Steve Harper – We’re On Our Way


Steve Harper kept another clean sheet on Sunday, made one fantastic save, and kepy up the top class form he has shown while deputizing for Shay Given.

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Steve Harper – playing great in the Newcastle goal

Newcastle fans are seeing just how good Steve Harper is when he gets an extended run in the side, and to say he is good is a huge understatement.

News today that Liverpool may try to sign him in the summer – but there’s no chance he’s leaving Newcastle.

Steve talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“People will be very happy we’ve beaten Sunderland and rightly so, but it’s important no one forgets we’ve had a very difficult season,” “We had a good start, then a very long, hard run.”

“The black clouds were circling, and it’s tough to get through that.”“The great thing is we’re all dreaming again and talking about winning a trophy instead of talking about the ‘r’ word (relegation). We started well and had far too much of a dip, but it’s turned.”

“We were looking at the fixtures and people were wondering where a win was going to come from, but we said with nine games to go we were in a mini-league and had to try to win that.”

It did look very bad at one point. It was probably the worst after the Liverpool defeat 3-0, but there were times the lads were playing good football but they could never do it for the full game – and then came the move to a 4-3-3 formation and the Birmingham game, when the lads came back in the second half to earn a draw – and that was it.

The confidence from that, and the fantastic support of the Newcastle crowd, allowed the team to sneak the win against Fulham 2-0, although they were much the better team on the day and haven’t looked back since.

Steve continued:

“We’re well on the way. The only way you come through it is by hard work. “The intensity and tempo of training has paid off. The lads are working hard, but with smiles on their faces.”

“When Kevin came back it took us a while to sort ourselves out but the last six games have been really good,” “You’ve got to give him and the staff the credit for changing the formation, because we’ve looked really solid and also a goal threat.”

“We go to West Ham next week and you read that their fans aren’t too happy. We know from previous experience how tough that can be at home, and we go there looking for a quick start and full of confidence.”

Steve of course has also played his part in the great recovery the team has put together, and has 3 clean sheets in the last 4 games. In fact in the 14 games Keegan has been in charge, Newcastle now have 5 clean sheets (around 36%), which is not too bad at all.

Roll on next season.

Comments and opinions very welcome.



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19 comments so far

  • Martin's

    Apr 22, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #1

    Steve H is a true trooper. He’s had to sit it out for years while SG got the games and the praise. I’m delighted that he’s finally getting a decent run in the side and long may it continue. Also I think credit has to go to Chris Hughton as since is arrival the back 4 have looked a lot stronger and more confident on the ball.

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  • UNITED GLENN

    Apr 22, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #2

    WHY STEVE IS NOT ENGLAND KEEPER IS BEYOND ME (that’s right because of given), Harper should be given more money and promised the starting No1 spot!!! He is class and we should let him know that by giving him more money, and the keepers spot in the team, let Given play second fiddle for a while!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Spyro

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #3

    you know its funny, the media made a big fuss about our games against our fellow relegation strugglers, billing them to be tough games. Yet when we win, they are the first to say, “Dont get too happy, Newcastle are STILL not a good team, they have only beaten poor teams in the bottom half of the table”. Even our decent results against Spurs, Pompey are taken away from us with a constant reminder that Spurs are “on holiday” and Pompy “Had their mind on the bigger picture” referring to their FA Cup final. I have come to the conclusion that they will never give us the credit we sometimes deserve and there is no point hoping for it.

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  • Football Betting King

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #4

    Steve Harper > Shay Given!

    Given may get all the plaudits over the years, and there’s no doubting that he’s been a fantastic servant for the club, but i honestly think Harper is a better keeper.

    Given is a true ‘Match Of The Day’ keeper, who makes the occassional great save that gets the likes of hansen, Lawrenson and everyone else going on about how wonderful it is. Well i’ve never been THAT convinced. And now Harper is doing well i feel totally confident in him!

    Stevie has been a wonderful servant to the club. It’s no surprise the likes of Liverpool are interested in him. KK has a big decision about who’s going to be his number 1 next season. My vote: Harper all the way!!

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  • Davies

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #5

    Tough call. I just hope he sticks around to give Keegan the selection headache.

    I would love Steve Harper to stay at Newcastle for the rest of his career, but I wouldn’t blame him if he left to get first team football elsewhere.

    That he has remained on Tyneside in the shadow of Shay Given is tribute to his loyalty and maturity. He hasn’t been tempted away by first team action elsewhere yet, and I’m not sure Rafa will be able to make an attractive enough offer to make him reconsider. Let’s be honest, Reina is a fantastic keeper, and is likely to keep his place as Liverpool’s number one.

    In short, I would like to see Harper’s talent recognised by the likes of Fabio Capello, as I think he is one of the finest Keepers England has to offer. I just hope that, if he get’s the call up, he’s still stopping shots at the right end of the pitch at Saint James’ Park.

    He’s a ledge!

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  • Vitorbarbosa

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #6

    @Spyro

    I think what we can do is, hope Chelsea beat Man U this weekend, level on points with them, and we kicked them out of SJP with tears in their players.

    I believe, at that time, no one can question anymore. But, are we able to do that?

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  • Spyro

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #7

    Vitorbarbosa, no doubt they will simply say “Chelsea have played poor” and continue to blame the players lack of passion on Avram Grant.

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  • ehssi

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #8

    how many cleen sheets did sa have?

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  • Leo

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #9

    yep i agree about harps, que the pro given squad(who only like him more because of his nationality but wont admit it)

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  • Eric

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #10

    Spyro – do we really need praise from scumbag media hacks? Now they want to sell Harper to Liverpool – it is all to upset the cart before we play their Londoners West ham and the Chelsea Road poofs. Let them stew in their own juice. We have Tyne water in our veins not Thames water! We bleed black and white not sewage.

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  • geordie in taipei

    Apr 22, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #11

    I want Harper be number one next eason – mind i also love Given – a great pro…. but Harper is just as good. What to do ? Harper is a Geordie though !

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  • hanzowen

    Apr 22, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #12

    🙂 all 4 1 & 1 4 all united 2 go all the way to do KK’s unfinished business ( win a cup? ) soon. We just need to add up some > quality in all departments luckily not between the posts.

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  • reillers

    Apr 22, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #13

    Sorry Leo mate but I think you’re a wee bit out of line. Fans used to like Given because oh I don’t know, he just saved us for the past 10 odd years, but honestly, it’s Harper who’s preferred a wee bit more because of HIS nationality, like Geordie in Taipei said, when it comes to separating the two, if you like both it’ll be the Geordie comes out on top “Harper’s a Geordie though” and you said that I was wrong thinking that, when really, you know deep down that if the fans have a choice of the Irish no. 1 or a local and an apparent according to (only) some Newcastle fans could be the English no.1 then I’m sorry but that’s chosen only because of his nationality and the fact that he’s a local lad.
    Praise is given for him staying for 10 years without leaving, none is given to Shay who had offers and could have easily gone anywhere to any successful big club but he stayed, despite the state of our defense or what not. This crap about him being a MOTD keeper only is bull and it was never around when he was actually playing. But for some reason, which has to be because he’s an actual local lad Given is disliked, downgraded and all his work and heroics over the years is ignored and sweeped under the rug and only “makes the occassional great save.” I’m sorry but back then it wasn’t the general oppinion.
    So much for loyalty.

    Harper is a good keeper no doubt but he’s more then a wee bit overrated IMO because of HIS nationality and everyone on here is a wee bit bias because of it, and can’t really see that he’s just an ordinary keeper. A good loyal servant for Newcastle but there is an actual reason why he sat on the bench all that time. I’m sorry to disappoint but if Capello had any interest at all in him then we’d have heard by now. Honestly keeper to keeper, irrelevant to nationality Given’s the better keeper who has proven that over and over again, if he’s benched next year, well he’s too good to sit on the bench. So would ye rather a Newcastle without Given, or let me put it this way, would ye prefer to play against Given because I sure as hell wouldn’t. There is no doubt though that we will loose 1 of our 4 this summer.

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  • rlw

    Apr 22, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #14

    reillers SORRY MATE but i think you are arrogant and sway to shay yes he has made some spectacular saves so what look how he organised his defence i mean with him we have not relly had the best goal diff have we i bet u a tenner that Macca posts and agrees with you i am sick given played for shitserland come on harps has been here 15 years and not given a chance to prove himself this is his chance.

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  • rlw

    Apr 22, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #15

    plus i dont care that harps is a geordie he is more from the shitsurland side

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  • Leo

    Apr 22, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #16

    reillers steven harper isnt technically a geordie and supports liverpool… that so put tha theory to bed please

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  • rlw

    Apr 22, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #17

    LEO he does not suppourt liverpool

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  • reillers

    Apr 22, 2008 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #18

    He’s still English Leo and some believe that he should get the no.1 English shirt but the only way he can get a chance of getting that is if he’s the no.1 and there’s no question that of course they’d want an English no.1 then an Irish no.1, it doesn’t matter who’s better, and a lot of people on here do see him as a Geordie like I pointed out, or like they’ve pointed out.

    Look they are both good keepers, I think that Shay shades it a wee bit both that’s my opinion. I suppose it comes down to what you’re more comfortable with.
    Harper is a presence in the box, good at organizing the defense.
    Given he’s 6ft nothing, he’s a wee keeper. He’s a fabulous shot stopper, good at coming out, very brave at coming out, good at stopping what’s shot at him but he doesn’t have real presence in the box , of course he doesn’t he’s 6ft.

    So when it comes down to it you’ve to choose which you prefer. But IMO if we had to loose one keeper to another club, irrespective of loyalties or who’s been here for so long, I’d rather be facing Harper then Given in goals without a shadow of a doubt.

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  • Leo

    Apr 22, 2008 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #19

    yeah it is opinion, and mine is right haha, only kidding mate.

    rlw im not making it up harper did support liverpool for a bit when he was younger

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