With Fraser Forster having finally signed for Celtic a couple of days ago, Newcastle are left with Tim Krul and Rob Elliot as their two goalkeepers with Jak Alnwick probably the number three goalkeeper, but the Hexham-born goalkeeper only turned 19 last month.
Rob Elliot – Newcastle’s number two goalkeeper?
Jak is highly rated at Newcastle and he has already been capped at the England U20 level, but we think Alan Pardew will want to bring in another goalkeeper this summer, to give both Tim Krul and Rob Elliot some competition between the posts.
Yes, we have Steve Harper, and if Steve stays on Tyneside this season, we’ll not need another goalkeeper.
But we’re almost certain that Steve will be sent out on a season-long loan deal, to see out the last year of his contract, and complete 20 years on Newcastle’s books, since Kevin Keegan signed him back in 1993 from Seaham Red Star.
Rob Elliot has said today that he aims to be giving Tim Krul some competition in the coming season, and says he is no longer content to just sit on the bench.
This is what the former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper had to say today to the local press:
“When I first signed, I was a squad keeper, but hopefully now I can keep myself at number two and keep pushing Tim.” “The more games you play, the more competitions there are, the greater chance you have of playing.”
“Obviously, the plan is to eventually be number one and play every week, but you have to take every opportunity to play well and leave a good mark in the manager’s head, so that if he comes to make a decision on a keeper, I’m the one he wants if needed.”
“If you perform well, you stay in the team, if you don’t, you won’t.” “With the squad we have, there’s strength in every position. That’s what you need, you need people to play well for their place or else you’ll get stuck in a rut and that leads to poor performances.”
“Whoever plays on the first game of the season will deserve it, but they have to play well to stay there. If you know you’re playing to stay in the team, your performances raise.” “When you put the Europa League in there it changes your targets.”
“We have to keep improving. With the young squad we have, every season is a progression. A top-half finish and doing well in one of the cups is all you can ask for really.” “It’s hard to put a label on it because we did so well last year.”
“If we don’t finish fifth but still finish in the top half it doesn’t mean we’ve had a bad year, because we’ve got an extra competition. It’s new to a lot of us, European football.”
Rob is right about the fact that Alan Pardew will keep players in the team if they play well, and we saw that with players like James Perch and Danny Guthrie last season, but it still wasn’t enough first team games for Guthrie, who moved to Reading recently.
Rob Elliot started his career with non-league side Erith Town before moving to Charlton Athletic, the team he had supported as a child, when he was just 17 back in early 2004.
And he played out on loan at Bishop’s Stortford, Notts County, and Accrington Stanley twice, to get some first team playing time, while he was at Charlton.
The 26 year-old 6’3″ goalkeeper has just one appearance for the Newcastle first team in the Carling Cup last year at Nottingham Forest in our 4-3 win (after extra time), and he played around 112 times for the Charlton first team, and about another 40 times out on loan.
We think Newcastle will bring in another keeper this summer, and he will challenge Rob Elliott, to determine who the back-up will be to Tim Krul next season.
Any idea who that goalkeeper could be?