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.