There are not many good stories to remember about Newcastle this year – most of the memories are like nightmares – like losing eight games in succession as a start to the last 11 games of the season – and looking like we could be relegated – and it went down to the very last day of the season.
We have made a very poor start this season too and it didn’t help when Tim Krul was injured playing for the Netherlands and is out for the rest of the season with a serious ACL knee injury.
But then one of the good stories this year concerns a certain Mr. Rob Elliot who has probably been our best player over the last nine games and our Man of the Match against Bournemouth, Tottenham and last week against Aston Villa – games in which we got two wins and a draw – 7 points – and a lot of that was due to the brilliance of Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal.
Rob Elliot saves from Premier league’s top scorer – Jamie Vardy of Leicester
The other thing with Rob is that he is showing good leadership abilities in the team – something we have been short of all year – so Rob’s doing everything right at the moment – and long may it continue.
Add to that he’s just a lovely lad and he is becoming a very popular player with Newcastle fans.
This is what Rob has said today when asked if this is the high point of his career:
“Yeah, it is definitely right up there.” “All I have ever asked for and all I have wanted is a run in the team – an honest chance.”
“Unfortunately it happened because Tim Krul got injured and that gave me the chance to play not just one or two games when you get chucked in which is so tough, but a chance to play nine, ten, eleven on the bounce, a whole season hopefully.”
“Then there is that opportunity to really show your worth. I have worked hard in training – I always train well – but obviously, now I have that chance to prove myself in games which is where it really matters.”
“Do you know what, I have always been lucky,” “I seem to have been well liked by the fans, but in the past maybe more as a person than as a player! But now it’s both.” “I do seem to have a bit of a rapport with the fans and it’s great.”
”They have been magnificent with me, with us.” “Even that Norwich game when I played, they got right behind me knowing it was my first game for a long time and happily the relationship continued and even flourished.”
“As a kid, I was a massive Charlton fan and knew how much it meant, travelling away all the time – so it is important to show your appreciation all the time and obviously, it is lovely I am now getting a great reception before and after games.”
“I love the people here, they’ve always been great. And I have got to say the manager has been fantastic. I have so much respect for him because of how he was with me when I was not in the team, not when I’m playing.”
It seems that Steve McClaren was impressed with Rob Elliot in training, because at one point early in the season the was thinking of sending Rob out on loan, because newly arrived Karl Darlow was the number two to Tim at the time.
But Rob trained so well and was such a positive influence around the place he decided to keep him at Newcastle.
Steve could never have dreamed Rob would become such an important player for us this season.
But that’s what Rob has become – and it’s all credit to the 29 year-old former Charlton goalkeeper – who has now played 36 times for Newcastle United.
Rob is one of the good stories of the year as we look back – on this Christmas Day of 2015.