Big Opportunity For Steve Harper To Shine At Newcastle

Steve Harper had been at Newcastle for 16 years, and he now finally has the opportunity to rack up quite a few appearances for the Newcastle first team.


Steve Harper – Newcastle’s new number one

Harper told The Times today:

“Ask any of the managers who have been here in my time – and there’s been about 100 – and they’ll all tell you that I’ve always knocked on the door and asked to play, but I haven’t done it publicly.”

“I haven’t slagged anybody off or started fights in training.” “My contract was up at the end of this season and, after Kevin Keegan left, talks about a new one dried up.”

“Bosman transfers are fantastic if you’re young and playing regularly, but if you’re 33, have a family and a mortgage and haven’t played a lot of football, you’re conscious of injury and being in the pool of unemployed players.”

“There was speculation about Shay [Given] and I wanted to see what happened in January.” “Tottenham offered half a million for me, which was flattering, but, as it turned out, I signed my deal, Shay left and I’m still here.”

After years in the shadow of Shay, this is a tremendous chance for Steve to come through for Newcastle big time.

If he can reproduce the form he showed at the end of last season, when he was in the side, while Shay recovered from his groin operation, he’ll do just fine, and of course he’s also a local lad.

Good form from Steve will ensure we don’t miss Shay too much, and we don’t even have to buy any replacement goalkeepers, with youngsters Fraser Forster and Tim Krul at the club, both of whom look to be very good goalkeepers for the future.

That’s our youth policy coming through for us, at least in the goalkeeper department.

Comments welcome.

32 comments so far

  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #1

    Let’s just hope Steve’s not called on to shine – I really do hope the traffic’s so one way that he’s got to exercise to keep warm!

    A big wish I know, but we’ve gotta dream eh?

  • MarkO

    Feb 16, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #2

    He should play about 80 % of the games and Krul should play the other 20% to see if he can challenge Harper and to advance his development.

  • bennytoon

    Feb 16, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #3

    marko- i think harper should play 82 % and krul 18%.

  • sirjasontoon

    Feb 16, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #4

    At the library again benny…just signed on?

  • Turkish Magpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #5

    Should easily be England number 1!

    Graeme Souness did well in the GK department and made some good signings, he just couldn’t get them to play!


    even if Harper gets injured we’re fine even if Krul and Harper get injured, we’re still fine IMO!

    GK is a big tick! Shame the other positions aren’t!

  • Turkish Magpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #6


    I agree with that, Krul should play the last 3 games!

  • richyg01

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #7

    I dont think it really matters who of our talented goalkeepers are between the sticks, its the 4 defenders infront of them that need sorting out.

    We could play all 5 of our keepers between the sticks and still loose with some of the errors our defence make!

  • Turkish Magpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #8

    Ed- Newcastlevitalfootball dont agree with this article

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #9

    Given’s departure may be a blessing in disguise in several ways (no disrespect to Shay, who will always be revered!).

    First of all, I also think Steve H could make the England squad, especially with Calamity James having a tough time.

    Secondly, it gives us more chance of bringing Krul and Forster through, just when they need that to keep them from straying to further their careers.

    Thirdly, while I don’t think anyone on the planet can rival Shay for reflex saves, I think Steve has a better eye for an attack, and that fits us better (or should do) when we’re playing as we should.

    I think once Steve gets an understanding with our attacking players – especially the full-backs, wingers and the likes of Barton and Guthrie, we’ll see our counter-attacking ability thrive.

    My bet: Harper will be in South Africa next summer!

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #10

    richyg01 – good point, but it has been improving and you have to give credit there. Once Beye is back I think we’ll start looking very solid.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #11

    Turkish Magpie: I generally assume that anything on VitalFootball is utter tosh, and that article just shows that Aaron Gales and co will write any old garbage just to get some hits off NewsNow.

    This is the same site that yesterday insisted Riquelme is coming to Toon. We are more likely to sign the Honey Monster.

  • richyg01

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #12


    Sure it is improving, we need to get a regular back 4, thats the key.

    From out current squad I would pick:

    LB —– R.Taylor
    CB —– Collo
    CB —– Bassong
    RB —– Beye

    I know Beye is injured and is a big miss, maybe with him out we should pick Geremi there because I think S.Taylor is turning into a bit of a liability and Enrique simply is not consistent enough for me.

  • DanToon

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #13

    This will be the team v Everton as CH had no imagination…

    R.Taylor – Coloccini – Bassong – Enrique
    ………..Jonas – Butt – Nolan – Duff
    ………….Ameobi – Lovenkrands

    I would start with…

    R.Taylor – Coloccini – Bassong – Enrique
    …………Duff —- Nolan —– Jonas
    ……………..Carroll – Martins

    You agree?

  • richyg01

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #14

    DanToon – You not fancy starting with Duke & Martins?

  • DanToon

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #15

    14 richyg – Not really, bring him on late like we did v Spurs. Then the other teams players (Everton) will be tired and he wont look so un-fit and may have more of a impact!

  • richyg01

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #16

    Good call Dan, Yes I think that would be my team too.

  • MarkO

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #17

    I think our back four is good atm we have a very good CB pairing in Colo and Bassong, R.Taylor and Beye are two very solid RB’s which is deffinetly our strongest position and Enrique has been excellent recently and if continues improving at his current rate he will turn into the next Wayne Bridge :).

    If you look at where most of our goals come from, they are from counter attacks not from sustained pressure which shows that our midfield isn’t getting back quickly enough to support the defence. Other teams get up to the play quicker and that creates odd man rushes therefor creating chances for other teams strikers. It is only strikers that score against us and I think if you look at the shot count we would be vastly outnumbered and with other teams creating all the chances for their strikers it is bound to create a lot of goals for them.

  • MarkO

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #18

    Oba must start CH isn’t that stupid hopefully

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #19

    I think we desperately need a naturally defending left-back to put in when the naturally attacking Enrique just doesn’t fit the bill. S Taylor is pretty good RB and CB backup, and the jury is out on Ryan Taylor.

    Nice to have options, though.

    Anyway – anyone out there agree with the VitalFootball article?

  • richyg01

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #20

    I agree that VitalFootball write complete tosh!

  • Turkish Magpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #21

    we should go for the 4-3-3 considering we’ve got quite alot of strikers now and not many midfeilders. Lovenkrands takes Owen’s position and Martins and Duke know what to do. Butt gets his rest he’s been begging for and Lovenkrands gets his reward for scoring!


    –R/S Taylor—-Colo–Bass—Enrique



  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #22

    Does anyone think Oba and Lovenkrands up front would work? I know both are quick, but can Peter L hold up the ball Dukes-style?

    I’d be interested to see it. I’d also like to see an attacking 4-3-3 the next time we’re up against lesser opposition, perhaps along the lines of

    S.Taylor – Coloccini – Bassong – Enrique
    – R.Taylor – Nolan – Jonas
    – Martins – Lovenkrands
    – Viduka

    Not one for this weekend, but there’s goals in there against weaker defences…

  • Turkish Magpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #23


    Vitalfootbal= comlete lies but i thought i’d put it up.

    Whumpie post 11-

    Ed now has an article about Riquelme so it could be true?

  • richyg01

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #24


    I dont agree with S.Taylor at RB, this should be R.Taylor and after last week I think Duff would need to keep his place

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #25

    Turkish Magpie – I think we were both typing stuff along the same lines at the same time. Isn’t it nice to have options again??

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #26

    richyg01 – fair point; I was in two minds over that one.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #27

    Anyway – back on thread: anyone NOT think Harper becoming 1st choice is a good thing for us?

  • Danish_Magpie

    Feb 16, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #28

    I agree with you Whumpie, I think Shay leaving is alright. He is a great man and great keeper, but so is Harper!

    I personally think Rob Green, Steve Harper and Chris Kirkland should be the keepers Capello are looking at. They are the most solid of the english keepers as James, Carson, Robinson etc. make too many mistakes

  • clinta

    Feb 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #29

    harper i’ll do fine for us, not exactly as good as Shay but clearly good enough to play goal for us in the pl, he’s shown it before and i have faith he’ll show it again.

    if only we had such reliable depth in other areas of the team, well… in just one other area would be nice actually.

  • ronniezog

    Feb 16, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #30

    my first 11 considering all players are fit
    beye coloccini bassong enrique

    duff barton nolan gutierezz


    r tayloy
    s taylor

  • craig s chisholm

    Feb 16, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #31

    dantoon, there is no way that martins will be left out, he is a self pic when fit, esp with owen out. martins will start with lovenkrands i hope.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 16, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #32


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