Harper Could Be Number One For Many Seasons To Come

One of the players who has been outstanding for Newcastle this season is local goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Steve Harper – excellent season for Newcastle goalkeeper

The aspect of Steve’s game that we most appreciate is he’s as safe as houses.

While we see top goalkeepers like Chelsea’s Petr Cech and others, continue to make obvious mistakes, it’s very rare you see any of that in Steve’s play.

He is a goalkeeper who does all that is necessary to keep the shots out, and testament to his play are Newcastle’s 19 clean sheets so far this season.

Hughton told Newcastle United TV today just how much he appreciates goalkeeper Steve Harper:

“It’s been a wonderful year for Steve and there have been some games when he’s been outstanding.”   “The mark of a top goalkeeper is the games when they don’t have much to do but then still pull off top saves when called upon.”

“And we’ve had games like that this season where we’ve had to rely upon him to save us.”   “I remember Sheffield United away when he made a couple of outstanding saves towards the end of the game and we won 1-0.”

“But there have been numerous others and he’s enjoying a terrific season.”   “He’s been consistent with his performances and fitness and that is why he’s played every game.”

“Steve is a top character as well and deserves all of the plaudits he gets.”

While Steve’s only played 160 times in total at Newcastle because he was the perennial number two goalkeeper to the great Shay Given, Steve still has a few years left to rack up the appearances at his local club, and we’re sure that’s they way he’s thinking.

With goalkeepers like Aston Villa’s Brad Friedel (38) and Portsmouth’s David James (39) still performing well into their late 30s, we see no reason why Steve can’t be Newcastle ‘s number one for many seasons to come.

Steve’s a youngster compared to Brad and David, as he only turns 35 on March 14th. 😀

Of course he will be severely tested by our two 21 year-old up-and-coming keepers, Tim Krul and Fraser Forster, who are are both excellent young stoppers and chomping at the bit for a starting place on Tyneside.

Harper has been great for Newcastle this season and we think if the Magpies were in the PL this season, he’d be an England International by now, and would likely be part of England’s World Cup Squad for South Africa.

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • whizzkid1892

    Mar 5, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #1

    I couldnt disagree more, only reason he has so many clean sheets is because of the poor strikers in the championship and the excellent centre backs in colo, taylor, and williams. You only have to look at the goal he conceded against crystal palace , he took ages to react to a very tame shot from clinton morrison – and the goal was scored. Time to blood in krul and /or forster otherwise we’ll lose them and be truly screwed.

  • G

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #2

    Strongly disagree with you whizzkid1892. Harper was called upon on more than one occaision in the Prem, and never let us down. I am absolutely baffled by these negative comments about Harper, as I said on another thread a few days ago, ability wise, there was very little between Given and Harper. I think we are lucky to have him, and the 2 young lads have yet to prove themselves in my eyes.

  • komfort

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #3

    funkyphantom1776….is probably a more reasonable name to use with views like that.

    …harper for england !!!

  • lesh

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #4

    Aren’t you being a bit unfair on Harper whizzkid1892? Do you never make mistakes or have an off day? If not, why not get yourself between the sticks and see how you cope against the poor strikers?

    Harper’s human and like Given who before him and even now makes mistakes!

    Get off his back and think about the positives – Harper’s a key part of our defence!

    We’re lucky to have hima and for me, his name should be in the frame for an England cap.

  • dutchy

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #5

    if we dont plpay krul or forster they will probably want to leave, or at least one of them will. Harper will stay at newcastle all his life so we can have him as a 2nd goalie. Tim Krul has been playing for the u21 dutch team and has been outstanding for them. And when he has played this season, hes been great for us too. Give him a couple of games in a row and he’ll knock harper off the spot.

  • Aza9

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Steve Harper has done fantastically well this season for us. His performance away to Sheffield United was worldclass and has been solid like the rest of our back four.

    Looking forward to seeing how Forster progresses. Think himself and Hart will be fighting it out for the England no1 in the future.

  • Macas35

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Whizzkid/Dutchy – Krul has not been excellent for us, he is a good shot stopper but looks fairly weak on crosses, something the West Brom game highlighted. Harper has more experience and is much more reliable. Krul has plenty of time to develop and mature before getting his chance.

  • Doha Mag

    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #8

    Harper is playing extremely well while we also have excellent youngsters in Krul, Forster and young Solderberg doing well.

    We need to keep them all happy, so expect Krul and Solderberg out on loan next season and Forster back in Newcastle as Harper’s understudy. This will allow the current Under-18 keeper to move up to the reserves; Alnwick’s his name I think!

    The future always looks brighter when we see our youngsters coming through the ranks and challenging for a first team place….

  • G

    Mar 5, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #9

    I haven’t seen Solderberg play yet, however, I have witnessed good performances from both Krul and Forster, however, they are both too young in my eyes to step up and be the regular number 1. In Harper, we have a tried and tested keeper with undoubted ability who in my opionion should definately be pushing for an England spot.

  • Robby Bobson

    Mar 5, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #10

    To be honest at the beginning of the season after the WBA game when people were saying throw Krul in i strongly disagreed.

    But recently Harper seems to be getting a little bit complacent, and trying extravagent punches and trying to let the ball drift out when it hits the post.

    He needs a kick up the backside and i think putting Krul in for a game to let Harper no hes not automatic number one would b good for the team.

    He is a great keeper and is the most reliable choice but Krul and Forster are waiting for their chance and Harper shuld be made aware of that.

    G… i feel sorry for Solderberg…up against Harper and two of the best young keepers in the country.

  • Graeme

    Mar 6, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #11

    Harper is as good as any of the three being lined up as Englands Keeper for the world cup and on his day, is better than at least two of them.

    He is a far more reliable keeper than Calamity James any day of the week – so why is he not even mentioned??


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