Rob Elliot has put things straight in an interview with the local press today – and he says that the first time he touched the ball in his Premier League career – his debut was on Sunday – was not when he picked the ball out of the net after 3 minutes when Southampton went ahead – because Yohan Cabaye had already done that.
Rob Elliot – in action in the Europa League earlier this season
It was an unnerving start for the 26 year-old, but after that Rob played very well in goal, and he played as well as he played earlier in the season, when he was excellent in some of the Europa League games and our Man of the Match on a couple of occasions.
Rob came to the club at the end of the 2011 transfer window for a nominal fee from Charlton Athletic, and he had this to say today:
“It’s been a year and a half roughly.” “I’ve played a few games this year in Europe and the cups, which has been nice.”But to play in the Premier League is the top one, the one you want to put against your name. I’ve finally got the opportunity and I want to make the most of it.”
“I’m gutted for Tim, he’s been fantastic this year. That’s the way it goes with goalkeeping.” “I just wanted to show everyone what I could do. The gaffer said to me, ‘Make sure you play your game and don’t try and do anything you normally wouldn’t’. It paid off.”
“That was a nice compliment.” “I work as hard as I possibly can in training, but the difference is Tim’s done it 100 times in the Premier League and at international level. I’m just really proud to have played my first game.” “I didn’t even get the chance to pick the ball out of the net at the start because Yohan Cabaye had got it already, so it was about seven minutes before I touched it.”
“It wasn’t the most ideal start, but as the gaffer said to me at half-time, it wasn’t going to get any worse than conceding in three minutes, so I just had to carry on doing what I was doing.” “It was a great performance from the lads to come back, come back again, and go and get that fourth goal.”
“If you’d told me six years ago that I would make my Premier League debut for Newcastle at St James’, I wouldn’t have believed you. It was a good day.” “Tim’s one of the best keepers around at the moment, not just in England, but also in Europe because he’s started playing for Holland too.”
“It’s great coming to work with him because that’s what I want to do – I want to be playing international football and in the Premier League.” “To train with someone who’s experiencing that and going through it at the same age I am is great, we talk and share ideas.”
“I’m genuinely gutted about his injury, but finger’s crossed it’s not too bad. I’ve never said I wanted Tim to get injured to get a game, but that’s the way it’s worked out. Tim called me on Sunday morning to wish me luck, and that’s the measure of the man.”
It was just after 10 minutes that Rob got his first touch of the ball – after looking at the video of the game again.
And we still don’t have the prognosis on Tim Krul and his ankle injury, but he’s likely to be out for four weeks or so – so Rob will have a run in the first team – including the two games in the Europa league coming up against Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala next month.
It’s a great chance for Rob to put in a challenge for Tim Krul’s number one goalkeeper spot – and we hope he takes it – Rob certainly made a good start against the Saints.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org