One area that the Newcastle club seem to be well covered in, is the goalkeeper position.
Fraser Forster – in great form for Norwich
Even since Shay Given departed to ply his trade at Manchester City a year last January, Steve Harper has come into the Tyneside side these last 14 months, and done very well indeed, to say the least.
Steve has proved something we had thought for a long time, that Harper was a top class goalkeeper who was not fulfilling his full potential at Newcastle, because he just wasn’t playing enough when Shay was at the club, racking up 462 appearances over 12 years.
But Steve wanted to stay on Tyneside, and he’s now playing regularly and well for his home town club, which he’s been part of for almost 17 years now.
Paul Barron is the coach responsible for the goalkeepers at Newcastle, and today he talked about the futures of the two goalkeepers currently behind Steve in the pecking order on Tyneside.
Tim Krul and Fraser Forster are leading the way, and both young goalkeepers look top notch. Fraser turned 22 years old on March 17th and Tim will be 22 on April 2nd.
Quite honestly, we are not too sure who would be the number two to Steve, if both were now at the club, and challenging each other for the back-up position.
Paul said today:
“Tim has been playing for the Dutch Under-21s.” “He’s played six games in qualifying, they won six and beat Spain along the way.”
“He kept clean sheets and then conceded a goal in the last one. I’ve been to see him play in a few games and he’s done very well.”
“Fraser is on loan at Norwich and he’s on fire down there. He’s kept 19 clean sheets. He’s been outstanding.”
“We’ve got the younger ones as well, Ole (Soderberg) is back from injury and working hard and Jak Alnwick and Ben Robinson are coming through and doing well.”
“It’s all smiles at the minute. We just have to make sure it keeps going that way.”
We don’t know how long Newcastle can keep both young goalkeepers on Tyneside, because they will soon need to get games, and lots of them to improve and gain experience.
Fraser had been getting good playing time at Norwich, where he’s racked up 33 appearances at the East Anglia club, and from all accounts he ‘s been just great, but Tim on the ohter hand has had very few games this season.
Tim has started 5 games and made a couple of substitute appearances for the Newcastle first team, and that’s just not enough playing time for an up and coming 21 year-old goalkeeper, who many predict will take over from 39 year-old Dutch stalwart Edwin van der Sar, when he finally hangs up his gloves.
So both Tim and Newcastle will soon approach a time when either the club will need to send Tim out on loan so he can get some games, or else Tim elects to move on, if his burgeoning career does not start to become stagnant.
Of course what Tim wants to do, and he’s made it quite clear, is to oust Steve Harper for the number one position at the Newcastle club next season.
We’re not sure what will happen with these two young keepers, but from a selfish Newcastle point of view, we’d like to keep them both at the club, just as long as we can.
What do you think about this situation?
Comments very welcome.