Harper – A Million Miles Away From Where We Were

Steve Harper thought Newcastle played well on Saturday but he was a little disappointed that the Magpies didn’t come back from the south coast with all 3 points.


Steve Harper – disappointed with just a single point

Steve Harper talked to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:

“It was a really good team performance against a big, strong and talented Portsmouth side.” “We have not had a great record at Fratton Park. It’s a difficult place to go. We knew they like a long-range shot, and the lads did well putting their bodies on the line.”

“It was a good team performance, and it shows how far we have come to leave somewhere like this a little bit disappointed with a point.”

“From a couple of months ago, it’s now at the total opposite end of the spectrum. It’s a million miles away from where we were.” “It’s given us a lot of confidence going into the last four games.”

Saturday was different for Newcastle from last years’ visit to Fratton Park when we were beaten 2-1.

Steve added:

“We lost 2-1 last year, and Matthew Taylor scored a cracker against us.” “This time I had one save off the deflection, otherwise it was just neat and tidy.”

“It was a really good team performance. You wouldn’t say anybody was head and shoulders above anybody else, and nobody was far below par.” “To have everybody playing at a good level, week in, week out, is fantastic.”

Yes, we thought it was another good and professional performance from the lads, and they just didn’t have that luck necessary to capture all 3 points.

Steve Harper himself had another fine game, and he will be hard to dislodge next season by Shay Given, on this form.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • sirjasontoon

    Apr 14, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #1

    Good point against Pompey at the weekend and the lads look like they are enjoying playing football again.
    I think I was as worried as anyone at the results that we got when keegan arrived and it is great to see some passion and fight back in the team.

    I think Keegan should be able to get some decent new signings in the summer with his charisma and positivity..lets hope he gets Peter Crouch on board and decides not to chase Wes Brown who I think is turd and his attitude sucks.

  • Davies

    Apr 14, 2008 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Says a lot really. I was not optimistic about taking a point, but by the end of the game I was disappointed that we hadn’t taken all three. I really think the team as a whole played well enough to get the win.

    That said, not many teams come away from Fratton Park with a share of the points and, as everybody keeps pointing out, if we’d had this fixture two months ago, we’d probably have come home with nothing.

    Roll on the derby.

  • Egar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed, I’m getting an impression that you’re a pro Harper.

  • Murvar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #4

    Egar – Ed’s pro-everybody in a B&W shirt! That’s why I like the site. He seems to believe that rubbishing your own players in print is not a good way of helping the club go forward. And I agree with him. Maybe you do too……..

  • Murvar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #5

    Er – and yes I do realise that Steve Harper doesn’t ACTUALLY wear a B&W shirt………..

  • Proud to be Black & White formaly know as John

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #6

    looks like that moroocan guy still may want to come to the toon.

    Check it out


  • Egar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #7

    Just pulling Ed’s leg a bit, Murvar. There was quite some interesting Given~Harper shout just a wee back and I am in the pro Harper team.

    Er – and yes Steve Harper does ACTUALLY wear B&W in his heart.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #8

    Well said Murvar!..

  • wsq

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #9

    dun want no skinny morocco guy coming to tynside who only looks good on youtube the way youtube makes james milner look like a world class player the same way nufc made a mistake with luque

  • Bill F

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #10

    From the highlights I saw, most of the action was at pompies end. It’s often easier for a goalie to perform better whilst he is under constant pressure. It takes a very good keeper to be able to perform when the play suddenly switches to his end after being a spectator for long periods. Harper appeared to do this admirably and I would expect him to start as number 1 next year especially as I beleive Shay will not get back to being the player he was.

  • James

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #11

    The Daily Mail who have always been critical of KK being given a second chance had a great headline about the game…

    “Inventive Newcastle Cause Portsmouth So Many Problems.”

    They raved about Owen, and said KK was quickly turning Newcastle into one of the best teams to watch in the PL.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Wow James, the mail?..
    …Will wonders ever cease!..
    …I guess it just goes to prove how fickle they are really?..
    …I’m sure they’ll be back to their old NUFC hating ways next time we lose tho’!..

  • James

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Punk Skunk – I was stunned myself. They even admitted they’d been wrong about KK and he clearly was the right man for the job.

    Although same thing happened when he was manager the first time. A big section of the media were on his back until he proved to them how well he can make a team play football. Then they all started referring to us as The Entertainers.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #14

    …Now that’s amazin’!..
    …A snoozepaper admitting it was wrong!..


  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #15

    …KK, just keep doin’ what ya’ doin’ & prove the idiots wrong!..
    …Can’t wait to get this season out of the way & start from the same footing as everyone else next season!..
    …Toon, Toon!..

  • Egar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #16

    Welcome to the club, Bill.

  • ScottyT

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #17

    harper is quality. great lad and great keeper on good form. like ave sed b4 atm harper is way better than given. givens quality too but only when fully fit which is why this break should do him the world of good.

    harpers one of me fav players tbh cos of his loyalty and committment for 12 years on the bench. who does that nowadays? said it b4 an al say it again on this form atm surely hes close to england callup with the form of other english keepers (carson, robinson, james for england).

  • Egar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #18

    Definitely endangered species. (loyalty and committment for 12 years on the bench)

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #19

    Defo, if Harper plays the rest of the season & into next, he’s gotta get a call up for england…
    …James was well lucky the other day & i’m not sure that he’ll have enamoured himself too much with Cappello there like?..

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #20

    Also, if Harper does get a call up, it’ll defo put the cat amongst the pidgeons at NUFC with regard to the no.1 jersey!..
    …Don’t ya’ think?..

  • Leo

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #21

    yeah its a rare thing someone being as loyal as harper has been

  • Bill F

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #22

    I’m not a total Harper fan, I just think he is the best we have at the moment. He has his faults imo, and in a way I think his willingness to accept being in the reserves for so long is one of them. Having said that he is as good (better) as any of the current England choices. If he had the same self belief he should have been kicking down the managers doors years ago. A bit of ego can go a long way.

  • Bill F

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #23

    Incidently has Cappello been to any of our recent games to see Harper in action. Where we have been playing better that is.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #24

    Maybe he just loves playing for the Toon Bill?..
    …I’d happily sit on the bench waitin’ to play for us, all me bloody life, Ha!..

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #25

    Think he was at the game on saturday bro’!..

  • Tom

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #26

    looks like theres some truth behind the boussafa rumour then, few quotes in that article as well. looks like a good player, but i wouldnt pay more than 5 million

  • ScottyT

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #27

    hopefully he was lyk although me only worry is that if he gets an england callup (which for some reason i just dont think is likely) then his form for the toon mite suffer. still though gr8 little duel for the keeper position it could be next season with a returning fit shay (hopefully) and an inform harper along with the younguns krul and forster. defo dont need new keepers in summer.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #28

    Aye Scotty, englands the kiss of death to most players, ha!..

  • rlw

    Apr 14, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #29

    harps has been here for 15 years on the bench singed in 93.

  • reillers

    Apr 14, 2008 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #30

    Likes to talk a lot doesn’t he. He most have a few journalists numbers on speed dial by now. I don’t know where ye all are getting that he should be England’s no.1 I mean, he’s alright but he’s nothing special. Like Do ye honestly believe that he’s good enough to play no.1 for England.
    And this crap about dissing James in the other forum, I’m sorry now but he’s nomminated for the PFA, not only is that good, but it’s rare that a keeper gets nominated for it.

    “They go on about David James on Saturday, but we think Harper if anything had a better game than David.”

    That’s taken from the observation thread from ED, and I’m sorry but James is in such good form at the moment, he’s having such a good season that, according to Keegan, “He could save it with his cap at the moment.” He’s kept 16 clean sheets and he’s the current England no.1. Not only did he have a very good game against us but Harper had to make 2 saves I think, then watch the ball roll just wide and almost walked into the goal with the ball in his hand.

    I just think yere being a wee bit dramatic about it, saying that about James is more then bias it’s arrogant and more then a wee bit insulting to James.

    And I’m sorry but Harper’s been in goals for nearly the entire of this season, if he was going to get an English call up he would have by now, I know it’s hard to realize cause he’s a “local lad” and such but he’s not that great, he’s good but not great.

    If he did, which I highly doubt that he will, if he ever got an English call up then that’s a kiss of death for wee Given. It wont matter if Given’s the better keeper or in better form or whatever, he’d for as long as the no.1 spot would last Harper would get priority. Being England’s no.1 is more important then being Ireland’s no.1 in their opinion.

    But I sincerely doubt that he’d get an English call up. I don’t know where yere getting all this from, he’s had an ok season. Nothing special, nothing even great. I think yere just going a wee bit overboard. He’s a good keeper don’t get me wrong, but he’s nothing much special, like when I think of Given when he’s fit and in top form I can think of endless of games where he was outstanding in and such but in this present season I can’t think of a game where Harper’s saved us. When both are on top form there’s, IMO anyway, no question of who’s better. But by reading a lot of peoples comments on here I get the impression that ye don’t want Given back on top form. Which is kinda rough seeing how brilliant and loyal he, yes he, has been over the years. Harper’s good but so overrated on here. I’m sorry but he is.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #31

    Reillers mate, don’t worry, when Shay’s fit again i’m sure he’ll get another shot bro’!..
    …I don’t think anyone’s slaggin’ him off, in fact i reckon most NUFC fans love him!..
    …All people are sayin’ is Harpers come in & done a great job so far & seein’ as there ain’t many good english goalies, he’s got a chance of a call up, specially seein’ as they’ve got a new coach aswell!..
    …As for slagging off James, who cares, he doesn’t play for us, so he’s fair game?..
    …& anyway, he had a few abberations in the game on saturday & got extremely lucky when Owen hit him in the heed!..
    …Ho’way the Lads!..

  • Egar

    Apr 14, 2008 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #32

    The word is opinion, reillers. Yours is that Harper is a good, but nothing special and overated keeper while Givens is an outstanding keeper. Not everyone shares that view.

    KK is quoted as saying there are no guarantees that Givens will get straight back into the starting eleven. We’ll probably see some healthy competition for the 1st choice keeper position next season and as the saying goes, “May the best man win.”

    No comments on James as he doesn’t concern NUFC.

  • reillers

    Apr 14, 2008 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #33

    It’s not about Given, even though I do think he’s the better keeper. But I think that Harper has an unfair advantage being English and even peoples attitude on here, it’s clear because not only is he English and “local,” the fans will always want him to get the nod and even peoples talk on here hint a wee bit that they hope Given doesn’t get the no.1 place back.
    It’s not about Given though, it’s about Harper being more then a wee bit overrated. Like I saw after one match there was a wee line under Harper saying he was magnificent that match and he’d feck all to. The only thing he had to do was pick the ball out from his own net. And then you see genuinely good keepers who’ve been on good form getting dissed and others getting credit for nothing.

  • ScottyT

    Apr 14, 2008 at 11:44 PM

    Comment #34

    there we go agen .. ‘local lad’

    its not because hes local! its because hes playing well and has been consistently gd for us. for the record i still think given is the better keeper when hes fully fit .. but .. he isnt atm and harper is reliable enough for us so am sure he could be reliable enough for england unlike 1 david james.

    also i dont think harper will get called up and dont think hes a ‘fantastic’ keeper but i do think hes a very good keeper who if he played more football in his career could have got a chance with england no doubt.

  • Leo

    Apr 14, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #35

    reillers you really enjoy putting fuel on the fire dont ya mate? haha. the fact that harps is a local lad never crosses my mind, i see given as a geordie because of his exploits on the pitch, he has done alot for the club.

    also, its fine that hes doing lots of interviews now because he is in the team, i would rather it be that way than he give interviews while he is out of the team ala arsenal and almunia and lehman

    which would you like, two great goal keeprs who are working hard and like eachother, or two average keepers who are bikering constantly, as soon as one makes a mistake being slated by the other…

    because i know which i would want.

  • Punk Skunk

    Apr 14, 2008 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #36

    Like scotty said!..
    …Reillers man, get over it!..He’ll be back, Geordies love Given mate, stop worrying!..

  • Egar

    Apr 15, 2008 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #37

    Cheer up reillers. There’s enough Givens fans as there are Harpers fans out there with each having their own shout. Bottom line is NUFC having 2 dependable keepers. Fans can have differences but nothing pleases them more than their team winning. Team comes before individual, after all football is a team game. Enjoy the game.

    Well said Leo and happy birthday once again.

  • ScottyT

    Apr 15, 2008 at 12:32 AM

    Comment #38

    agree exactly ppl .. am tha same a fink probly every1 sees given as a geordie as well rly.

    also mentionin lehmann h8 him so much bt hes canny funny lyk. gets a y card every game nearly lol also tht drogba thing last season lol laughable!

  • rob

    Apr 15, 2008 at 6:01 AM

    Comment #39

    reillers shut up i dont care that he is local hes actually more from the sunderland side i mean no harps is nothing special but then again nither is given he make more spectacular saves but its not about that is consistansy which recently harps has had more of.

  • reillers

    Apr 15, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #40

    Consistency, Harper hasn’t been that consistent, and I’m sorry but for the past decade consistency has been Given’s middle name. And lately, he hasn’t been consistent lately, it’d help a wee bit if he’d been playing. He hasn’t played for months. You can’t say he’s not consistent if he’s not playing.


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