Joe Kinnear today has given a big vote of confidence to Newcastle’s new No 1 goalkeeper, Easington born and bred local lad, Steve Harper.
Steve Harper – will get lots of support from Newcastle fans
Steve is the longest serving Newcastle player on the books, having been signed as an 18 year-old way back in 1993 by Kevin Keegan, and he is also a leader at the Newcastle United club.
This is really the first real chance Steve has had since Shay Given arrived, of cementing himself as the long-term number one goalkeeper on Tyneside, and if Steve is as good as we think he is, he’s going to do just fine, and make the loss of Shay Given seem minimal.
We hope so anyway.
But it seems like Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has every faith that Steve can step into Given’s boots. Joe told the Shields Gazette today:
“Steve’s probably one of the top five English goalkeepers,”
“When I came here, I said goalkeeping was one of the areas in which we were blessed.”
“We’ve got (Tim) Krul and (Fraser) Forster as well, and it’s probably the strongest area at the club.”
“Harps has come in now, and he’s got an opportunity to stake his claim. He’s a very competent, good goalkeeper.”
Harper has so far made 113 appearances for Newcastle United since joining the club from Seaham Red Star, and of course he has signed a brand new contract to stay at the club until the summer of 2012, so there could be a lot more appearances for the local lad before his contract runs out.
We need players like Steve at the club right now, local lads who will give their all for the club, in these rather turbulent times.
And it looks like Kinnear has more than a few great characters in his squad now, who are ready to fight with all they’ve got for the Newcastle cause.
Steve is probably as good if not better than Shay at both kicking, and at dealing with crosses, and we’re sure he will work his socks off to be a top goalkeeper at his home-town club.
If we can pull away from the relegation zone, before the end of the season, that will be a huge relief to Newcastle fans, after what has been one of the most turbulent seasons in recent memory.