Hull Is Biggest Game Of Harper’s Newcastle Career


Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper, who captained the side against Manchester United last week, has come out today and said this weekend’s game is the “biggest game in his time at the club”.

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Steve Harper – biggest game for him at Newcastle
 

 That’s good that Steve has said that, just in case other Newcastle players don’t realize the huge mess we are in right now, and the fact that relegation is a real possibility if we don’t vastly improve our results in the final 10 games of the season.

The Easington-born star was signed for his local club back in 1993 by Kevin Keegan, so this statement says how important the outcome of Saturday’s relegation battle is, especially after he nudged out Shay Given and started the FA Cup Final in May of 1999 against Manchester United, which we lost 2-0.  This is a bigger game than even that one for Steve.

Hull are on 32 points,and a full 4 points clear of Newcastle, after they scored a last minute winner in their game at Craven Cottage. That game was Hull’s first victory since December 6th and stopped a streak of 11 games without a win.

Harper told nufcTV today:

“We know how big this game is,” “Make no mistake; this really is a relegation six-pointer.” 

“I said last year before the game against Birmingham at exactly the same stage of the season that it was the biggest game in the club’s recent history.”

“Thankfully that night we got a draw which kick-started a run of seven games unbeaten which ultimately kept us up.”

“And I’ve got no problem about saying this game at Hull is just as big.” “We need the three points. You don’t get these games back.”

“I look at the table and it doesn’t lie, we really are in the thick of it.” “A good result at Hull though could act as a catalyst and we need to come out and show some real character.”

“We’ve got to produce a performance like that against Man United last week; if we do that then I’m confident we’ll get a result.”

This will be a tough game to watch, unless we can go ahead like we did against WBA, but even in that game, when we were 3-1 up at half time, the last 20 minutes was agony, once WBA scored their second goal.

Hull are hardly an easy side to play either, and we’ll need to match them for spirit and effort first, and if we can do that, our extra skill should count.

But in the 3 games we’ve played against them this season, we still haven’t won.

So this will be a good time to do just that – obviously.

Comments welcome.



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108 comments so far

  • lesh

    Mar 11, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #1

    Steve Harper’s a good keeper and that’s waht he shouldn’t lose sight of.

    Yes, the Hull game’s important but the last thing he needs is to be piling the pressure in himself!! Let’s not forget, he’s the guy that’s there to to save the results of the defence’s failings.

    So, let’s hope he focuses on keeping his back line in order and postioned for his benefit. Do that well and then id the midfield and strikers do the business, we should win.’

    The talent’s there, let’s hope these guys have the will to win it and go for Hull big time.

    What’s the old maxim? If we’ve got the ball in the opposition half of the field, then they can’t score.

    Geddit Steve.

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  • stevep

    Mar 11, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #2

    I hate it when players come out and say it’s a must win game – they put pressure on themselves which invariably hits them when we go one down. We then end up losing the game because the players are nervous as hell.

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  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #3

    Kick hoop on Saturday lads!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We want 3 points and would be nice to get the goal difference down with a
    0-3 win on saturday or okay 0-6 win then to bring us back to old times :-))))))))))))))))))

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  • bennytoon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #4

    I would love to be at this game. One team playing with renewed confidence against an injury ravaged team very low on cxonfidence that are in a must win situation. It will look even worse if blackburn win tonight.

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  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #5

    Not long to go til the Library shuts Benny.
    What him vanish just after 5.

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  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #6

    *watch

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  • bennytoon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #7

    Normally leave work about 4;45 to get the 5;10 train home. How much longer do you have at the job centre before they throw you out? Nevermind you can keep looking tomorrow. Your lucky you dont have to pay for petrol and your only concern is keeping the tyres on your vintage bike at the correct level.

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  • bennytoon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #8

    If i had a penny for everytime jasontoon bit i could buy newcastle a new player.

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  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #9

    bennytoon

    Do you actually relise how sad you are?

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  • bennytoon

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #10

    Toon-Factor- please tell me cos i really value your opinion.

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  • komfort

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #11

    ed , if another nail goes in the coffin against hull i think there’ll be blood n snots flying around this blogg on sat night , think i’ll sit it out and take me bit on the side out for bite to eat instead.

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  • Whumpie

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #12

    Will people please stop humouring Benny? Two reasons: 1. it ruins any chance of discussion, and 2. it makes me grin and give away the fact that I’m not working.

    We’ll win and win big on Saturday. 4-1.

    Gerrin.

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  • Whumpie

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #13

    Komfort – you dirty old git. Is that why they named a hotel chain after you? 🙂

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  • komfort

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #14

    whumpie , she’s a lovely quiet girl called phillipa hole and enjoys a good sausage dinner.

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  • Whumpie

    Mar 11, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #15

    I think I used to date her mum…

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  • komfort

    Mar 11, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #16

    hmm , feel a bit deflated now.

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  • Bill F

    Mar 11, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #17

    komfort, She was more into Salami when I knew her.

    BT on a sad scale of 1 to 10 I would rate you about a 7. You must try harder.

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  • Obafan

    Mar 11, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #18

    Hull will be a massive game, which we need to win. If we play the way we played Manure we will win this game, that I am confident of and we might take Arsenal too. Imagine 6 out of 6 could be the thing we really need. I might be dreaming, but hey some dreams come true and let us all hope this dream is one of them.

    Harper
    S Taylor – Bassong – Colo – Enrique
    Loven – Smith – Geremi – Guti
    Owen – Martins

    That would be my team if all the above are fit to play and to start (Duff? – Owen?);

    Let these players at home:
    Ryan Taylor: not the player we need, master in set pieces (only against Newcastle me thinks)
    Butt: too old
    Ameobi: waste of space

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  • komfort

    Mar 11, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #19

    obafan , wakey wakey…

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  • toooooonfan

    Mar 11, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #20

    bennytoon on a scale of 1 – p rick your a p rick

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  • jimiley

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #21

    Obafan
    You must be a Mackem. Geremi and Smith in centre mid. Having a laugh. Too old and slow. Two less creative, immobile midfielders I cannot think of. We willose if we play them. Thats why you must be a mackem. They should be playing in an over 50s pub team.

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  • komfort

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #22

    jimiley ,ssshhh he’s asleep.

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  • AndyNUFC

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #23

    Martins and Lovenkrands should start upfront. They played well against Man United and haven’t picked up an injury since.

    You can’t just throw Michael Owen in straight away, he should be a substitution at the hour mark EARLIEST. As much as we say this is must win and we all apparently think Owen will completely save us with hattricks every game, we risk the chance of him picking up another injury.

    Having said that you know, watch him play over 80% of his games for his new club next season. Money raping little has been.

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  • jimiley

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #24

    Why was Harper a number 2 for 12 years. because thats exactly what he is. Can’t tie Given’s laces. Mind you, there are a number of number 2s scattered throughout the team. Thats why we have been in relegation trouble for three years. We are not inconsistent nor underperforming. After three years we have found our level. We are just plain poor. Hand in pockets Ashley. Some hope. More torture next season if we survive.

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  • AndyNUFC

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #25

    Can’t tie Given’s laces? Just because people prefered Given’s camera saves doesn’t mean Harper is a bad keeper. Given’s positioning is absolutely shocking. His positioning when Taylor took his free kick against us proved this.

    The worst i’ve seen off him was the Gerrard blast of a free kick, remember? It went straight down the middle, but Given was so far off his line that it just basically went over him.

    On top of that Given does not command the box well, nor does he impress as much as Harper aerially.

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  • simon376

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #26

    Wish I had as much time at work as Bennytoon to be on the blog all day. I get a chance for a quick look at dinner time if i take one. Must be nice

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  • jimiley

    Mar 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #27

    AndyNUFC
    A succession of managers at the club preferred Given to Harper. Including myself. Harper accepted the situation of never playing for years so he basically acknoowledged (by staying at the club) that Given was better. We can all give examples of a keeper making mistakes. Funny that Citee never signed Harper isn’t it? The question of whether Given is better than Harper is not in doubt. The question is by how much. I would say quite a lot better.

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  • Hugh de Payen

    Mar 11, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #28

    Steve Harper’s an okay keeper in my opinion, although I thought Shay was better.

    Anyway, as to the Hull game, I originally had us down to lose that but the way we played against Man U has me predicting a draw now.

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  • Bill F

    Mar 11, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #29

    jimiley, I agree that Harper was and is a good no2, but I have often questioned his ambition. Seems to me he likes to stay in the comfort zone as a person and as a player. Needs to show a bit more zip in his play, take Gomez for example some real howlers but don’t get in his way. I was a long term critic of Given as well but I reckon we wouldn’t be talking about relegation if we still had him for the last few games. Time to play Forster or Krul imo.

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  • Hugh de Payen

    Mar 11, 2009 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #30

    Let’s face it, most Newcastle keepers get a lot of practice stopping shots.

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  • jimiley

    Mar 11, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #31

    Some stop them better than others. if we had a decent team and manager, we would be unconcerned about Harper. It seems that we are heading for the drop. We have the weakest NUFC since the Prem started. We have the worst manager and we have lost a quality keeper and now have a very average one. Useless owner. That could all well lead to relegation

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  • simon376

    Mar 11, 2009 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #32

    Jimiley,

    I agree with most of your points from post 31, but I think you are being over the top about Harper. He may not be the best in the league but he’s still a very good keeper.

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  • Girth

    Mar 11, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #33

    im bias as ive always loved defensive midfielfders, the ones who get on with it, do the dirty work but more importantly, break things down as well as start things off, but Cambiasso just oozes class doesnt he, great player!!

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  • Toon_Factor

    Mar 11, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #34

    What has Harper done to get all this criticism??

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  • Alex

    Mar 11, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #35

    Thats exactly what i was wondering Toon_Factor . This time last season everyone was talking about how good he is , when he was standing in for Given . why is he being criticised all of a sudden ? he is still a good keeper .

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  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 11, 2009 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #36

    Hello lads.

    Can I just say – COME ON FULHAM!

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  • simon376

    Mar 11, 2009 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #37

    Harper is great keeper, he along with Owen & Keegan kept us up last season, can’t blame Given for leaving, lets be thankful Harper is still here

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  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 11, 2009 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #38

    Hello again.

    Blackburn equalised – sh*t!

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  • Toon Graeme

    Mar 11, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #39

    Blackburn up 1 – 2.

    F**K – makes Saturday even more important to win!

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  • mcvicar

    Mar 11, 2009 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #40

    dosnt look like were gonna get any help off the teams around us dropping points as blackburn have just beat fulham usualy we can expect teams around us to mess up but we realy do need to scrap all the way

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