Stoke City Will Be A Severe Test For Tim Krul

With the long term injury to Steve Harper, Tim Krul becomes a very important player for Newcastle United,  for at least the rest of this year.

Tim Krul – decent game on Wednesday night

Tim has lots of ability and confidence, but he is still an inexperienced goalkeeper, as he showed for the first goal on Wednesday night when Sol Campbell was thumped to the floor by Tim, as he had just headed a cross away from goal, which led to Chelsea’s opening sloppy goal.

But Tim is also an intelligent lad, and he knows that he must now learn very quickly and keep the mistakes to a minimum, if he is going to take the huge opportunity he’s been offered at the club,  because of Steve Harper’s serious shoulder injury.

But Krul has also never let the club down when he’s been between the posts, but it will be a tough game for the 22 year-old tomorrow, as the Stoke City side will no doubt target him with high crosses and throw-ins continuously.

Stoke are a direct team, and usually take route one to goal, and we expect that’s the way they will play tomorrow – but that’s the way they play every game, after all.

Tin talked about Stoke City today:

“They will try and rough me up,” “It is a unique pressure they bring for any goalkeeper, especially with Rory Delap’s throw ins. But I am lucky that we have Andy Carroll who is a great header of the ball and he will be there to help me. I will just have to be prepared for what Stoke throw at me.”

“I’m strong enough to look after myself. Everyone knows English football. It is always kick and rush, they say, but I have to be ready for the knocks and I have to give some to them as well.”

“I’ve got to be prepared for everything. Paul Barron said to me this morning, ‘don’t just focus on the throw-ins, it is going to come from everywhere’. And every ball is a single ball. Say if you catch nine throw-ins, the tenth is a different ball again. So you just have to stay focused for 90 minutes.”

Steve Harper has been very helpful to Tim, since Tim has been number two goalkeeper at the club, after Shay Given left for pastures anew 20 months ago.

And of course Steve and Shay were good friends at Newcastle, even through they were competitors for the number one jersey on Tynesde, although Shay ended up playing around 470 times for the Magpies.  And when Shay left for Manchester City, Steve had around only 112 first team appearances for the club.

Tim talked about Steve Harper:

“I did not play many games last season, but Steve has been really good to me saying how patient he has had to be. It is easier being patient when you are 22, because there are many years to come for me.””To get the nod now is great. It is nice to know it is not just one game in two or three months.”

“It is nice I can show people what I can do over a longer period, not just the odd game in the Cup.” “This is what I have been waiting for. You never want Harps to get a bad injury, but you hope sometimes he will miss the odd game now and then.” “He would say the same thing because he has been in a similar situation himself.”

“He always says to me, ‘just be ready’, and before the season he said to me, ‘I have not been injured for three years, so it is going to come’. You just have to stay sharp waiting for that moment.”

“As a goalkeeper, of course you want to play games, but you never want to see your rival badly injured. Maybe a knock or a heavy cold, but you do not want to see him get a bad injury.”

We’ll know fairly soon if Tim can get the job done for Newcastle in Steve’s absence, and there’s no doubt the game against Stoke will be a tough test for the Dutchman.

Comments welcome.