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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Steve Harper Has Recovered – Will Start Against Reading

9:58 am, Thursday, August 13th, 2009 by Ed Harrison · 26 Comments

New today that Steve Harper will start against Reading on Saturday, having fully recovered from the head injury which forced him off during last weekend’s opening-day draw at West Brom.

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Steve Harper - fit again for Saturday


Steve got a nasty knock at The Hawthorns on Saturday, as WBA scored their first goal after 39 minutes.

He was kicked in the head by Shola Ameobi as Shola tried to clear the ball in a goalmouth melee. Yesterday we had though that Tim Krul may have a chance to make his home debut, but in fact Chris Hughton has come out today and said Steve is fit enough to start the game.

The 34-year-old stopper was taken to hospital in the West Midlands for precautionary checks but he was released and traveled back to Newcastle with the squad.

Tim Krul came on in the second half and had an outstanding game for the Magpies with 4 huge saves that kept Newcastle in the game.

Caretaker manager Chris Hughton told Newcastle United TV on Thursday morning that Steve is now fully recovered, and he will take his place in goal for the visit of Reading on Saturday.

Chris said:

“I can tell you that Steve Harper will start against Reading,” “Steve is very much our number one goalkeeper.

“But we are very fortunate to have two excellent young keepers in Tim Krul and Fraser Forster behind him.”

“Tim had an excellent second half against West Brom, but of course we would’ve preferred it if he wasn’t so busy.”

“But that will give him confidence and he will come back on Thursday with a spring in his step after another clean sheet for Holland Under-21s.”

Young Tim Krul did himself no harm last Saturday, and Newcastle fans have already taken to him, because not only is he a great young keeper, but he seems dedicated to the Newcastle cause.

He is certainly one for the future at Newcastle, and that future cannot be too far away.

Comments welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News · Steve Harper · Tim Krul





26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Toon_Factor // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    Great news! Harper deserves to be no.1

  • 2 sirjasontoon // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Yup keep Krul fit for the fire sale.

  • 3 broon ale // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    harper has looked dodgy ever since shay left

  • 4 NUFC-0809-Oh Dear // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    Gutted at this news, Krul did better than harper against WBA and in my opinion, Krul is the better keeper!

  • 5 RyanToon // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    S hit news that!

    Sorry to say this but our could is ALWAYS done on f cking sentiment!

  • 6 Rodzilla // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Jason, I think you’re probably right mate. For any of you squad re-building fantasists out there, expect the whole squad to be ‘for sale’ and NO MONEY TO SPEND!

    …oh, and hope to bl00dy hell for a takeover.

  • 7 sirjasontoon // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Fair comment Rod….I just think any good youth players that shine will be snapped up…no new players to come in JK was told this by Ashley when he was offered the job.

    Sell Sell Sell.

  • 8 Rodzilla // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    …yeah mate, I honestly think this is the season to bring youth through, but as you say, if they’re any good and an offer comes in – is Ashley really gona want to keep them?

    …doubt it.

    Not meaning to be doom and gloom, but I’m fairly sure that’s what’s gona happen if MA stays.

  • 9 lesh // Aug 13, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    This is a trick one for Hughton to manage.

    Harper’s first choice and fit:

    Krul’s had a taste of the action and of course praise

    He’s reported to have admirers such as Arsenal et al

    That might just unsettle him to say he feels he deserves more than second string

    A tricky one to manage but I’d be inclined to keep in is as first choice for games til after the window’s closed.

    He might just start fancying himself for the Prem

  • 10 Waldo P. Barnstormer // Aug 13, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Yet again we pick the older or “most experienced” player for a position. What ever happened to picking a team on form. This is one of the many reasons we went down last year and one that we will struggle this year. Total and utter shambles.

  • 11 BT9MAG // Aug 13, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    For all those who are saying Krul the better keeper, what are you basing that on? His TWO first team performances? Have you watched him in the reserves? I doubt it, because if you had, you’d see that he makes far more simple errors than Harper…I think he has the potential to be a far better keeper, but i don’t think he is there yet.

    I’d Give him the Carling Cup and FA Cup, pleanty of games, pleanty of important games, but more likely to bed him in ‘slowly’ and still keeps both of them happy!

  • 12 Whumpie // Aug 13, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    There’s a very good article on this in the Times: http://timesonline.typepad.com/fanzine_fanzone/2009/08/newcastle-it-would-be-nice-but-well-win-nothing-with-kids.html

    We are a laughably fickle and naive lot sometimes. I too think Krul is one of the most exciting players and a really decent bloke.

    But he’s 21. That’s about 12 in goalie years. He’s played one-and-a-half games at senior level.

    Yet here we are, asserting that he’s the ‘better choice’.

    Youth, as the Times bloke put it, is unreliable. Krul did the spectacular stuff really well – as you’d hope from 21-year-old reflexes. But he also got over-excited and flapped at times.

    Yes, we’d love someone who could the reflex stuff and keep a level head… but we sold him to Citeh for a pint and a copy of the Big Issue.

    I like Lesh’s suggestion. If Hughton explained to Harper he’d go along with it. Certainly I think Krul ought to start for non-league games and whenever the schedule gets tight and we’ve got an excuse to rest Harper.

    But outside of that, you stick with experience, and while Harps hasn’t been on top form recently… who the hell has??

  • 13 punk skunk... // Aug 13, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Best bet really,
    stick Harper back in, keep Krul outta the lime-light…
    …& anyway, if Krul did decide to move on to a prem club, specially some team like arsenal, do y’honestly think he’d be playin’ week in, week out?..
    …The quick answer is : NA!..

    …He’s gonna get more chances here & time to develop!..

  • 14 ToonRich // Aug 13, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Houghton nees to grow some balls and play the guys that are doing well and in form.

    @ BT9MAG, #11…Tim has been a regular for the dutch national youth sides a while now, when has harper ever been involved with Eng youth level, U21′s, full team???

    He’s gotta be played to gain the experience for us, simple as – IMO. :)

  • 15 punk skunk... // Aug 13, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    england’s bigger than holland like!..

  • 16 Fans Should Own The Club // Aug 13, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    I think a lot of us were wildly impressed with Krul’s saves. He made superb saves against WBA

    BUT… he looked very unsteady coming for crosses and his distribution was not so hot either.

    Harps will have an injury problem here or there in this long season so Krul will have plenty of chances, but right now I think Harper’s the right choice.

  • 17 JinkyGenius // Aug 13, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    The point is simple – to get results you need a balance of stability & commitment throughout the squad. Unless Harps screws up or is injured he should be certain of his place while knowing Krul is kicking that door down should he fail to deliver the goods.

    Every player should be afraid of losing form not making a slip, one bad performance is human, two in a row means losing your place – simple. Once the squad is set up to understand this competitive balance it will be a happier place. Krul is good, and if Harps loses form he is a safe replacement, but if Harps get dropped for being kicked in the head by your own player what sort on incentive is that for anyone?

    A team is at least 22 players. A place in the first XI should be hard earned – asked Steve Harper. There should be no prima donnas at Gallowgate. Meanwhile, Tim, don’t let a few good saves start inflating your head – one day you will let in 4 and expect us to understand!! Hopefully we will.

  • 18 BT9MAG // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    ToonRich, with regards to representing your nation at youth/U21 level I have two words for you:- Shola Ameobi!

  • 19 lesh // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    C’mon on Junkygenius, the way the squad’s haemorraging players where we gonna get 22 players to form a team?

  • 20 lesh // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Whoops….. for Junkygenius read Jinkygenius!

    Nothing intended!

  • 21 ToonRich // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    BT9MAG, all i was getting at is we all rate Harps as a good, if not quality gk, correct? So why was he not in the U21′s when he was eligble for them? Why did he never progress into the full squad? I’m not getting at him, just curious to what others think…

  • 22 JinkyGenius // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    Hi Lesh, I thought typo was a gem!

    Of course you are right the squad is threadbare, and I am talking the ideal world where every place has cover even in times of injury crises – so you are looking at 27 players who could cut it at Championship level. It’s such a difficult league with so many fixtures and some awful pitches that the current squad numbers are as scary as some of the wasters still at the club. By the time November comes the first XI will be playing the ground staff in midfield let alone the youth team if last season’s injury list is repeated!

    With Ashley there’s no strategy, there’s no method, there’s no contingency – f*** it, let’s be honest here, THERE’S NOT EVEN COMMON SENSE!

  • 23 Rodzilla // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    …yeah yeah Lesh ;)

  • 24 chuck // Aug 13, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    Krul had an excellent second half against W.B.
    and a very good game for Holland.
    I may have it wrong , but dont you pick keepers or any player, on form ?
    Face it Harper is no Shay, a nice guy , a fair keeper but not an automatic choice .
    Let them fight it out for the job, playing the guy on form.
    Dont want to hear that crap he is only 21, if he is good enough for the Holland U21`s he is good enough for the fizzy league.
    Apparently he is good enough for Wenger !

  • 25 BT9MAG // Aug 13, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    Fair enough ToonRich, I’m not sure why he has never featured at any level for England?

    I just think Harper gets a bit of unnecessary stick from our fans…He doesn’t pull of the flamboyant saves that Shay and Krul do, but he saves a lot and IMO very few (literally 1 or 2) of the goals conceded last season were his fault!

  • 26 frankyong // Aug 13, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    I would like to see Krul start ahead than Harper and Ranger ahead than Ameobi. Give young lad some chances, i think they will take it.




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