY think the same about Owen.

  • 21 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 1:30 PM

    Joe he makes saves Harper can’t. They look good cause they are good.

  • 22 Joe // Sep 8, 2007 at 2:11 PM

    Yeah Shay is far more athletic and makes great saves that most keepers can’t. But his indecision when dealing with crosses (probably due to lack of leadership in defence, no?) had looked a bit scary in the past. Both keepers have good and bad points but I see no reason why BSA can’t satisfy both with the amount of games we’re looking to play i.e.week after international duty!

  • 23 Dirk // Sep 8, 2007 at 2:26 PM

    shay is a gr8 keeper 1 of the best in the prem no doubt but if harper is performing then i c no reason y he shouldn keep his place? even when given gets his place back id lik to c harper start in the carling cup and fa cup to keep his form going. we could be seeing a new harper in goals here!

  • 24 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 2:35 PM

    Ok I see yere point. But ye didn’t answer my question. Martins is playing really well so does that mean he shouldn’t loose his place to Owen?? I don’t see a reason why he should.

  • 25 Joe // Sep 8, 2007 at 3:19 PM

    Neither do I but I also think Martins and Owen could play well together. The argument against having two short players up front is that they won’t score headers from crosses and neither will hold up the ball… well Martins can leap higher than the tallest of defenders because of his athleticism and one of Roeders/Shearers main criticisms of Martins was that he was holding up the ball too much and playing Sibi on when it should have been the other way round. I see no reason for a front two of Owen and Martins.

  • 26 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 4:00 PM

    No now if you had to pick one which should it be??

  • 27 Joe // Sep 8, 2007 at 4:33 PM

    Sorry Harper, It has to be Shay though. He’s just amazing. Harper takes this p*ss with his kicks aswell.

  • 28 Sinead // Sep 8, 2007 at 4:39 PM

    OK, I meant Owen or Martins like but OK.

  • 29 Jamin // Sep 8, 2007 at 9:38 PM

    Just a thought but i think the key reason why Owen came in to the league team against wigan at the expense of Martins was the change in formation coupled with the fact that BSA believed we could beat wigan with either. It’s arguable that the wigan match was a “lesser team game” and thats where you try and rotate the “second choice” players into to keep the team looking fresh.
    To the formation Owen wouldn’t ever be in my thinking as a wide forward in a 4-3-3 style like Martins was playing well in, thats why I feel he came in, and before you ask i’d probably pick Martins over Owen if it was a choice and also i think Given is the better keeper (not by much though) but that Harper shouldn’t be dropped just casue Given is back from injury, if he’s as much better as some claim then his quality will eventually displace Harper in any case surely?!?

  • 30 Beastie // Sep 8, 2007 at 10:51 PM

    give harper a chance christ the lads been here 15 years and hasnt complained at all, he has been in and hasnt done nothing wrong, made some great saves villa and boro if it werent for them we ould of lost!!! keep him in if he has a drop of confidence put the best keeper in the league back in! for me harper would walk into the england sqaud!!!

  • 31 Sinead // Sep 9, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    Ya and that’s about the only reason Harper played ahead of Given, because people think that if he plays enough games he’ll get into the English squad. Why else should we keep one of the best keepers in Europe on the bench because what Harper hasn’t made many mistakes.

    Given had a great game last night for Ireland like, absolutley nothing he could do about either of the 2 goals. He and Dunne kept us in it all night.

  • 32 lew Davies // Sep 9, 2007 at 2:20 PM

    Ed- you would have done better to word this poll as ” who should be Newcastles Keeper for the next game?”
    I think Harps has done so well that he just doesn’t deserve to be dropped yet. If and when he has a bad game then fair enough, but Shay has now had a series of injuries, and Harps really hasn’t let us done.
    There is no point in having competition for places if someone is guaranteed a starting place.
    I really hope Big Sam doesn’t buckle to any pressure from Shay. Harps deserves to keep his place.

  • 33 Sinead // Sep 9, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    OK so. I hope he doesn’t buckle under pressure to play Owen. Martins doesn’t deserve to loose his place.

  • 34 Joe // Sep 10, 2007 at 12:08 AM

    I don’t think Sam was counting on either Martins or Owen staying in the summer so he’s found himself in a great position. Christ, think about last season when no one was fit and what a bitch that was! At least this season we’re arguing about who should be in goal out of our TWO fit keepers and who should start up front out of our TWO best strikers! It’s great and I’m loving it!

    But now Sam is in this position, wouldn’t a 4-3-3 satisfy all parties? Kind of like this – Given/Harps — Beye Roz Cacapa Enrique —– Milner Geremi Zog —— Viduka —– Martins Owen

    Ok, so it’s 4-3-1-2 but it’s gives all the key players a game and allows Vid to unleash a pass onto Martins or Owen!

  • 35 Sinead // Sep 10, 2007 at 8:27 AM

    The point is though that there is no argument from anyone about Martins or Owen but when it comes to the keepers it’s..eh Harper’s doing allright why bother changing it.

  • 36 Sinead // Sep 10, 2007 at 8:28 AM

    And that’s what annoys me, no one cares less once the “outstanding” Owen is back.

  • 37 Joe // Sep 10, 2007 at 2:33 PM

    If something ain’t broke don’t fix it!

  • 38 Sinead // Sep 10, 2007 at 4:46 PM

    Ok then lets not play Owen instead of Martins, lets wait till Martins form drops.

  • 39 Joe // Sep 10, 2007 at 7:00 PM

    The great Alf Ramsey said never change a winning team!

  • 40 Sinead // Sep 10, 2007 at 7:55 PM

    Never change a winning team?? Oh that’s what you want. You defend Owen to the death saying that he should be played ahead of Martins yet when it comes to GIven and Harper the opposite applies. Just typical double standards.

  • 41 Joe // Sep 14, 2007 at 12:51 PM

    How is it double standards? We’re going round in circles here coz I don’t know what you mean and I don’t think you do either??? Don’t change a winning team i.e. a team that has Owen and Harps in it. I don’t think Martins should be dropped though, i’d like to see them play together LIKE I KEEP SAYING!

  • 42 Sinead // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    No I mean if they couldn’t play together, if it came down to one OR the other it would be Owen picked all the time. When I say double standards I mean that even though MArtins has made no mistakes you’d rather see him dropped but since HArper hasn’t made any mistakes Given should have to wait, can you not actually see the double standards there and it looks like HArper will play again for the Derby match..Sam said that it was not difficult to drop Shay, so it does look like he prefers Harper after all. WOW.




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