Steve Harper seemed to be on his way out of Newcastle last season, when Rob Elliot was signed from Charlton and seemed to be the number two goalkeeper to Tim Krul.
Steve Harper - back as Newcastle number two
And the Easington-born 37 year-old even went on a short loan spell to Brighton last season, and we thought during the summer he could be sent out on loan to fulfill the final year of his contract on Tyneside.
Steve was signed back in 1993 by Kevin Keegan and when he finally hangs up his boots (or should that be gloves?) – at least at Newcastle next summer, he will have been at the club for 20 seasons.
And it could be that Steve plays at Everton next Monday night for his first Premier League game in about 17 months, since he last played in the Premier League in April of last year in the 1-0 loss at Aston Villa.
But it also seems there’s a chance Tim can make that game, if his elbow responds to the treatment he is now getting at Newcastle, and there’s still six days for Tim to recover.
Steve showed in pre-season he is still a very good and safe goalkeeper, and he is now back as number two, and Rob Elliot seems to be number three goalkeeper on Tyneside.
That’s a very familiar role for Steve, since he was back-up goalkeeper to Shay Given when Shay was on Tyneside from the summer of 1997 though January of 2009, and Shay played 482 total games for the club – by our reckoning.
This is what Steve had to say to the local press today:
“I feel the best I’ve felt for a long time. We all knew that this season there was a chance to get games under our belts.” “I had a chat with the manager at the start of pre-season and he said there would be an opportunity.”
“We all want to remind him we’re ready if needed.” “Having the extra games gives you that level of competitiveness. It’s good for everybody.”
For the record Stave Harper has played 192 times for Newcastle in his career, and when he does finally retire from playing, whether that be next summer or later than that, we’d love to see him become a coach at Newcastle.
But it seems he will have a few more games to play for Newcastle this season, even if Tim is fit next Monday, because Steve will likely start all the games in Europe.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org