Harper Can Ensure Newcastle Don’t Miss Given

Steve Harper put in another solid performance for Newcastle at The Hawthorns on Saturday, and if all goes well Steve should almost double his number of appearances over the next couple of seasons, for his home town club.


Steve Harper – another solid display on Saturday

While we were sorry to Shay finally leave the club, we have to move on now, and we have 100% confidence that Steve can get the job done for Newcastle, over the next few seasons.

And there even seems some justice for Steve, who has waited patiently to become number one, at his home town club, and always refused to leave Newcastle, where he could surely have found first team football elsewhere in the Premiership.

Everything come to those who wait, is the saying that comes to mind with Steve.

And today Harper, who is 34 next month, has hailed the mental fortitude of the Newcastle United side after they held on well in the last 17 minutes to claim all 3 points at West Brom on Saturday.

And Harps is pleased the Magpies have at last put some points between between themselves and the third bottom side, Blackburn. We have 4 points more than Blackburn, and a better goal difference.

Steve talked today about the game:

“We’d looked at it all week, and saw the teams below us had difficult fixtures,”

“We’d seen what a great opportunity it was to put some much-needed daylight there.”

“Aand we managed to do it. We needed that.”

We suspect Joe’s blood pressure rose some, when he heard the score had gone to 3-2, because at 3-1 Newcastle  had looked safe.

Steve added:

“I had a look up and there was 17 minutes left plus stoppage time (when Marc-Antoine Fortune made it 3-2).

“A two-goal lead isn’t as big as it looks in football. When a team, especially at home, gets one back, they’re going to be on the front foot.”

“We maybe dropped a little bit deep, and I was roaring at them to get up the pitch, but fortunately we managed to hang on in there and we showed great character.”

“It was massive win. The players knew that, and there were some outstanding individual performances.”

“I thought Shola Ameobi was magnificent and Damien Duff was excellent. I don’t think there was any bad ones.”

The thing we like about Harper’s goalkeeping is he’s good on crosses, good at kicking, and exceptionally safe overall, and the type of goalkeeper who looks calm and in control, and inspires confidence in the team.

He’ll need to keep doing that, because the back four in the first half looked anything but steady, and that’s an area we look for some improvement against Everton.

Coloccini though had a good game, and that was good to see, and he is still an ever present for Newcastle this season.

And as far as our new number goalkeeper goes, we think Steve is going to do just great at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • prentice

    Feb 9, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #1

    Sorry. Shola brilliant?!?!?



  • Toon_Factor

    Feb 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #2

    Scolaris been sacked!!!! we should try to get it :0

  • Toon_Fresh

    Feb 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #3

    Keep it up Harps!

  • Toon_Fresh

    Feb 9, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #4

    Maybe… but wait till the end of the season. I would almost rather seem Avram Grant if he doesn’t get the job back at Chelsea.

  • Toon_Fresh

    Feb 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #5


  • Christoon

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #6

    harper counter attacks with long throws up the pitch, reina style, i love it!!!

  • valle

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #7

    Toon_Factor // Feb 9, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    Scolaris been sacked!!!! we should try to get it :0

    I thought “It” was Sven? 😉

  • ObaMartins

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #8

    to be totally honest i would feel better with with Young Krul in Goal….he seems a Great prospect..

  • Rodzilla

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #9

    Scolari sacked!!!!!!!

  • geordie jock

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #10

    Sorry Ed but i thought Harper was poor on saturday and should have at least stopped the 2nd goal. I know most on here think he is as good as Shay but i’m sorry there is no comparison.

  • ObaMartins

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #11

    agree geordie jock

  • Johann

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Oba be fair

    Stop those double standars of you.

    You can´t just let it by critizising given for his mistakes and criticize harper any chance you get. I think both goals were hard to stop. Still I agree with the second goal, he should have saved it, he got a hand to it but wasn´t enough. But I won´t be juding him to much untill he´s got 100% match practice and is 100% match fit. He´ll just grow in confidence, agility and reflexes.

  • nufctoon

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #13

    harps no 1 for eva

  • ObaMartins

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #14

    Johann i honestly believe Harper is not in the same league as Given, i never worried for years about the Goalkeeping Position, now i have started to Worry….i dont believe Harper is a No1 Goalkeeper for Newcastle…

  • Johann

    Feb 9, 2009 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #15

    Fair enough, but keep an open mind. You are never always right in life 🙂

  • Steve R

    Feb 9, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #16

    It is unfortunate that Shay had such an amazing debut for Man City. but ya our offside-trap was way too dodgy and I really think that JoseEnrique is playing well but he has to be more physical, he could of easily pushed Koren off the ball in WBA’s 2nd but on the whole, he is definitely becoming a solid player.

  • hisnameisjonas

    Feb 9, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #17

    prentice // Feb 9, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Sorry. Shola brilliant?!?!?


    his troughball to duff on the first goal where brilliant, and his troughball when he set up lovenkrands alone with carson was brilliant, he sems to pick up on the difficult passes, but cant make a simple straight pass… duff was brilliant, but his last pass to pick out players on goal needs work. enrique was out of position way to often, bassong shouting at him 2/3’s of the game to make it right.

  • matthewjai

    Feb 9, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #18

    another solid display on Saturday

    are u sure?

    solid on sat –false

    another solid display –false..he’s never been solid so how come there’s another?
    krul between the posts please

  • hisnameisjonas

    Feb 9, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #19

    give harper games and you would see how good he is, remember some seasons ago when shay had a string of mistakes and harps came in and where brilliant. shay has better reflexes, probably the best in the world, but he lacks range at crosses and corners and is’nt to good at aranging the back 4. harper has better range, but needs game practice to get on the top of his reflexes and range on the line. and he shouting more to his back 4 than given.

  • Toonmania

    Feb 9, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #20

    i think we should give harper a chance he has been so loyal to the club over the years playing 2nd fiddle and never really getting a chance, once he’s got more match experiance and is fully match fit will you be able to do a proper comparison

  • Jan Stavik

    Feb 9, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #21

    Shola was decent the first half, in the 2nd he was so bad as only Shola can be.

    Harper can’t ensure that Given won’t be missed, he was missed already in the weekend. That first goal would never get past Given.

    Exciting times for Toon now, 3p against Everton is needed, the coming games will be tough.

  • craig s chisholm

    Feb 9, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #22

    i think it is pretty obvious to most fans that given is a world class stopper but he is not a world class keeper. he can not sort out his back four at all and is a poor comunicator. harper while not as agile and quick as given does seem to get more out of his troops. we certainly get more points when harper has played in givens place historically. some people will never see it that way though.

  • Bill F

    Feb 9, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #23

    Going back to the chat on previous thread, whilst I thought Shola had a decent game, I think calling him brilliant may be a bit excessive.
    I would put money on Steve not being first choice keeper next season. Still I thought Shay wouldn’t get over his injury, so I’d be happy to be wrong.

  • ben-nufc

    Feb 9, 2009 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #24

    i think its time for a poll ed
    who should we have in goal?
    a: tim krul
    b: steve harper

  • nufctoon

    Feb 9, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    Comment #25

    craig s chisholm agreed

  • Geordie Chris 2k9

    Feb 9, 2009 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #26

    I thought Shola held the ball up well, we need someone better in to do that because our team works well with Oba or Owen partenered with a big striker like CarroL or Viduka we just need someone better Like Carew isnt he going spare at villa? or Maybe a Foreigner? I wouldnt mind Barton and Nolan in CM with Jonas and A new winger in Next season like that’s definatley Europe Qualification with Krull waiting in the wings for a couple of seasons and Bassong and Taylor coming along well im Lokking forward to Next season To be honest 🙂

  • Geordie Chris 2k9

    Feb 9, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #27

    All we need is Sir Shearer in as striking Coach and Beardsley in as well with a new setup up top in management And SORTED 😀

  • reillers

    Feb 9, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #28

    I think Harps was poor on the weekend but to be fair he’s not had a lot of time in goal.
    Wee Shay was excellent in goal for City and I honestly can’t say that I think it wouldn’t have mattered who was in goal because honestly, I think Given would have saved the first goal.
    Given on the weekend organised the back four very well and he has got City fans (and everyone else for that matter) raving about him (you’d swear they missed the 11 years he had here.)
    Harps is a good local lad but I don’t think he’s much more then that. He has his strengths but his weaknesses, unlike in Given’s case are more obvious.
    And I don’t and wont except that arguement of stats of Harps winning us more points.
    When Harps plays as many as Given then I’ll take a look at the arguement, but as for now, comparing what 70 plus games to 400 plus is ridiculous.

    As for Krul, he’s played one game for us and suddenly he’s the next best thing since sliced bread. How can he have massive potential and be the next coming if ye only have seen him play once. I know lads who see him week in week out, they say he’s good but nothing to write home about and deffinetly nothing that would set him apart in the Premiership.

  • Johann

    Feb 9, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #29

    Jan Stavik, how was he missed when we won? Can´t see the argument. And you can always sit behind your computer and say he´d save this and that. Get real.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 10, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    Comment #30


  • chuck

    Feb 10, 2009 at 2:54 AM

    Comment #31

    Having watched Both Given and Harper this w/end, theres no doubt who came off looking better.
    Shay made three great saves keeping Citeh in the game, all three reaction saves.
    Of course he still cant marshal his defence and is`nt much good at set pieces, nor does he clear his lines (whatever that means) and believe it or not he still hoofs it up the pitch and the N`Zogbia goal scored directly from a upfield hoof was purely luck, yeah right !
    Fraid Harper goofed on the first goal, not even close.
    And what was it 5.5 m., hope everyone`s happy with the deal, sometimes you get what you ask for.

  • chuck

    Feb 10, 2009 at 3:11 AM

    Comment #32

    C`mon Craig Chisolm, A world class stopper but not a world class keeper, what the f**k does that mean ?
    Cant sort out his back four , bla, bla, bla, face it you dont like Shay and we have heard the same dumb ass rant he cant do this , he cant do that.
    It`s old boring nonsense repeated by people like yourself who either dont know any better or have an axe to grind, give it a rest and dont keep embarrasing yourself.

  • Brutooon

    Feb 10, 2009 at 6:21 AM

    Comment #33

    he need to keep clean sheet….even given can’t even had a clean sheet

  • Ericles

    Feb 10, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #34

    After reading some of the immature comments about Harper on here today I am thinking some bloggers should have gone with Zog to Wigan – and for the same reason!


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