Goalkeeper Steve Harper So Mature and Honest


There is a long interview in the Newcastle Journal today with our second string goalkeeper, Steve Harper, who has had a lot more games for the club in the last 18 months, since Shay injured his bowel at West Ham in September, 2006.

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Steve Harper – so down to earth it’s refreshing

This is what Steve told Luke Edwards today of the Journal:

“People might look at the squads and think we’ve got the best players but it doesn’t work like that,” “We might have players who have played in World Cups, won league titles and FA Cups, but we’re no better than the likes of Birmingham City and Wigan because that is what the table tells us.”

“Until we get points on board we can’t say we are better than them. The league table doesn’t lie and it’s not lying at the minute. I think it’s only right that people are getting worried because we haven’t won a game since before Christmas and that run has got to stop.”

“We are there because we deserve to be there. People can talk about tough fixtures or bad luck, but luck will even itself out if you work hard and apply yourself. We have a lot of international players who have been there, done that, but this is a completely new challenge for some of them.”

“But we have some big characters, experienced players. Steven Taylor and James Milner are big characters as well. There are plenty in there and we’ve got to rally round and make sure everybody realizes the task ahead.”

“People have been saying we’ll be all right, but as games are passing by it starts to sink in. It’s getting to the time when we are in it. As players we haven’t underestimated that at all. The immediate priority is to get points on board – starting on Monday.”

“We have five tough away games and this one against Birmingham is the biggest game in the club’s recent history, the biggest game for a long, long time.”

“There is always pressure at this place, everybody knows it’s a pressure cooker – more than any other club. Every game is a big game at a big club but Monday’s is massive. We’ve had a rotten run and an awful couple of months, but there is no point looking back – 29 games have gone and we can’t do anything about them.”

“People talk about ifs and buts, but it’s history and you can’t change that. All that matters now are the next nine games. They are just as important as the last nine games were in 1996. We were riding the crest of a wave then and it was a fantastic time at the club when we came so close, but that’s history.”

“ Maybe people are still thinking of this club in that light, but this is a different scenario and is just as important.” “Kevin was a legend in football for what he did last time here. It was a similar scenario. People forget how he saved club from disappearing into oblivion. It went to the wire and we hope this doesn’t.”

“Once he turned it around he was given the opportunity to build and put the club up where we think it belongs. We can’t think about that though – we have to do the job in last nine games, that’s all we can think about at the moment.”

These are good, truthful and down to earth statements from our goalkeeper Steve Harper.

While Steve has only played 101 games in his time at Newcastle, that doesn’t stop him from being one of our senior players at the club. He is dedicated to the club, and could have played many more games at another Premier club. But he didn’t want to do that, and that has probably adversely affected his career.

But he did what he wanted to do and played for his local team, Newcastle United. And we are pleased he’s been at the club, and is still here.

Steve has been a great servant for Newcastle United, and obviously the club means a lot to him.

Comments welcome.



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10 comments so far

  • Leo

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #1

    you may deserve to be there but some players have lost the privledge of being there on merit and are only there by namesake.

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  • Ian

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #2

    Looking at Steve’s form I now think he may be a better keeper than Shay, especially with attitude he has as good an attitude as I have ever seen from any sportsman in any sport, no-one could ask for more from him.

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  • toonhitman

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #3

    if harper had more play time he would be in the england frame

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  • ELFER

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #4

    I like harper too, but do not overrate this…GIVEN clearly is no 1 with some extra magic and that’s good as it is…

    But for now, the fight must be on! Go and get em!

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  • Macca

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #5

    Harper’s been a good second keeper. He hasn’t done much wrong and if my source is right then he might be in goals for a lot longer because..Apparently, and I mean apparently because my source isn’t always the most reliable but in fairness he’s been right a bit. Apparently Shay Given was flown out to Phoenix yesterday in a “hush hush” trip to see yet another specialist and now apparently there are some “serious question marks” over his career. Apparently they want to operate immediately but Keegan wants to wait. But they flew him to America, which not even his teammates knew about, to “save his career”. Apparently. I wouldn’t read too much in to it..yet.

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  • howway geordies

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #6

    Steve’s best days could be ahead of him.

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  • phoonCK

    Mar 17, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #7

    Well, off-topic here.. How abt this line-up dudes (if Emre and Milner aren’t going to make it due to injuries):

    ‘4-4-2 with attacking mid cum 4-3-3′

    Harper
    Beye Cacapa(Diatta) Faye Enrique
    Geremi(LuaLua) Barton N’Zogbia
    Duff
    Martins Owen

    Subs: Forster, Diatta(Cacapa), LuaLua(Geremi), Butt, Viduka(Smith/Carroll if Viduka unfit)

    Harper stands in goal, who else. Replace Taylor with either Cacapa or Diatta. Taylor for me has to be given a rest, he’s just off-form at the moment. Geremi has a good cross in him, so i’ll like to use him, more inside right than wide right. Barton to be the box-to-box midfield general, and i hope he can rediscover his form. N’Zogbia will be on the inside left, also has a good cross in him, but we need him to turn up for matches. Duff will play behind the front two, Martins and Owen. Duff can change to forward right if we are going to attack more, turning it to 4-3-3..

    Keep the Faith
    Howay the Lads

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  • Rob

    Mar 17, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #8

    Macca on the 5th of march you made a statement saying u supported sunderland

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  • Macca

    Mar 17, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Ok..random..you sure about that? Were they my exact words? Are you sure it was me because Macca’s a pretty common name and I’d never EVER say anything like that about Sunderland. I don’t even think I was posting on here then. So are you sure it was me do you mind telling me where I supposedly said this.

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  • ObaFan2

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #10

    I too like Harper and he’s a local lad which is great and he has never seemed to moan about not playing.

    However before Given was injured he was definately one of the best keepers in the league if not the world (maybe Chelski’s keeper was pretty good too 🙁 ).

    He (Given) has saved this team so many times in the past and now it’s up to Harper.

    This could be his chance to make his claim to an England place too.

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