Let’s say this very clearly – Rob Elliot had a great game for Newcastle against Maritimo last night, and but for at least five excellent saves from the former Charlton goalkeeper, Newcastle would not have come away with a creditable 0-0 draw, in our first group game in the Europa league.
Steven Taylor congratulates Rob Elliot after his great performance
Rob certainly surprised us with his excellent display, and good for him, since we’d only seen him play once or twice, and at Nottingham Forest last year in the Carling Cup he didn’t have a particularly have good game in our 4-3 win, which is the only other time he played in the Newcastle first team.
But now he will be challenging Steve Harper for that goalkeeper position in Europe, once Tim Krul is fit again, and last night’s performance is exactly what he needed to establish himself at Newcastle.
We expect Steve Harper to come back into the side for the game against Norwich City on Saturday, but we’ll see Rob in the Newcastle goal again in the near future, after his superb performance last night.
Rob had this to say to the local press this morning:
“I want to make everyone aware I am a good goalkeeper – I have ambitions.” “The gaffer put his faith in me and I was really pleased.” “The lads in front of me were brilliant. It was just good to play a game – I had only played the one game for the club.”
“I had not played for a year. I have been training hard and waiting for my chance.” “I had just signed when I played at Forest.” “Everything was a bit crazy, but I have had a year of hard training.”
“Maritimo do not lose many at home – their record is fantastic.” “The pitch is questionable and they are used to playing on it.” “It took us 20 minutes to get used to it. It was hot out there too.”
“We were pleased with the point and we could have maybe nicked it.” “I made a good early save and that helped settle the nerves.” “It was my first game in Europe, and I was pleased to keep a clean sheet.”
“There were two things I could have done better, but overall I was very pleased with my performance.”
That last sentence tells us that Rob is determined to improve and learn from his experiences, which is always a good sign with any player.
But Rob definitely achieved his goal of making Newcastle fans aware he’s a very good goalkeeper, and it’s always good to see Newcastle players coming through. Rob is currently second in the voting for Man of the Match with 22% of the vote, with 18 year-old Gael Bigirimana leading with 51% of the vote.
This is probably Steve Harper’s last year as a player at Newcastle, after 20 years at the club, so it’s up to Rob to start challenging for that first team goalkeeper position, and keep Tim Krul on his toes.
It was really pleasing to see Rob have such a good game last nigth, and it will do wonders for his confidence.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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