Newcastle Legend – Alnwick Not Ready For This Test

We had an article out yesterday that basically lay the responsibility (also known as blame) for our current  goalkeeper situation, with poor planning by Newcastle, and we feel sorry for young Jak Alnwick.

jak anwick after tottenham good

Jak Alnwick at the end of the game Wednesday night

And former Newcastle legend Rob Lee is not happy with what happened at Tottenham on Wednesday night,  when we were hammered 4-0, although manager Alan Pardew is saying today it was a close game between two good sides.

So what’s Alan been smoking? 😀

This is some of what Rob Elliot has said today in the Chronicle:

“I just knew that Spurs would get Sheffield United. That just rubbed salt into the wound,” “Tottenham have their own struggles at the moment and yet we offered them nothing.”

“I know we have a few problems but that wasn’t good enough. But I do feel sorry for Alnwick. The lad is not ready for this kind of test and has been thrown in the deep end.”

“He has to get himself mentally prepared for the derby – if he plays – and put what happened on Wednesday behind him.”

It’s now a huge test for Jak on Sunday afternoon, and you can bet your life the first Sunderland corner, and any free kicks into the box, will be aimed at testing the young goalkeeper.

Rob is right that the mental preparation for Jak is as important as the physical preparation on the training pitch.

Jak made two bad mistakes on Wednesday night that gifted the opposition with two goals, and the lad was almost in tears at the end of the game.

We agree with Rob – Jak doesn’t seem ready for this kind of tough test – which is why the club should have had a third experienced goalkeeper in the ranks for this season, and we wouldn’t be in this crisis situation – and make no mistake it’s a crisis with no apparent way out at present.

It’s called poor planning and not thinking things through thoroughly enough.

If you don’t plan for something, then it’s that more likely to happen. 🙁

It’s Murphy’s Law also known in some quarters as Sod’s Law.

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68 comments so far

  • Average_Contents

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #1

    Thanks ed….


    Learning from mistakes? lol, he doesn’t think he makes any and I think that’s the major issue with the king.
    Yet when things are going ok like our little run he starts tinkering with the formation and personel because he can. Obviously we have lots injured but we still have the players when played in their correct positions to cause teams problems. Take dummett. Shit left back but when played with colo at CB he’s done really well (far better than willo) yet he’ll play him at LB on Sunday. Goofy will be deployed as a secondary lb to protect him and offer fcukall going forward. None of this shite 4-2-3-1 bollox please king.






    That would be my lineup for Sunday. With Sissoko being the box to box midfielder. If Abeid isn’t available then tiote or Anita.

    If Cabella/Rivvy ain’t doing it then bring sammy on for either, bring Cisse on and have a forward line of:


    Easily interchangeable. Well sammy and perez are.

    We need to go for it and stun them early on. No doubt it’ll be softly softly cautious bollox until the 70 minute mark but by which time it could be all over. Holding out hope the inept one gets his shit together and sorts out this terrible record against them. Wishful thinking I know

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #2

    Alnwick, shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team of the Blue Star, team never mind Newcastle United; a prime example of cost cutting and forward thinking.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #3

    As a geordie Lad i think the pressure and nerves will get to poor Jak on sunday! Hes a combination of not ready and not good enough! At 21 most GKS are showing something! I mean c’mon Courtois is only 6 months older! We should have had a harper like keeper on the coaching squad registered just in case! I hope Jaks like isn’t ruined too much by sunday but if he plays like he did wednesday hes most likely going to get a lot of grief from idiots! Not his fault hes not ready or good enough!

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #4

    1, crude oaf, young kids maybe reading your industrial expletives, try coming back after midnight!

  • pawl250

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #5


    I understand what you are saying, but as seen in the past young players may not necessarily become a problem until they have the money to do so.

    When you are young, virtually have nothing you are eager to improve, and impress to get more and become a star.

    When the initial influx of cash comes your way, some people cannot handle it. Sterling was a prime example, you can find articles relating to his issues on his initial pay rise.

    This is because they have the money, and are aware they do so for several year. The prime example is Michael Johnson at Man City. The supposed “Next Steven Gerrard” who bascially got the extra money then wasted it on drugs, started becoming overweight etc. whilst injured. Those options became available due to the extra money made available for youth players.

    Its why likes of Whickham flopped at Sunderland until he needed a new deal he start improving.

    We should not offer our youth mass amounts of money. I generally believe the youth of today cannot handle it. Abit like winning the lottery, the stat is scary.

    Its something like more than half wish they never did as it ruined their leaves leaving them in mass debt etc.

    Its because they spend far too much, too quickly and end up destroying the principles they once had.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #6

    Can’t helping Freddie Woodman might be a better shout? Not a geordie so less pressure! Im sure his dad on the coaching staff would help mentally and by all accounts hes a potential england #1? Destined for a top flight career! Pretty sure Alnwick is destined for Spennymoor Town or Gateshead… Think Jaks confidence is shot! Be doing him a favour pulling him out of the firing line

  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #7


    Hindsight is a wonderful thing so why didn’t you say that the club should have three experienced keepers back in the summer transfer window instead of waiting till the two experienced keepers get injured at the same time ?

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #8

    It’s a pity that Ashley, doesn’t suffer from hindsight.

  • stestickle

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #9






  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Jay @ 6

    Sounds like a choice between a keeper with very limited experience and a keeper with no experience.

    If Pardew selected Woodman and we lost due to a goalkeeper error you can bet Pardew would get grief from all those fans who criticised him for previously selecting Alnwick !

  • mindshaft

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Not sure why people are picking Rivvy – I’ve yet to see any evidence of a good striker in the time he’s been on the pitch

  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #12

    Is Abeid available for Sunday’s match ?

    Also, is Ameobi available ?

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #13

    @slank – wonder what the emergency rules are if we pay Alnwicks contract up? Hes only got 6 months to renew and theres nee chance at nearly 22 hel be getting a new one??
    Each loss could cause us a premier league place position and its 2m per position….

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #14

    Think Sammys available but Abeid is out!
    Sammy despite limited ability is vital as hes an actual winger! Gives us shape and width and balls into the box! Same as obertan did!
    An average player playing in a natural position is more often going to be a better bet than a good player playing out of position!

  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #15


    Very thoughtful question. Wish I knew the answer ! Also, hope the club knows !!

  • dannitoon

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #16

    Stop butchering the young lad.. hardly his fault. .. not every keeper can be a de gea or Krul at such an age…

    We messed up when letting forster go and bringing in elliot. ..

  • optimistic prime

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #17

    Pardew would and will play Aaron’s if fit, he’s made it clear he sees him as important and more than once said he wanted him back in the side.

    He’s practicaly a first teamer and should get a contract to show this, local lads or youth team never get the same wages as players bought in. Promoting youth is another wage cutting exercise.
    That’s why we still have Vukic Sammy and Abeid.
    Not because we thought they’d push on but to save money on wages and transfers by keeping kids and not getting experienced players in.

  • geordie157

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #18

    The keeper issue is a concern, but if Pards gets the lineup right it will certainly help. So no Wilo and Gouffran or playing Dummett at left back, every fan can see it.

    I’d start Armstrong, possibly a front 3 of Perez, Armstrong and Sammy.

    Midfield of Sissoko, Tiote/Abeid and Colback

  • Ron Knee

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #19

    I agree. Rivière has proved a major disappointment.

  • Mattroge

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #20

    Not sure why people are picking Riviere to start?

  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #21

    Jay @ 14

    Thanks for the update. Totally agree that we need Ameobi as he can get behind the opposition backline.

    He works really well with Haidara.

    Would like to see Callum Roberts on the other wing at some point in the game. From what I have seen of him he has great pace and very quick feet with an eye for goal.

  • Mattroge

    Dec 19, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #22

    Sorry just realised I’ve posted exactly what Mindshaft said! Sorry marra!

    But to expand Riviere should be nowhere near the first 11 in my opinion. If Cisse is 100% fit I’d go with him and Sammy and Perez either side.

  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #23

    My team:

    Janmaat – Colo – Dummitt – Haidara
    Tiote – Colback
    ANO – Sissoko – Ameobi

    ANO in order of preference would be Aarons, Armstrong, Roberts or Cabella. I see no opportunity for Riviere. .

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #24

    Sammi does not have limited ability. He has fantastic ability. He has size, speed, skill, and a decent head on his shoulders. He’s 6-5 is all, and it’s hard for him to harness all that, but he could be a top, top player, like Carroll, a one off.

  • JDdubai

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #25

    @Dannitoon 16

    We didnt choose to let Forster go, he wanted 1st team footy so we had to choose between him or Krul.

    Overall I think in hindsight we could have got a 3rd keeper but how often in the last 5 years have we had our top 2 keepers injured at the same time? It is a fluke unfortunately, but I dont think it was as big a risk that many are making out.

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #26

    Riviere, looked okay, when he scored against Crystal palace, and he’s been injured too.

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #27

    Riviere, could prove to be the perfect foil for Perez, against the lumbering Mackem, defence.

  • Slank

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #28

    JDdubai @ 25

    Well said.

    Nobody on this blog during the summer transfer window said, as far as I can remember, that we needed three experienced keepers in case Krul and Elliott may get injured at the same time.

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #29

    Harper, was hurried out of the door and he is a much better goalkeeper, than Elliott.

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #30

    It is surely a major error of judgement if your third choice isn’t up to it, not a calculated risk. Alnwick is 21, they will have marked his card. He went knocking on the managers door suggesting he feared he would be released before getting a shot. So he knew the club had misgivings.

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #31

    Harper signs for Hull

  • Tsunki

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #32

    It is a rarity for any team to have two injured keepers. Look at how long Steve harper had to wait to get a shot in goal, elliot has been under studying for a while himself too. For once I can’t blame the club for thinking we had adequate cover, I’m sure that a year or so ago Alnwick was hyped as being a promising future prospect, too bad we’ve had to find out the hard way he hasn’t developed as planned. The only regret I have about the situation as that Pardew has a ready made whipping boy to hang his results on.

    Still can’t call the derby, but I’ll tell you one thing, the mackems will have two better keepers than us.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #33

    Don’t think anyone said that we needed an experienced third choice keeper but many people said we needed better than Elliot as back up! Even remember ppl calling for Alnwick over Eliot! last year when Krul was injured!
    Not getting on Jaks back, its not his fault, christ id take the chance to be nufc keeper given it but truth is its going to snd has cost us! That first goal at Spurs swung the game as a first goal does! Feel for the lad that possibly his only crack at making it at top level has pitted him away to spurs, Arsenal and Man utd and home to the mackems!

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #34

    @tsunki – Elliots often picked up many minor injuries when hes got a run of games tho!
    The shape of him, i question his conditioning and preparation to be honest! Know he enjoys an Ale or 2 amd maybe as a GK his diet and fitness gets overlooked! As Arnie says, if it wobbles its fat… He definately wobbles! This is a muscle injury, can’t remember who said it but any muscle injury can always be blamed on player and staff!

  • Blaydon-Toon

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #35

    Armstrong for me has to start Sunday – looked very lively when he came on against Spurs ! He would be right up for it front 3 of Perez Cabella Armstrong

  • Tsunki

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #36

    I remember there was quite a lot of ‘ championship at best’ calling about Elliot. Probably because he was cheap, that made people assume he was rubbish. I remember when he started for us though, and I instantly saw a distribution improvement over Krul. He kicks virtually sideways, meaning the ball travels fast at low trajectory, more likely to get his target man. He also has a rocket throw to the half way line, and unlike Tim, isn’t averse to rolling it out to a defender. Tims still better as a shot stopper though which I suppose is 90% of a keepers required discipline 🙂

  • Tsunki

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #37

    Jayphoto – have to agree he always looks like he’s carrying a bit of a load 🙂 and yeah, when you think about it, he has been a bit of an injury magnet, perhaps the warning signs were there all along….

  • mag92

    Dec 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #38

    Whichever way you word it Elliott, is lower league quality and was only signed because of the Charlton, connection of Pardew, and Woodman.

  • jimmysmith

    Dec 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #39

    I think Elliot is talented, just not steely determined, or self confident enough. Witness the roly poly stuff and general sheepishness. Alnwick, I think, is now beyond hapless, and is experiencing a brutal, unvarnished, naked, steaming, reality check, as is the club. Neither is fit to lace Steve Harpers boot laces, I’m afraid.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 19, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #40

    Lower league quality? I can’t remember a boat load of occasions where Elliot was lost in a PL game. I think the mob just in front of him were a lot more responsible for losing games than he was, and if he was fit enough to play with someone kicking for him I’d stick him back in right now.

    And I think he was bought because he was

    1/ decent if not spectacular
    2/ willing to understudy indefinitely
    3/ cheap


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