Steve Harper Could Make England World Cup Squad


Chris Hughton is delighted with the performances of Newcastle’s new number one goalkeeper, Steve Harper, who has started his new career at Newcastle in fine style.

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Steve Harper – looking better in every game

Hughton said today:

“When you lose a keeper of that caliber what you need is an experienced goalkeeper. Now he hasn’t played the number of games that Shay has played but certainly he’s an older head that has been around a while and he’s played an absolutely crucial part for us,”

“The period he came in last season, he didn’t let anyone down. I knew about him from before I came but when I got here he was the keeper who was playing and it was then that I realised what a quality goalkeeper he was.”

“He’s done the same since he came back into the team.”

David James will be 39 years old in August and close to 5 years older than Steve, so Harper is certainly not too old for the England squad. And there’s been too many of the younger England goalkeepers who have failed to come through when given their chance.

So it’s possible that Steve could make it into the squad, but Steve will know he will just have to keep his head down and play well for Newcastle.  Steve, like Shay Given before him, is a top class professional, and one of the real leaders at the club.

But Harper has now played over 100 times for Newcastle United, and Chris Hughton believes that might actually prolong his Premier League career at the club:

“What has probably held him back is that he’s not had a sustained run of games,” “But if you’re looking at the England quality goalkeepers in the country – he’s up there with them.”

“How many are there actually playing on a regular basis? He doesn’t fall short from them – all he needs now is a long run in the side.”

“He’s still young enough – he’s got a long period of games in front of him and perhaps the fact that he’s not played that many games will help him to go on even longer.”

With Steve Harper, because he hasn’t played too much over his 16 years at the club was always prone to taking a bit of time to get into the swing of things when he replaced Shay Given.

This time around, he has played solidly, in some vital games for Newcastle, and we expect Steve to get even better, as he did at the end of last season, when he was one of  Newcastle best players in the run-in for Kevin Keegan.

If he can do that he should be rightly considered for the England squad for next summer in South Africa, and it would be great for both Steve and Newcastle, if he can make that squad.

Comments welcome.



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20 comments so far

  • ginkoh

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #1

    If he can get the call, Grateful to him. Who know? Nothing impossible.

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  • RyanToon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #2

    englands number one 😉

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  • dougnufc

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #3

    He is definitely going into the England squad if Capello is aware of his talent

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  • aus_toon_todd

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #4

    will fight it out with green

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  • Born Again Geordie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #5

    go stevie harper !!!!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #6

    Englands best goalies = Kirkland, Green and Harper.

    I cant believe Calamity James, Foster, Calamity Carson and others even get into the SQUAD!

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  • richyg01

    Feb 25, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #7

    Far better than James, Foster doesnt get games, Carson cant get in with the number of goals conceeded this season!

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #8

    I think we’ll see Capello at SJP before long – it’s just too obvious that Steve is worth a good look, with nobody else really showing the level of quality England needs.

    I realy hope it happens – Steve is our most loyal player and deserves to be a national hero as much as any professional footballer.

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  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #9

    Ah. Just thought of a problem. Is his wife cute enough? Anyone seen her?

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  • DJG

    Feb 25, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #10

    Certainly better than James who is old and makes too many mistakes. Is he better than Kirkland and Green? who knows. At kicking he is the best keeper in England for sure.

    Some people think he (like shay) is too short. But if you stood next to him I bet he is about 6’2”.

    If he plays the rest of the season at top form as no.1 goalkeeper I think he would at least make the squad. Capello seems to stick with James though, can’t think why.

    Ironically it will probably depend on if he has a class game when Capello comes to see a returned Michael Owen.

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  • Ericles

    Feb 25, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Steve not only deserves an England call – he is certainly good enough. Better than what Capello is choosing so far. Go for it Steve mate!!

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  • Toon_Factor

    Feb 25, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #12

    Ive always thought Harper was better than given, when I got the goalkeeper strips when a was little I always got Harper on the back. And the reason why I think Harper is better than Given is because when he plays he always seems to concede less goals, Ive notice at the matches Given always used to shout at the defenders if they did something wrong or make mistakes- it does nothing for your confidence, i know from personal expericence and Harper always encourages the defenders and this really helps their confidence. Harper for England!!!!!!!!!

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  • 619nufc

    Feb 25, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #13

    He is curretnly IMO second choice to Kirkland.

    Green is simply crap

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  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #14

    I take it you have never seen Green play.

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  • Will

    Feb 25, 2009 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #15

    Harper for number 1, a good defence wud make all the difference to his performances.

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  • chuck

    Feb 25, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #16

    What happened to the great tradition of outstanding England goalies from Frank Swift through gordon Banks, is this what we have been reduced too. James, Harper, Green and Kirkland.
    If Harper is so good it follows we must have had some idiot managers because they allways made Shay the first choice.

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  • chuck

    Feb 25, 2009 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #17

    TOON_FACTORY
    He conceeded less goals because he never played unless Shay was injured.
    Wonder why that was him being better than Shay
    n`all.

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  • Toon_Factor

    Feb 25, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #18

    17 chuck

    Its Toon_Factor actually, IMO Harper is better than Given, Given always had this 1 goal goes past then another 3 go past attitude

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  • Brutooon

    Feb 26, 2009 at 6:10 AM

    Comment #19

    only if he keep clean sheetsss – loads od clean sheets.

    Its too early to say tho…but keep our focus first PREMIERSHIP SURVIVAL

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  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 26, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #20

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