Veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper is expected back around the middle of December from his shoulder injury, and the local lad seems determined to get the goalkeeper jersey back again on Tyneside.
Steve Harper – wants goalkeeper jersey back next month
22 year-old Dutchman Tim Krul has done well in Steve’s absence, and looks to be the goalkeeper of the future on Tyneside, but Steve still sees himself playing a few more seasons yet.
This is what Steve said today:
“There is no point being nice about it, I want the shirt back. I enjoyed the time I was in the team.”
“Tim has until December to prove he should keep it and I hope he does well because it means the team does well – but yeah, I want to be back in the side when I am fit.”
“It has been a difficult lay-off. I have forgotten how hard it is to watch.” “I have done that far more often than I would have liked in the past, especially the first few games when we did not do so well.”
Newcastle also have 22 year-old Hexham-born Fraser Forster who is a great young goalkeeper, currently playing for Celtic on loan, and there’s not much at all between the two young goalkeepers.
But Tim Krul has done well in the way he has deputized for Harper since Steve was injured at Everton back on 18th September, so it looks like the 35 year-old goalkeeper will have missed three months of the season, when he returns in about four weeks time.
“Tim has done alright. He has not been particularly busy, but he looks to have settled into the role.” “I know from experience when you are only having the odd game you can try too hard to impress.”
“You want to be man of the match every game, but I have said to him he has at least a dozen games. Relax and enjoy it.” “It is amazing how good you can look by just doing the job properly and I am sure Tim will keep plenty of clean sheets in the future.”
Harper is very supportive of the two young goalkeepers at the club, and has always tried to pass on his experience to the youngsters.
It will be great to see Steve back, and he will want to add to the 178 first team appearances he has made for Newcastle so far in his career.
With goalkeepers carrying on until they are 40 years old these days, Steve will think he will be competing for the goalkeeper jersey at Newcastle for quite a few seasons yet.
It will be interesting to see who’s between the posts in a couple of years time – we should be back in Europe by then. 😀