Harper Expects Big Challenge From Fraser Forster Next Season

If there’s one position Newcastle have been strong at for the last 14 years or so, it is goalkeeper.

Fraser Forster – in fantastic form at Norwich

And that looks like continuing, even though Shay Given has left for pastures anew at Manchester City.

Not only do we have the experienced veteran Steve  Harper doing very well this season, but two youngsters coming on fast are Dutch U-21 International Tim Krul and local lad Fraser Forster, currently getting rave reviews on loan at Norwich.

It seems that Steve Harper knows all about Fraser, and he told the Shields Gazette today:

“I know Fraser is out at Norwich, but there is no chance of Newcastle selling him. He is too good,”

“I cannot understand how he is not in the England Under 21 squad. I know their set-up, and Fraser is as good as there is around.”

“He is a local lad from Stocksfield, a big lad at 6ft 6in who stayed on at school and so came late into full-time football, but the progress he has made in the last three years is phenomenal.”

“I know Paul Barron, our goalkeeper coach, rates him highly and so does Norwich boss Paul Lambert.”

“Fraser still trains with me every Monday and Tuesday when Norwich don’t have a midweek game, so we keep an eye on him and keep in touch.”

Steve always had a good relationship with Shay Given, when he was perennial back-up to the Irishman, and to Steve’s credit he seems to be helping the young lads come through at St. James’ Park – maybe to his own detriment. 😀

But Steve is still a very good goalkeeper, and he will not give up that number one slot easily, after waiting so long for the chance.

However, Steve may have to play out of his skin next season (again), to retain the number one jersey on Tyneside, with Fraser and Dutchman Tim Krul, both now knocking hard on the door.

Forster seems to be playing very well indeed at Norwich City in League One, and he has so far made 34 appearances for the East Anglia side, who are now 9 points clear at the top of their division.

By our reckoning Fraser has 16 clean sheets in those 34 games, about 50% – and strangely that’s about what Steve has – with 20 clean sheets in 41 games for Newcastle – a new club record.

Top Dutch youngster Tim Krul has also stated that his aim is to be Newcastle’s number one goalkeeper next season, so Steve can expect some big time competition, when pre-season training starts in July.

We also see Steve Harper as Newcastle’s goalkeeping coach, some time down the road,  it just seems fitting somehow.

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Apr 6, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #1

    forster is meant to be unreal, everyone at the club rates him higher than krul. barron even rates him as englands best young keeper

  • countrylad14

    Apr 6, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #2

    he’s been class for Norwich this season. id like to see us hold onto both him and krul and let them battle it out for the number1 jersey in a few years.

  • toonoholic

    Apr 6, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #3

    would be sad to see krul leave if thats the case. but thankfully nufc have been blessed with keepers. look at arsenal and united before van de saar.

  • murvar

    Apr 6, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #4

    It’s inconceivable that one of these 3 will see themselves as 3rd in line and be happy about it. All will want regular first team football – Krul cos he’s never had it, Forster cos he has now experienced it, and Harps because he’s only just got the no 1 jersey after all these years. The best we can hope for is that Krul goes out on a full season loan to a top club and that Harps gives it one more year. But realistically it seems like one will be sold in the close season – and it won’t be Harps.


    Apr 6, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #5

    Think we need to hold onto our keepers,as i feel they will both be top class.

  • countrylad14

    Apr 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #6

    i heard (although it was just a rumour reported by STV and probably was a load of rubbish) that newcastle were looking at John Ruddy who is a keeper on loan at motherwell from Everton. if this was true could that indicate that newcastle are looking at options incase a large bid comes in for Krul in the summer or they could be looking to loan both Krul and foster out again for the season???

  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Apr 6, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #7

    cant wait to watch this baarca team again, but i hope arsenal do it tonight

  • Robby Bobson

    Apr 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #8

    Thought i would watch the tranmere norwich game last week to see how good forster is.

    within 5 minutes they had scored a penalty passed him and within ten he had conceded a penalty and was sent off for it.

    But he does look like a huge presence and certainly has the stature to be a great goalkeeper.

  • EatEthiopian

    Apr 6, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #9

    whats happned to Ranger…. he doesn’t play reserve footy either?

  • toonboyjake

    Apr 7, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #10

    ranger played for the reserves v bradford today

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Apr 7, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #11

    I’ve said it before and am only passing on a rumour (albeit one directly from a good and well known source) but I’ve been told that young Ranger is letting his fame go to his head, partying a bit too hard etc and has been told that he’ll have to calm down before he gets to start games…

    It’d be a real shame to see either Krul or Forster leave. How long do you guys reckon Harper has left in him at the top level? Two years? One thing we can’t do is lose both young talents because they can’t displace Harper and then Harper retires.

  • Daniel Petersen

    Apr 7, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    Comment #12

    murvar – Krul was in the first team when he was on loan at Falkirk in 07-08. Did well until he hurt his shoulder.

  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Apr 7, 2010 at 3:22 AM

    Comment #13

    keepers seem to be at their best later in their careers unlike outfield players. I think barring injury he has 3 or 4 more. However we need to send krul on loan somewhere to get first team action and let forster battle harps for #1. Unless a crazy bid comes in for krul we need to hold our cards…

  • DJG

    Apr 7, 2010 at 6:56 AM

    Comment #14

    I think Krul should go out on a season long loan in the championship but don’t sell him. Forster can sit on the bench and wait his chance.

    Messi is king!

  • DJG

    Apr 7, 2010 at 7:06 AM

    Comment #15

    If these two are patient they won’t have that long to wait I mean Harper is older than Given right? 36 or something. Krul and Forster are only 21, 22 so still very young for goalkeepers. I don’t know as long as we hold on to one of them would be great coz they are both future internationals. We should get them on super long contracts and if another club wants one make them put their money where their mouth is!

    Forster is an absolute giant! Krul is a big lad at full stretch also. I think they will be better than Given and Harper honestly.

  • Ericles

    Apr 7, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #16

    We need to keep all of our keepers – especially as we are back in the Premiership. Why not alternate Krul and Forster as loanees? Our priority is who we get in during the summer. These need to be outfield players not keepers. According to the Guardian we will have some cash and will be busy in the market. So, who will the fat man have CH sell?


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