Harper Outstanding Again For Newcastle

One player stood out for Newcastle yesterday, and if it wasn’t for the brilliance of our goalkeeper it could have been a rather embarrassing defeat for the last game of the season.


Steve Harper – brilliant at Goodison Park

A lot of yesterday’s game was one way traffic as Everton were keyed up for the game and very determined to take all 3 points.

In the final 15-20 minutes of the first half, after going 1-0 up, Everton piled on the pressure, and it was only the brilliance of our goalkeeper Steve Harper, who kept the game close by half time.

It was the same in the second half, with Steve again and again thwarting the Everton attack until they got their deserved breakthrough on 70 minutes.

Steve has put his mark on this team, and we always thought he could have become a Premier league goalkeeper, and he has proved that since Kevin arrived in January. How Given gets his place back next season is questionable, and we’d hate to see the talent of Harper, warming the bench for every game again.

That’s only one of the things that Kevin will have to sort out before the beginning of next season, when we hope to see at least 4 new faces in the starting line up in August.

If we can do that we should have a good chance of qualifying again for Europe.

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • bob@Aber

    May 12, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #1

    Sign him up

    Stevo for England

    Given will struggle to get a kick next season

  • Alex

    May 12, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #2

    Harper just seems to get better and better the more games he plays ,with 2 young keepers at the club maybe its time to think about selling Given.He has been an outstanding keeper for us but since the kick in the stomach he recived he has never truely found his best form.its looking like kev is going to have to generate money for new signings and for Given we would still get a decent fee to reinvest in new players.

  • Mag 4 Life

    May 12, 2008 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #3

    Harper is a quality goal keeper and in my opinion should be first choice keper for our club. Given’s kicking has let him down recently and I think that Harper should now be guarenteed his place between the sticks as number one choice.

    Where was Oba yesterday? Is he injured?

  • Bill F

    May 12, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #4

    The fact is that GKs have to shine if they come under the sort of pressure Steve had. Although I didn’t see all of the game I got the feel that it was the midfield that let us down. Looks to me that we missed Joey more than anyone else yesterday.

  • bailey

    May 12, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #5

    I would also like to know why Oba was not playing.
    I hope this is not the start of another round of bad rumours.

  • ArtyH

    May 12, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #6

    Steve should be given the chance of No1 next season, see if Shay stays around for very long in those circumstances. Its time Steve was rewarded with a lot more pitch time. If he was, I am sure he will be thought of in terms of an England call up, and he deserves that chance too.

  • Bill F

    May 12, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #7

    Tribal Football seem to think we are after Edgar Davids, looks like the silly season is well and truly under way. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #8

    Why does everyone always jump on Oba’s back if he’s out. Players get injured all the time. Milner has taken no criticism whatsoever for his injury, probably because of his commitment, but who can question Oba?

    The boy has been the heartbeat of our team this season, you may go on about Owen, but without Martins, we would be lucky to average a goal every 3rd game!

    Martins is the man our team should be built around. He’s quick, scores goals, creates goals, is skillful, strong and brings the fear of God upon defenders whenever he’s near them.

    If we can keep a hold of this lad we should be sitting pretty next season in 5th but even the big boys can’t compete with this lad, he single-handedly competed against Chelsea, no-one else offered anything like he did.

    He’s very much the player I wish Zog could become, in terms of passion and commitment.

    If we keep these 2 we have 2 world-beaters on our hands. Zog has beaten teams effectively on his own this season, and has probably realised that he won’t get a game for Tottenham, the only team comparable to ours.

    He won’t go play for anyone like West Ham or Fulham will he?

    Modify our 4-3-3 a little bit and we should be EXPECTING Europe next year with just a couple of additions. I’d rather we bought one world-class player than bought 5 good players.

    I can wait a couple of seasons to win the league rather than establish ourselves as European contenders every season.

    If we are the ones to break the monopoly we have to be prepared to break the bank and if we can’t just make sure we spend wisely.

    Would anyone begrudge Keegan signing someone like Anelka? He’s 29, he’s fussy, he sits on Chelsea’s bench…but we all know the quality he has and he plays for the France national team.

    He’s got a few years left….Forget about Crouch!

  • Jeff

    May 12, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #9

    Ant – I dont think anyone is critising Oba, just wondering why he was left out???

    On the Harper situation he should definatly start next season as No 1 because he has been better than Given this season – i dont think Given will be at his best unless they can sort his groin out – still cant believe Harewood didnt get sent off for that horrendous tackle that nearly killed him.

    Dont think anyone would want to buy Given for the same reason so he’ll be our number two next season and not a bad one at that.

  • nightfall

    May 12, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #10


    kev and mort having a meeting in slovenia.. 😀

    just kidding…

  • Punk Skunk

    May 12, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #11

    Harper has been excellent since he came in, let down by the defense a couple of times, but he’s let no-one down & kept us in games, a la Given!..
    …Big respect to the lad!..
    …Keep up the good work Steve, & thanx for givin’ y’best!..

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #12

    Jeff, I wasn’t referring simply to the mention in here, but in various columns and footballing circles, people are thinking our Nigerian Number Nine has shown a lack of commitment.

    He is, along with Habib Beye and Steve Harper our most influential and passionate player.

    He is an excellent role-model for anyone interested in football and shows what it’s all about.

    Oba is a geordie!

  • Punk Skunk

    May 12, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #13

    Hey Jeff, if that harewood ‘attack’ on Shay had been perpitrated on manure or chavski’s keeper we wouldn’t have heard the last of it, would we?..
    …KK was right when he said the top 4 is a closed shop, just look at the ‘lucky’ decisions manure have had yesterday & thru out the season, bah, humbug!..

  • Punk Skunk

    May 12, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #14

    Aye Ant, Beye, Harper & Oba top players this season…+ a shout for Owen for comin’ back from injury & puttin’ the ball in the net!..
    …Faye has also done well!..

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #15

    Faye has been excellent, as has Owen, but my references to Beye, Oba and Harper were based solely on spirit, passion and pride. The basis of EVERY successful toon team.

    On another note. If Zog moves on, although he’s moving on to be a cockney C**T I will praise him every game he plays against us(except when he inevitably scores) as he’s been a great servant of the club through the good and bad of the last few years and has been one of our excellent consistent performers, probably on merit, our top man over the last 2 seasons.

    His stop-start seasons have to end with managers, and I’m sure Keegan knows what to do with a play like Charlie.

    Week-in, week-out, if he plays poorly give him another game. If he’s still poor drop him, he’s only young and runs his socks off.

    The time will come when we’re scoring 3 goals a game. With Owen, Oba and Charlie, we’ll be scoring goals for fun in no time!!

    Don’t forget Jinky Jimmy!


    May 12, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #16

    I love Taylors pride as well as his forrest Gump impression when he scores!


    May 12, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #17

    And lads i think Milner deserves a mention as he was THE shining Light under Big Sam

  • Ant

    May 12, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #18

    CRAIGG – Don’t forget Zoggy 🙂

  • Ian

    May 12, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #19

    I agree we should sell Given, he has been great for us but the money would be useful to help sort out our team, where has Krull gone? he is very promising as second keeper.

    Agree with Ant about Martins, without Martins and Viduka the front were useless, cant complain about Owen’s effort but what was he doing at that free kick talking to the linesman and leaving his man unmarked to score?

    Carroll’s lack of effort was a disgrace, sell him and keep Ameobi until we have signed the additional strikers we need.

  • Leo

    May 12, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #20

    harper has been outstanding well lets just hope that given is back next season strong as before his injury

    and harper is then given a fair crack which would mean we have a great partnership

    anyway i remember talking to someone on hear a while back about not being able to sleep through insomnia

    i found a way of solving it, go out to a club which doesnt close till like 6am then go home have an hour sleep the next day you will wake up nackered but you will have the sleep of your life the next night haha

  • Bill F

    May 12, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #21

    Leo, if you have to do that to get a nights sleep might I suggest you have a serious look at your diet and lifestyle. Sorry if it sounds as if I am being nosy, but working as a complementary health practitioner it alarms me when I hear people saying stuff like that.

  • Punk Skunk

    May 12, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #22

    Y’dead right Bill, get him telt!..

  • marosh

    May 12, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #23

    Don’t know if this is true but I found an information that theeurosport.yahoo.com top team this year in PL is:
    Steve Harper (Newcastle United), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)

    Anybody knows more about this ?

  • Spot The Zebra

    May 12, 2008 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #24

    Bill F: Who needs Edgar Davids when weve already got David Edgar !?!?
    See you all next season.

  • Tom_Toon

    May 12, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #25

    I say this a lot but Edgar Davids has got to be one of my favouurite players of all time, shame hes past it now 🙁

  • Ian

    May 12, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Depends upon the cost, if Edgar Davids is cheap then why not?
    Nicky Butt is our best midfielder this season and he is the oldest, maybe he could bring some order to the midfield if they also brought a couple of youngsters in, they would look up to Davids and maybe copy him.

  • rlw

    May 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #27

    harps for club and countery

  • Macca

    May 12, 2008 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #28

    I can’t wait for next season. I honest to God think, and I know, I know we say this every season, but really I honestly think we can do something next season.
    Obviously not top 4, but maybe something like what Everton or Villa did this season. Finishing there or there abouts.
    Our team, I feel, to be honest, needs tweaking a player or two here and there, and we’ll be flying, there’s no need for a complete over haul this summer.
    What I’m looking forward to most is the keeper battle. When both are fully fit and at their best then it’ll be a massive tight call. Keeping in mind that sport has no memory and players, though it should be recognized, shouldn’t be given a spot just for loyalty whether it be for warming the bench or being outstandingly consistent for 10 plus years . The best keeper, like on anywhere else on the pitch, should play. The on form keeper at the time, not now but at the time, a lot of things can happen in the time in between.

    If Given has finally shaken that injury of his and gotten over West Ham, which I never really thought he did, not mentally anyway, it’ll be some battle and if inside source is right he’s looking very good and strong in training, and is raring to go with Ireland for the camp and upcoming friendlies.

    Harper, I think we’ve to accept by now, wont get an English call up. Given though, he has Ireland and he has that massive advantage over Harper.

    It’s a bloody tough call to make and I’d hate to be the one making it, but it has to be remembered that it should be a call based on the form of the keepers at the time, not loyalty or what the fans think they might or mightn’t deserve. Both will work extremely hard in the summer and I trust Keegan will make the right choice, it’s definitely the best duo of keepers in the premiership. It’ll be an interesting summer all right.

    As for those who suggest selling Given, answer me this, would you want to be playing against him on top form? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  • Leo

    May 12, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #29

    Bill F, i take everything you say on, yeah it was a novelty way of getting more sleep, usually i get about 3-4 hours sleep a night but today i had almost 12 hours haha

    diet, hmm consists of good food for someone my age lol. lots of good currys (home made of course, plenty of spice) fruit and veg

    plus its the time of the year where you have bbq’s and salads for dinner- how weird eh lol


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