Keegan Rightly Pays Tribute To Magnificent Harper

Kevin Keegan has admitted that Newcastle United could have been hammered on Sunday, if it not been for the brilliance of our goalkeeper Steve Harper.


Steve Harper – has been brilliant for Newcastle this season

Steve has been little short of magnificent since Keegan arrived at Newcastle and was given his chance when Shay Given injured his groin again.

Kevin Keegan has rightly paid tribute to Harper today, and if keeps his place next season, and continues in this type of form, there’s no reason why he cannot force himself into the full England squad.

Kevin told Newcastle World TV:

“It could have been five or six without Harps,” “He played very well and made some great saves.”

“A lot of them were at him, but with the ball moving about he did very well.” “He has been excellent for me.”

“He came in at a very difficult time after Shay’s injury and he can be proud of how he has played in all the games.”

“I can honestly say that you can look at the goals we have conceded and you can’t say ‘Steve, you could have done better’.”

“The ones that have beat him have either been great strikes or he has been unprotected, and that was also the case against Everton.”

Kevin usually tells us he signed Steve from Seaham Red Star in 1993, but he didn’t this time, so we will.

He’s been a great back-up goalkeeper at the club, but that status has every chance of changing next season as he will fight it out, more than ever, with his pal Shay Given for the starting position, between the sticks.

That’s one place in the team we will not have any weakness in next season, that’s for sure.
Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • tapir

    May 13, 2008 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #1

    i still think we need another cover
    Foster is rising up but not this season yet
    Juskelaain,Cudicini,Carson or Tim Wiese shuld be good!

  • Danish_Magpie

    May 13, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #2

    Tapir: NO!!

    We do not need to spend transfer budget OR wages on another goalkeeper when Shay and Steve are very good and loyal servants. When we in addition have Krul and Foster coming through, bringing in somebody else is ludicrous!

  • David Rayner

    May 13, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #3

    Besides we bought Olle Soderberg and Max Johnson during the season as well, so we have 6 Keepers to focus on really.

  • Tom

    May 13, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Its FORSTER not FOSTER!!!

  • Punk Skunk

    May 13, 2008 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #5

    Yes Danish Magpie, y’right mate, don’t spend on goalies…We’ve also got Soderberg comin’ thru!..

  • Martin

    May 13, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #6

    Seems like we’re all in agreement! I think we need to spend the money on players with a bit of pace and creativity. Definitely need another left-back to challenge/back up Jose, of course.

  • Ant

    May 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #7

    Shay Given should never play for us again.

    It’s sad to say, but it must be said, Harper is the better keeper now.

    We’ve also seen Krul perform magnificently and he is apparently doing nicely at Falkirk (apart from his injury)

    Cash-in on Given now, while people still rank him among the best (Lehmann’s left Arsenal)

    Shay has been brilliant, a good lad, not the charisma of Big Pav or the presence of Shaka of recent times, but a loyal, excellent performer, with no clubs in his eyes other than Newcastle.

    For me it’s Krul on the bench next season, Forster should be loaned out to see if he is worthy of even competing with Krul(who we know is our future no. 1 surely) and the same goes for Soderburg.

    Our dreams of regnitin the Bobby days (a young team with a bit of experience and tons of promise) are becoming a reality.


  • Nev

    May 13, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #8

    i wouldnt condone selling give , i just think it will come and haunt us if we do sell him lol
    i think the better option would be to have shay and steve fight it out some more

  • Punk Skunk

    May 13, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #9

    That’s a bit strong Ant,
    i get what y’sayin’ bro’…All top clubs sell good players before they become, too old, unsellable or cack, while they can still get top cash returns for them…But i reckon you’ll get some opposition from some here mate!..
    …Ho’way the Lads!..

  • joe

    May 13, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #10

    I agree that selling Shay to Arsenal would be a decent bit of business. They would pay over 5 million easily. As soon as Harper came in the defence showed more confidence as he talks to them and comes to collect things taking pressure off the back 4. Given’s confidence was shot and will go again easily. For me, Harper and Krul next season should be our main 2 with Forster and Soderburg reserve keepers. We won’t be any weaker by selling Shay and his fee could buy us much needed quality in other areas. Don’t get me wrong i think Given is the best shot stopper around but the rest of his game is getting worse.

  • Ant

    May 13, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #11

    Punk Skunk – I expect opposition but why wait for someone who’s not good enough for us to become too poor for anyone.

    He’s better than a lot of golkeepers but is a fiar bit down in our list as we’ve been blessed with exception in Harper and Krul.

    Both proven top-rate goalkeepers.

    He is surplus to requirements and must go, if we’re going in the business direction, then there’s no place for time-wasters, nostalgia or sympathy.

    Rammy’s gone (I’m still glad about that as he was piss-poor in so many games) Strolla’s gone, Pie-face is off and I expect others to be along with them. Clear the deadwood and use the money we make of Given (in the current climate we’d still get a nice price) and use it to strengthen areas we need improving, or even just keeping some of our current players at the club, notably Oba, Owen, Zog.

  • Ant

    May 13, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #12

    I basically reiterated what Joe said, but as you can see by the time we were clearly typing simultaneously haha!

    Also 5mil, that’s what I was thinking, even if we only get 3m it’s alot more than we need (Imagine selling Smith and him giving all of his wages back)

  • Leo

    May 13, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #13

    Ant, just a note. its Howay not Haway

    Haway is how the mackam scum say it lol.

    Seaham is such a grotty little place had to drive through there one day and i felt sick looking at the place.

    Harper has been great for us this season long may it continue

  • Punk Skunk

    May 13, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #14

    Agreed bro’, y’not wrong!..
    …Business is business, after all!..
    …Also, there’s little point buyin’ young lads, then not givin’ them the chance to come thru…
    …& i reckon we’ve got some good ‘uns!..

  • Punk Skunk

    May 13, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #15

    Lol @ Leo,
    lookin’ at seaham made you feel sick, excellent man!..

  • Leo

    May 13, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #16

    i agree with the notion also that a dominant keeper who talks to his team is better than one who can pull of trophy saves though a game.

    played 5 a side football alot but if i can be bothered whether i decide to defend or play attack i always give instructions otherwise some people run around like headless chickens, following the ball around like a dog on speed…

    anyone noticed that?

  • najikhin

    May 13, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #17

    weih tapir..ko merapik ape nih?

  • Punk Skunk

    May 13, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #18

    Leo, y’killin’ me mate, funny as…But sadly, soooo true!..

  • Punk Skunk

    May 13, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #19

    Hey najikhin, stop swearin’ at Tapir!?!..

  • Ant

    May 13, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #20

    It’s haway!

    At least that’s what I’ve been brought up on (North Shields/Tynemouth)

    Howay was always my thought of the scum!

    You’re scum Leo! Haha!

    We shall have to investigate further!

  • Elliott

    May 13, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #21

    It’s good to talk.

    I’d be up for him going if he got a decent move, CL football at the Arsenal or something.

    He must be one of the high earners, we could get a decent fee, free up some wage budget and not need to sign a replacement.

    IMO Krul is gonna be a top keeper for us and Harper has proved this season he’s a lot more reliable than Shay, who looked a right liability coming out of his box and on crosses this and last season.

    Great player for us but lets be smart, do a Man Yoo and make some £ while we can.

  • Julio Geordio

    May 13, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #22

    Although I wouldn’t like to see Given go, I wouldn’t be as upset as I would have been over the past 3-4 seasons if he had gone then. In Krul and Forster, I think we have enough talent to cover Harper if he became #1 and I think he has done enough this season to earn that slot.

    For me, Harper is a hero is in own right. In this day and age, where contracts in the football world basically mean nothing, for him to stay at a club for so long whilst taking knock back after knock back is commendable beyond words.

    The lad should be given the key to the city as well as a testamonial.

  • Leo

    May 13, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #23

    lmao Ant, i will have a little look if i cant find anythng online i know someone who should know

  • Leo

    May 13, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #24 i havnt really got time to read it at the moment coz im preparing for an interview at dicky dees

  • Leo

    May 13, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #25

    for some reason that didnt come up on the site , i aint got time to read it though

  • Leo

    May 13, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #26

    theres the mackam version

    did you read in the other article i posted that the mackams played at st james before we did???

    am furious, apparntly they were under the name newcastle something’s haha cant remember now damn me

  • Thomas

    May 13, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #27

    shame harper isn’t ever considered for england, he doesnt flap about like carson and robinson, prob too old but then again that geezer calamity james seems to get a sniff every time

  • ScottyT

    May 13, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #28

    to clear things up it is defo howay. haway is for tha mackems.

    harper is quality. agree with danish_magpie. we dnt need more keepers when krul and forster look so good and harper and given still. also them choices u make tapir… jaaseklainen makes mistakes, carson makes mistakes, cudicini not commanding.

    no need for others thx very much. 🙂

  • rlw

    May 13, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #29

    # 1 for club and countery only 1 steve harper

  • reillers

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #30

    I wouldn’t like to see Given leave, I don’t think we should sell him either, for selfish reasons I want what I happen to think is the strongest set of keepers in the league.

    Given’s a wee lad, Harper’s taller, it’s clear which one will be able to command the keepers box better. But that might change if Dunne comes, fabulous player and Given and Dunne are fantastic together for Ireland.

    There’s nothing Given can do about the height thing though, in goalkeeping terms, he’s a wee midget. But he’s a fantastic shot stopper, his kicking has been bad this season but that was hampered because of his injury. Clearly. I’ve full confidence now that that is finally gone, as do the people in the club, and most importantly Given himself, something he hadn’t believed before. The other aspects of his game that might have slipped a bit this year were a direct result of the injury. That can be gotten over.

    Both have been extremely loyal to the club and are fantastic keepers.
    The suggestion of selling either of them is more then a wee joke. It’s ridiculous. While a lot of people might want to get rid of Given..for being injured, while they still can, I wouldn’t fancy it at all playing against him. Would ye?

    But it’s unfair to ask either of them to sit on the bench they’re both too good for it. Given shouldn’t be told to sit on the bench because Harper has for 10 years because he’s too good for it, but so is Harper.

    It’ll be a hard choice for Keegan to make and either way there will be more then a wee few pissed with his decision come the start of the new season. A headache, but a bloody good one at that.

    I’d pick Given, though it’s hard to fault Harper at all this season, Given on top of form, which I honestly think he will be come next season, in my opinion is better then Harper on top form. Shay’s the most driven person I know, he’ll fight like hell on earth to get the no.1 shirt back and I’m telling ye now, if he does, it’ll be because he deserves it not because he walked straight back in. It’s a long sumer anything can happen and I look forward to every second of it.

  • rlw

    May 13, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #31

    harps is only 1 cm taller and he has made team of the year look [url][/url]

  • rlw

    May 13, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #32
  • rlw

    May 13, 2008 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #33

    harps made team of season look on eurosport yahoo by the way reillers he is only 1cm taller

  • reillers

    May 13, 2008 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #34

    That makes a difference, it’s a game of millimeters and centimeters.

    That’s yahoo’s one rlw, James is the PFA one, the offical keeper of the year if ya like. Still not undeserving for Harper.

  • Rob Kirton

    May 13, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #35

    It would be a shame to loose Given, though I suspect Keegan will show no sentiment if he thinks the rest of the goalkeeping roster are up to the job.

    I personally think they are.

    Given’s apparent recent loss of confidence in his kicking seems to be playing on his mind. The old lets kick the goalpost to clear my studs routine seems to be getting more frequent. I suspect The lack of power in his kicks from back passes has less to do with the state of his boots and more to do with his recent injuries.


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