Steve Harper has always been a great team player in the 19 years since Kevin Keegan signed him from Seaham Red Star in the summer of 1993.
Steve Harper - shown in action for Newcastle this season
Steve has played 197 times for Newcastle and he’s hoping he can crack the 200 barrier this season, but he knows that Tim Krul will resume training next Tuesday:
“I would like to get to 300, but I cannot see it happening at my age, but 200 would be nice.” “That is a landmark I would like to get to.” “We’ve got a long season ahead of us and we know there are plenty of games ahead.”
“Tim’s comeback’s not too far away, but we do have a lot of games coming up.” “We have Robbie here too pushing for a place. He has made big strides forward in this last month or two.” “Those performances will do him the world of good.”
Even though Rob Elliot has looked very good in the games he’s appeared for Newcastle this season, we would still expect Steve to be the goalkeeper in the Europa League games through the end of the year – there are four of them left – and Newcastle are in a great position to win Group D and get through the group stages of the competition.
Steve Harper has made six appearances for the Newcastle side this season and Rob Elliot has made three, and it will be interesting to see which goalkeeper Alan chooses for our next Europa League game at home to Club Brugge on Thursday 25th October, and it’s a game we must win.
Steve was troubled by that bad knee of his last season, but it seems to be much stronger these days and he hasn’t missed much training at all:
“It feels good.” “I have said it before, Woody’s calling me ‘Cocoon’ and I am enjoying it.” “Last year, my knee was not good – I was lucky if I could train twice a week.”
“In three months this season, I have missed just two days’ training and been involved in every first-team game. Long may it continue!”
The performances of Steve Harper and Rob Elliot this season has shown that Newcastle have three very capable goalkeepers on their books with the young Tim Krul very capable of becoming a world-class goalkeeper in the not too distant future.
And for good measure we have the highly rated Jak Alnwick coming through the ranks, and the 19 year-old has already played for the England U19 and U20 sides.
Goalkeeper is not a position we should be too worried about in the future.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org