Steve Harper – I Have Two Seasons Left To Play

Steve Harper’s bad mistake at Stoke early in the second half was crucial in seeing Newcastle lose that game.

Steve Harper – only two seasons more on Tyneside

The mistake came after a very even first half, and Steve has said today he only will play another couple of seasons at Newcastle, and will not play be playing much longer than that because of his bad knees.

Of course Steve has been at Newcastle since 1993, when Kevin Keegan signed him from his local club Seaham Red Star, and he now has 189 appearances for the Newcastle first team.

But he was famously the back-up to Shay Given for around 12 seasons on Tyneside, and before Shay left just over two years ago, Steve had played very few games over that period for the Newcastle first team.

Steve thinks that if anything he is getting better with age, although the timing of saying that may be a bit off, after what happened last Saturday.

This is what Steve, who turned 36 a week last Monday on 14th March, told the Newcastle official site today:

“As a goalkeeper and at 36 you know a lot more than at 26,” “I’ve got some very young, good goalies behind me, so I try and pass on the experiences I’ve collected over the years.”

“Us keepers seem to mature and get better as we get older. It’s just from experience as you learn from situations.”

“You recognize situations and things develop a little bit earlier. You are probably calmer around the place, and a better communicator.”

Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar has recently turned 40, and has only since  announced this will be his last season, even though it  looks like the Dutchman could play at least another couple of seasons at the highest level.

But the Dutchman wants to go out at the top of his game, which he is certainly on this season at Old Trafford.

Harper believes Edwin has made the right decision”

“Van der Sar is a legend,” “He’s been outstanding wherever he’s been, and I think Sir Alex said he wishes he had signed him in 1999 when Peter Schmeichel left. What better compliment than that?”

“And to still be doing it week in, week out at 40 is testament to him. I think it’s a fantastic decision by him to retire at the top, because he is still very much at the top of his game.”

But here’s where Steve says there is no way he will be playing when he turns 40 in four years time, and thinks he will play only another couple of years.

So that will at least offer some hope to Tim Krul and Fraser Forster  – our two young goalkeepers just itching to take over from the experienced 36 year-old.

Steve was asked if he would be playing when he’s 40:

“No, no chance. Not with my knees,” “I’ve got a couple of years left here which will take me to 38, and then after that we’ll just see how it goes.”   “But I’m sure van der Sar hasn’t got knees like mine!”

“But I’ve done the Level Two of my coaching badge, so I want to get more qualified over the next couple of years and stay in the game once I’ve retired.”

Steve was the unlikely villain on Saturday, when he was caught in possession and that led to Stoke’s second goal only seconds later.

But we also have to remember in the previous game, Harper was the Man of the Match against Everton, and certainly kept the score down.

We think Steve will keep his place against Wolves in the next game, although we have seen that soem readers would like Tim Krul back in goal.

But Newcastle need as much skill and experience in the side for the game, that we can muster, and a win would be absolutely great.

Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • JP...from The Rock

    Mar 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #1

    I will open the bubbly and get really pissed the day Strola Ameobi finally leaves us!! I can’t stand the guy anymore. He is completely useless to our cause. He just hampers our efforts as does Lovenkrands these days. Both need to be shipped out immediately when the transfer window re-opens. The have been rarely decent in the past but their time has come to F-Off! If we keep playing them ahead of a promising and much more potent Ranger we will get relegated. We need goals and shots at goal and Ameobi and Lovernkrands are championship quality at best and don’t offer hardly any threat. Ranger on the other hand may be inexperienced but does scare the living daylights of the opposition and manages more shots at goal and is unlucky not to score every time he’s on. Every time I see them in the first 11 my stomach turns and I start to fear the worse. I am not being negative nor a bad supporter it’s just years of painful viewing that I cannot stand either of them just prancing around and not getting hardly involved in the match and picking up their pay cheque and playing the following game again! We need to play hungry players like Ranger, Fergurson, Airey etc. Not these under performing has-beens (in Ameobi’s case he never became anything!) These two are injury prone and inconsistent. We need better and deserve better!

  • JP...from The Rock

    Mar 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #2

    Harper has shown how a loyal servant to the club should perform. He’s never nagged about his few chances between the sticks but when he’s played he has hardly put a foot wrong (okay against stoke he was at fault for a change). Compare him to a certain Ameobi and the inconsistency in Ameobi is far more evident. He maybe one of our top European scorers but that is only because he has miraculously survived the drop from every manager before he’s found out and is still here so he has to play. Ship him out and but talent and consistent professionals like Harper.

  • G

    Mar 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #3

    JP, correct me if I am wrong here, and forgive me if I am jumping to conclusions, but I am guessing you are not Shola’s biggest fan?

  • dak76

    Mar 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #4

    Harps should be offered a player coach role next season to help bring on forster and krul.

    knows the club inside out like Carver and loves the club, reckon he’d be a good asset in the backroom staff

  • davybtoon

    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #5

    i love harps but its time for forster to be no1 next season, harps on the bench n krul on a season long loan sumwere,
    as for having to players tied up already for the summer of course we could hav any whos contract is up can sign now n and u can agree fees for players now to, its well known that we offered marveux 55k aweek already he is decidin between us liverpool n id be happy if we had elmander n larrson tied up

  • Lynxie

    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #6

    Frazer Forster’s time is now. Steve Harper will be back where he knows best next season, the bench which has served him so well over the last 12 years. he is lakadaisical, decision making is too slow and flawed, he does not command his six yard box, never mind the big box. Sol Campbell may have fluffed the header that led to goal number 3, but Harper should have come and claimed it easy. he is no more than a goal line shot stopper, and these days he goes down about as fast as the belgrano, almost in slow motion. He is beaten too easily from distance, and his feet movement is woeful (sturridge’s shot almost went in the centre of the goal FFS)
    Sorry Steve, father time waits for no man, and the young uns are now good enough Fortser to be number 1 next year.

  • Ryan_NUFC88

    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #7

    If anyone is interested check out the below…

    Some decent free transfers up for grabs to be fair!!!

  • Ryan_NUFC88

    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #8

    Some stand out free ttransfers I’ve seen:

    Mexes (France International Defender)
    Upson (England obviously)
    Reto Ziegler (Swiss, used to play for Spuds)
    Marveuax (Think he’s already signed for Liverpool?)
    Seamus Coleman (Everton)
    Zavon Hines and Obinna (West Ham)
    Miroslav Klose (Fair enough he’s getting on but could do a job with Bartons deliveries)
    Ivan Rakitic (Schalke)
    Urby Emanuelson (Ajax)
    Giliano Wijnaldum (Only 19, good prospect)
    Anthony Vanden Borre
    Alan (Braga, looked good against liverpool)

    A fair few suggestions there (I know), probably missed a fair few out aswell that could be decent but the free transfer market looks good this year and could pick up some bargains!!!

  • davybtoon

    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #9

    see lua lua contract is up in the summer we shud not lose this lad

  • Ryan_NUFC88

    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #10

    I know davybtoon, theres been no mention of that. Should definatly get him tied down!

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #11

    Only problem with Forster is that he fists out what could and should be caught.

  • Davies

    Mar 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #12

    Forster has a few niggling problems, slow to get to low balls, distribution, command of the defence, but Krul has pretty much the same problems.

    Harps is a good keeper, but he just seems a little disinterested of late. I remember Given being the same, not long before we sold him.

    Either Krul or Forster would be fine by me for when Harps retires (or starts taking to the bench), but they need to improve the aforementioned problems to really stake a claim to the umber one jersey.

    JP – Ranger is a good prospect, but he has yet to score this season. Shola’s managed a few and has been (apart from a couple of cack performances) relatively bright.

    I Ranger is so “hungry”, how come he can’t even get to training on time?

    I know what you mean mate; he’s got bags of potential, but that’s what we were all saying abuot Shola when he was the same age. Food for thought.

  • cgrizzly87

    Mar 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #13

    I am certainly not Shola’s biggest fan. However, I will only start to call for Ranger to start when he stops missing sitters. He has the composure of Colonel Gaddafi

  • cgrizzly87

    Mar 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #14

    Oh and Ryan_NUFC88, Ivan Rakitic signed for Sevilla in Jan.

    Oh how I love the Football Manager generation!

  • Ryan_NUFC88

    Mar 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #15

    Wasnt aware of that, football manager generation? If thats meant how it comes across we appear to be the same age…

  • laurentrobert32

    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #16

    some interesting names in that bosman list, from the premier league group i’d say these would all be decent additions to the squad if we’re gettin them for free:

    Seamus Coleman
    Nigel Reo-Coker
    Sebastian Larsson
    Johan Elmander
    Victor Obinna

  • Lynxie

    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #17


    Theres only two decent players on that list Elmander and Coleman, the rest are shite


    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #18

    I think opposing clubs have sussed us out our Keeper is mediocre.

    Krul please.

  • coolcatcarter89

    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #19

    Coleman signed a new contract in January.

  • Lynxie

    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #20

    it would not surprise me, Everton would not lose two top talents (especially to us) two years running. He is gonna be a great player that youg Coleman, if he keeps his feet on the ground.

  • max

    Mar 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #21

    totally agrre with JP…from The Rock…
    i dont like shola too. he cannot control ball well. he should be defender.. :-p

  • N.Ireland Mag

    Mar 23, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #22

    Ed, was it intentional that you chose a pic of Harper messing up another time? lol

    Alonso’s 45 yrd punt when Harps slipped, I believe?

    Harper is a good goalkeeper, and he is the best we’ve got right now.

  • Brutooon

    Mar 24, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #23

    He is a great lad and player eventhough he made that mistake against Stoke

    I hope next season we loan out Krul and Fraser will be our 1st team Keeper with Harper as Backup

  • clinta2

    Mar 24, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Comment #24

    This is harsh and criticism of him by fans [sic] is also very harsh. What short memories some people have.

    Firstly, we were already losing the game and its very debatable wheteher we would have gotten back on level terms.

    Secondly, so he made a mistake that might of cost us one game. How many points has he saved us wth good saves this season though?

    Thirdly, if you look at mistakes, you could confidently say that our back line have all made plenty of mistakes this season which have cost us goals and points, many more than Steve. Even the likes of Tiote cost us an early goal v Blackburn due to a mistake.

    Lastly, all players make mistake, but the good one only make minimal mistakes, and when they do make them the make up for these mistakes later on. Harps is not the player and goal keeper is not the position in the team we need to be worrying about!


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