Harper – Feast or Famine at Newcastle


Steven Taylor and Steve Harper have been getting the word across to our new foreign players just how important the Sunderland game is to Newcastle supporters.

We’re sure the two Steves, both locals to the area, have been getting their communications over to the likes of Beye and Enrique, about the passions involved in the local derby game.

Steve also mentions how it’s been in his 14 seasons at the club. It’s great or terrible at Newcastle, feast or famine, there’s just no in between for Newcastle supporters.

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Steve Harper – everything is either rosy or it’s crisis time at Newcastle


Steve talked about the derby game earlier today:

“I am from the area and it is up to me and Steven to get around the lads and let them know just how big a game this is and what it means for the region,”

“We will get the message across. The staff will identify strengths and weaknesses before the game and we’ll explain just how important it is to the fans.”

“If you are not expecting it, you can be taken by surprise. Sunderland will come out of the blocks with 48,000 fans shouting for them and having a go.”

“We have to stand up and be counted. It is a big, big game. The foreign lads will have played in big games themselves, but me and Tayls will be saying that this is the biggest one of the lot.”

With 14 years’ service at St James’ Park Steve Harper, 32, but still fairly young for a goalkeeper, has witnessed at close quarters the excesses of expectation at Newcastle. It’s feast or famine when you support Newcastle United – it’s either great or terrible, very little in between. Since the terrible displays against Reading and Portsmouth, there has been more of it (famine) in the past couple of weeks.

Steve continued:

“I’ve been at Newcastle a long time and know how it works,” “A few days ago we were enjoying statistically the best start in 11 years and everyone was thinking it was top-six form.”

“Then two very, very disappointing performances later and it is crisis time. That’s just Newcastle United.” “We have to put the last two games to bed. We have to put on a performance for us, the manager, the fans.”

“It’s a rollercoaster of ups and downs. This is just the way it is here. It is either everything is rosy or it is crisis time. There is never any middle ground. We are either qualifying for Europe or the manager is under pressure.”

“That is the way it has always been. Come Saturday, if we have won, everything will be rosy again. The manager is under pressure week in, week out and that comes with the territory. If someone is prepared to be a manager, it is a high-pressure job.”

One of Allardyce’s most difficult decisions was to drop Harper in favor of Shay Given two months ago when Given recovered from injury. With the Ireland goalkeeper again succumbing to groin trouble, Harper will play in only his second derby appearance on Saturday, but he hardly welcomed his enforced exile.

“I thought my first six games of the season went pretty well,” he said, “so when the manager put Shay back in, I went to see him.”

“We discussed it man to man and I got my feelings across. What was said will remain private – we had a good conversation – but I’ve worked hard for the next opportunity.”

“Now I have one. Shay is out for two or three weeks and I will give it my all. The rest is out of my hands.”

We hope Steve has a good game for us on Saturday. Certainly he’s been a tremendously reliable goalkeeper for us this season. A win on Saturday and everything will be great again in the Newcastle garden, very rosy again.

A defeat will be …… well it’s just too hard to even think about.



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20 comments so far

  • Hammy

    Nov 8, 2007 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #1

    Nice to see Harper went to see Big Sam to see why he got dropped…….
    so much for just sitting back and collecting his wages…….
    Anybody see BSA on SSN? he looked like shit…..not slept for days…..
    I think he may be starting to realise the Toon supporters are a different breed
    to the muppets at the Reebok.
    Hopefully the tactics will be spot on for Saturday……..fingers crossed.

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  • Brisbane Mag

    Nov 8, 2007 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #2

    Harper did not nothing wrong to be dropped by BSA, although most of us agree, Given is slightly better than his pal, Harps!

    Saturday is a big-big game and we can’t afford to lose, so hopefully both sides settle for one point each, then both sets of fans can have a good weekend. I’m hoping Harper keeps a clean sheet and Owen or Martins sneaks a late winner.

    I’ll be watching the game live in the Pig N Whistle, Brisbane and looking forward to it……

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  • Bill f

    Nov 8, 2007 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #3

    Hammy he has been at the Toon for 14 seasons so why is he only now knocking on the bosses door, he either never had the bottle or enough confidence in himself. As you already said earlier he don’t have the presence to be a class keeper. He should have been kicking down doors and saying play me or I leave. Thats the type of keeper I want at the back for us.

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  • adam

    Nov 8, 2007 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #4

    harper is a great professional. we lucky to have him in our squad and i have no worries about him stepping in for given.

    feast or famine is a good way to put it. big club brings big pressure and losses are no tolerated. harps has seen it all over his long spell at newcastle and is a good person to tell the rest of the squad about what it takes.

    i hate sunderland.

    i hope we destroy em. 5-0!

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  • Hammy

    Nov 8, 2007 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #5

    Hmmmnn, you have a point Bill,
    Brisbane Mag, I hope the mogs have a shite weekend mate.
    Don’t want them contaminating our site if the unthinkable happens…….

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  • Howie

    Nov 8, 2007 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #6

    this was probably the first time steve started the season as the main keeper under a new manager as shay was injured so it was probably due to the situation that he did that. first goal i feel is vital on sat. we get it and their crowd quietens and the players confidence is sapped while if they score it the roof will come off and we r not in the best of confidence at the moment to be able to respond

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  • ToonKing

    Nov 8, 2007 at 11:24 PM

    Comment #7

    Were gonna win this one…..i’m sure of it….. i have the FEELING!!!! 😉
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    last time i had the feeling we lost 3-1 to City………………none the less HOWAY, i can’t sit on my arse for 5 days now….can’t wait for the monkeys to be squashed. MUHAHAH

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  • Bill f

    Nov 8, 2007 at 11:29 PM

    Comment #8

    Toon-King
    This is a repeat of an earlier comment by me so keep up the bad feelings. 🙂

    I don’t know if it is some sort of reverse Karma but the more optimistic we are the more we seem to lose. So perhaps all of this negativity is buildin up a positive result. So come on lads lets all start whingeing about how we are going to get thrashed at the beautiful seaside resort of Sunderland by the nice Mackem lot.

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  • adam

    Nov 8, 2007 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #9

    bill that mustve been hard to write. i dont know if i couldve done it.

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  • Bill f

    Nov 8, 2007 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #10

    Adam, if you mean that last sentence, your’e right. I felt quite ill after saying something nice about them. Still one way or another I’ll make up for it after the game. Pure bile man.

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  • ToonKing

    Nov 9, 2007 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #11

    Good idea Bill…………i really hope that those kind and smart and……………………………

    I’m sorry i can’t do it…… 🙁
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    🙂 damn plastic geordies are gonna get spanked.

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  • ToonKing

    Nov 9, 2007 at 1:01 AM

    Comment #12

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhHvHoLEsLs —> sweet memories

    damn i’m going to sleep now so saturday comes faster 😉 .

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  • Leo

    Nov 9, 2007 at 1:28 AM

    Comment #13

    its like xmas, get to bed early so it comes quicker.

    we need to really be physical against them, break a couple of their players, only hoping

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Nov 9, 2007 at 1:57 AM

    Comment #14

    i wish i was a geordie, ur accent is much betta thn mine! and u can say “man” wiv nefin n get away wiv it!! n im outta me nut n i luv every single memba of the toon army!! im feelin so good about saturday!! Howay the Lads!!!!!

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Nov 9, 2007 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #15

    im just going to smoke a dooby n pass out now gd nyt lads!

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  • Len

    Nov 9, 2007 at 4:24 AM

    Comment #16

    Harper for England.

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  • evildick

    Nov 9, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #17

    we either win or something is flying off my 6th floor balcony, possibly one of my scouse mates.

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  • yemozone

    Nov 9, 2007 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #18

    HOWAY THE LADS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    but not optimistic about saturday game b’cos it may turn out to be the worse

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  • Eve

    Nov 9, 2007 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #19

    “Harper for England”..I don’t think so, I just think he’s too slow, he’s not as fast as say Given if you get me, not as reflexsive, that said he’s alot beter then Robinson.

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  • Bill f

    Nov 9, 2007 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #20

    Eve Everybody is better than Robinson even me. 😉

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