Not surprisingly Kevin KeeganÂ is more than happy going into the new season with what he knows are two top class goalkeepers in Shay Given and Steve Harper.
Â Steve and Shay - pals training together
Shay Given and Steve Harper will fight it out for the first team jersey, but don’t forget we also have two excellent 20 year-olds at the club in hex=ham born Fraser Forster, who has come on a ton over the last two seasons, and top Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul, who has just come out and said how much he loves the Newcastle United club.
Add to these young 18 year-old Swedish star goalkeeper Ole Soderburg, and we’re better off with goalkeepers than at any time in our history – and that would not be an overstatement of the situation.
Irishman Shay Given has returned to pre-season training in top condition, having been training during the summer, after his operation in Munich, Germany, which we trust will end his groin and bowel problems of the last two years.
Harper has also had one of his best spells in the Newcastle goal in his 15 years at the club, playing magnificently for the club in the closing games of the season.
Steve looked what he is – a very safe and top class goalkeeper – he had 4 clean sheets in his final 8 games and was as safe as houses.
In our current poll in poll corner, 66% of our readers think Shay will be number one next season – so if you haven’t already voted, now is your chance.
Kevin talked to nufcTV today about his two senior goalkeepers:
“We have got top class goalkeepers and, as a pair, I’d say Shay and Harps are up there with the best of them in the Premier League,”
“Shay has come back in excellent shape. He started training just as everybody else was finishing and was just about fit to play in the last game of the season.”
“One of the physios has been out to Spain and while he was on holiday he was working so he’s come back very, very fit.”Â “And Steve Harper has come back in great condition as well.”
Young Fraser Forster will be challenging them this year along with Tim Krul so in that department we are very healthy.”
Given was again linked with a move to Arsenal during the summer, and the rumors persisted, even though we couldn’t beleive he would ever want to leave Newcastle.
Asked of his Irish goalkeeper’s future, KK gave an emphatic answer.
“All the talk of Shay leaving, you’re going to get that with players because we’re in that crazy summer, as I call it, when the Press are after stories all the time and, of course.”
“They don’t always have to be true stories, it can just be fabricated – an insider was heard to say is a favorite story in the paper at that time of year.”
“But why get rid of a top class player? We’re looking to bring them in to play alongside the ones we’ve already got.”
That’s a surprise – you mean to say some of the stories are actually made up and fabricated in the press?Â Well I never.Â Â Â
We should try to get some rough estimate of the percentage of stories made up this summer, which seems to have been a big one for big tales.
The gossip papers were even reporting that Martins was off again to Arsenal because of a release clause in his contract – but that was last year’s story – yet they didn’t change the facts one iota.
Oh well, let’s just hope we sign a couple of defenders within the next week – that will make us happy – but we’re very well off indeed for goalkeepers, that’s for sure.