With both Tim Krul and Rob Elliot being out until January, there’s a lot of responsibility being placed on Jak Alnwick’s young shoulders, and he made his first ever appearance for Newcastle United in the second half of our fantastic 2-1 win against league leaders Chelsea yesterday.
Jak Alnwick – taking control yesterday
It was a very difficult situation for Jak to come into, and Alan Pardew admitted after the game that goalkeeper coach Andy Woodman and the manager himself were a lot more worried than Jak was.
Alnwick was very calm about the whole thing before he came on with millions and millions watching the game around the world on TV.
And Jak quickly punched away a dangerous cross and he went on to have a good game – although he was in no man’s land for their goal headed home by the great Didier Drogba.
Newcastle are now in a little bit of a perilous situation with the goalkeeper position, but it can be solved if the Hexham-born goalkeeper can prove he is good enough to have a career at his home town club – so in that sense it’s a tremendous opportunity for the 21 year-old.
He made a good start yesterday, and let’s hope he can continue it through the very heavy December schedule.
But what now happens if Jak should get injured – I wish I hadn’t even asked that question – but we suppose Andy Woodman would come in or Newcastle would qualify to bring in a goalkeeper in an emergency situation.
With Karl Darlow joining Newcastle next summer, we expect Newcastle will have three experienced goalkeepers in their ranks next season – and maybe one of them could turn out to be Jak – whose contract at Newcastle runs out in the summer.
Alan Pardew put it well yesterday when he said Jak now has a huge opportunity to get a new contract and play for Newcastle United, rather than having to move to a lower league side – and then Alan said – he needs to take it.
Jak will get all kinds of help from the coaches as they will coach him on every aspect of his game – so it’s a great opportunity for him to improve in the next few weeks.
He will also get lots of support from the Newcastle fans, which he got yesterday, and Jak commented that the crowd were crucial as the lads hung in those last 16 minutes of play – after Steven Taylor had been sent off.
We hope Jak can get the job done, and his character, temperament and cool demeanour were there for all to see yesterday.
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