The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Former Newcastle Player On Path To Greatness

12:08 pm, Sunday, February 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 73 Comments

Since former Newcastle goalkeeper and local lad Fraser Forster returned to the Southampton first team after recovering form a serious knee injury he is the first Saints goalkeeper ever to keep six clean sheets in a row and Southampton have won five and drawn one of those games and have shot up to 6th top with 40 points form 26 games and just one point behind the slumping Manchester United.

If only Newcastle could keep some clean sheets we may have had a lot more points than we have at the moment with 24 – and in 3rd bottom place.

fraser forster this year

Fraser Forster – former Newcastle goalkeeper

The Hexham born 27 year-old goalkeeper has been in great form since being out since late March last year after suffering the knee injury in the game against Burnley when he badly damaged his left patellar  tendon.

Fraser was out almost 10 months with that injury but he has come roaring back into the Saints team, who are surging at the moment with 16 points from their last 6 games.

Forster joined Newcastle as a youngster and was sent out on loan to Stockport County, Bristol Rovers, Norwich City and Celtic where he played a total of 117 first team games before signing on at Celtic for £2M in the summer of 2012.

It was in that summer that Alan Pardew had to make a decision between Tim Krul and Fraser as to who would be the number one goalkeeper at Newcastle – and the 6ft 7ins goalkeeper didn’t want to sit on the bench at Newcastle.

Alan Pardew chose Tim Krul and Fraser was allowed to leave the club permanently and after two successful years at Celtic he moved to Southampton in the summer of 2014 for a whopping £10M.

And Fraser has gone from strength to strength and has gained 3 caps for England and in his current form he could be the third goalkeeper chosen by England manager Roy Hodgson for the Euro 2016 finals in France in the summer.

One question to ask is did Newcastle make the right decision in letting the giant goalkeeper leave the club?

We remember writing at the time that Tim Krul looked the better goalkeeper in pre-season at the time and with Fraser not willing to sit on the bench at his home town club, there was little choice but to let him go.

But he has since become one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and with his maniacal work in training and his real determination to succeed,  even better things may be in the future for the lad who attended the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle.

And he seems to specialize in clean sheets – which is not a bad thing to specialize in if you are a goalkeeper – and in 293 first team games so far in his career he has kept 149 clean sheets.

However, 102 of those were in 197 games for Celtic north of the border.

He kept 16 clean sheets  in 39 appearances last season for the Saints and this season has 6 in 6 appearances.

Wonder if Newcastle can get a goal at St. Mary’s when we visit there on 9th April?

It’s nice to see local lads have great success – but it’s a pity it wasn’t at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Fraser Forster · Newcastle News · Premier League · Tim Krul

73 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    That’s what happens when you have a manager chosen on merit rather than being a mate of a mate and yes man!

  • 2 Belfast // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Yes they did. He’s a far better keeper now than he was then.

  • 3 Jib // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    When Forster went to Celtic it was a no brainer Krul was much better !

  • 4 Belfast // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    He basically had a superman performance against Barcelona one night and never looked back.

    He wasn’t that great beforehand.

  • 5 Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    Agree it was the right decision at the time. But isn’t it just typical Newcastle that as he goes from strength to strength, we continue to drop like a stone. Would love him to return, seeing as Krul has regressed quite dramatically these last 2 seasons.

  • 6 Dime Bar // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Forster was better than Krul at the time, shame Tim has stagnated since

  • 7 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Certainly can’t blame the club on that front, it’s just a shame that he didn’t want to play second fiddle to Krul. Steve Harper would have no doubt played for England had he have moved clubs and this probably had a bearing on Forsters decision to move.

  • 8 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    brilliant image of Foster shouting at his defence.

    Sadly that is what we need a keeper who bawls out instructions or bollicks his defence in front of him.

    To many of our keepers of late have/are deaf mutes

  • 9 martoon // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Easy to be wise with 20 – 20 hindsight but at the time how would people have felt if we’d kept Forster and let Krul go?

  • 10 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Forster always had more talent, more ability, was more vocal and more commanding. He hadn’t played in the Prem, made a rick in a friendly, and because of that fans wrote him off.

    I wonder how many people actually paid any attention or watched him whilst at Norwich, when he was named their player of the season and won keeper of the year. Even before Celtic he averaged a clean sheet every other match.

    I said when he left we were getting rid of the better keeper, and it is fairly clear to see he is definitely that.

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    When you have Llambias, Moncur and Charnley making the football decision then what hope to you have?

  • 12 AncientC // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    Would it have been overly difficult to convince Forster to stay and fight for his place, with promises of making the position his own the next time Krul picked up a knock.

    I could understand it if he went to a Championship club with potential to gain promotion, but Scottish football?

    Forster had international material written all over him; the club bit Celtic’s hand off for peanuts.

  • 13 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    In response to an unanswered question posed by someone else on previous thread.

    Most of the youngster (Defenders mainly) seem to be aged between 19 and 21.

    Sterry, Satka and Gillesphey are 21. Gibson, Barlaser and Williams are 19.

    If they can’t get first team football at these ages then either they or management are at fault, especially if other players are being hoyed in out of position.

    IMO it’s managements lack of faith and cojones that at fault.

  • 14 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Not sure Moncur has any say on anything. He just makes up the numbers and doesn’t rock the boat. Still, under Ashley they don’t need to be competent, that isn’t a requirement, just compliant.

  • 15 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    It’s hard in fact impossible to second guess what goes on behind the scenes at the club.

  • 16 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Then going back to my concern, who actually makes the footballing decisions, who said “let’s give Collo a new deal”. It couldn’t have been someone with an ounce of footballing nous.

  • 17 AncientC // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Jail, they probably thought £2 million could be put to good use, all things considered. At least they put a sell on clause into the deal with Celtic, but it’s poor form when you let the clubs biggest prospects leave without much of a fight.

  • 18 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Probably the same guy who thinks Sissoko should have a regular starting berth. Colo is still a first choice defender, he shouldn’t be, but he is better than most, if not all our defenders. Only Mbemba challenges him for that.

  • 19 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    We had several GKs at the time including a very promising Swede, (Soderberg, where’s he now).

    I’d have kept Forster somehow, but if he wasn’t sure about getting 1st team football then I suppose he had to go.

  • 20 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    But they’re being managed by a guy who has relegated them and has them currently third bottom of their division. Why haven’t they got a coach in that the 18th richest club in the world should be able to afford. It’s because he’s being rewarded for his supportive words on the owner. It’s a fcukin joke man!

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    It’s been done to death but every journo, pundit and fan has been screaming for a quality specialist LB and commanding CB for two years now, who at the club is rubbishing these opinions and ignoring them.

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Surely Beardsley should be replaced, who’s decision is it to let him carry on taking the u21’s further down the leagues. It has to be Mike Ashley who doesn’t get involved.

  • 23 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    If we compare ourselves to Borusia Munchen who we lost to pre-season.

    They were rock bottom to start with until they bought in Tuchel.

    If only!!!!!!!!

  • 24 hibbitt // Feb 21, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    got to say i loved Peter Beardsley as a player but as a coach he is useless just cannot get his message across is bad tempered moody exactly what you don’t want coaching kids should have left the job last season but no we kept him on when clearly he is not up to the job ………….sounds about right for this club !!!!!

  • 25 21st Century Schizoid Man // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Forster came of age with his two performances for the Hoops against Barca in 2012.
    That’s when folk started to think he was “England quality”

  • 26 AncientC // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    21st Century Schizoid Man – Why are you putting England Quality in quotations marks, who are you quoting?

    A 6ft 7inch, commanding goalkeeper, proving himself at every level he plays from a young age – has England potential.

  • 27 Jib // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    People are forgetting that Forster spent 2 years on loan at Celtic winning medals . He’d become accepted and when Lennon said he would guarantee Fraser a first team spot the decision to turn the loan into a permanent move was pretty much his. Also Norwich were a division 1 side when he was there.

  • 28 Rotonda heights // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:09 PM


    Re – carr, I think especially Thauvin and possibly cabella were very much his 1st choices.

  • 29 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Not really. He regularly put in outstanding performances, but people talk about the Barca game as they rarely watched him any other time.

  • 30 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Newcastle U21’s are in serious trouble to be honest.

    Played 16 games so far W 4; D 5; L 7; GF 23; GA 28; GD -5; points 17.

    They are 3rd bottom of division 2.

  • 31 Jib // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    When Forster was sold to Celtic in June 2012 Krul had just won 5 caps in a row for Holland.

    As I say it was a no brainer.

    NUFC have too many know-it-all fans who nod their heads sagely and say “see I told you so “

  • 32 JamesToon // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:20 PM


    The youth academy is a mess at the moment.

  • 33 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    We also have too many fans who just make stuff up.

    “in June 2012 Krul had just won 5 caps in a row for Holland.” We will ignore the fact Krul won his 5th cap in 2013, spread over a period where Holland played 22 games.

  • 34 lochinvar // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:23 PM


    Those stats rather confirm that the malaise that affects the first team has permeated throughout the club.
    Are there any owners out there with a strong personality that can set the high standards needed in a successful football club and business ?
    Leadership starts at the top and only a full overhaul of the club top down will bring the club and City back into a positive spotlight – set the standard for others to aspire to rather than be the but of everyone’s negativity.

  • 35 Information Is King // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    Defoe ‘steals Newcastle fan’s wife’ as lapdancer ‘breaks the news to her husband in Asda car park’

    ?Jermaine Defoe has seemingly continued his fruitful ways with the opposite sex by reportedly breaking up 24-year old lapdancer Rachel Calvert’s marriage, according to multiple sources.

  • 36 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Krul is yet to even play in consecutive fixtures for Holland, let alone 5 in a row…..

  • 37 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Sorry, take that back. I just looked it up. He has played in two friendlies in a row, back in 2011.

  • 38 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    JamesToon / lochinvar

    Beardley has taken the U21’s from competing at the top of division 1 to struggling at the bottom of division 2, much the same way that the Newcastle first team have moved from competing for a place in Europe, to battling relegation.

    The structure of the club has been ruined by years of penny pinching, and selling off our best or most valuable assets.

    The club as a whole is a mere shadow of what it once was, and whenever we find potential, it is soon sold on or left to ruin in favour of the mediocre wannabes that infest the first team.

  • 39 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    Information Is King

    That reads like a typical Sun headline.

    Very amusing in a chavvy way, not for the bloke she’s dumped, although it could be a lucky break for him.

  • 40 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    I do remember vague suggestions for PB to be put in charge of the first team, or was that another bad dream.

  • 41 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Essex Geordie Bill

    They had only been married for two years mate, and have a three year old daughter, he went to his mums after an argument with his wife, but phoned her to arrange a meeting to try and reconcile the situation.

    The meeting took place at Asda, he gave her a rose as it was valentines day, when she told him she was seeing someone else. He asked who but she didn’t want to tell him, when he persisted she told him it was Defoe, and his response……..”Are you taking the piss?”

    Poor bloke!

  • 42 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 1:59 PM

    Oh and he took the rose back off her too. 😀

  • 43 bettyswallocks // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    Jesper……… Good afternoon . I hope you have decided to take the banter for what it is and not allow it to upset you.

    I see the young lad Jamie Sterry had a good game yesterday, looking like becoming a first team regular. That’s why I was annoyed that you were writing him off before he’d had a chance to play.

  • 44 Transfer Sage // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    I had no idea at the time how good Forster would become but the fact he was let go and only Celtic put in a bid suggests he wasn’t that highly regarded by others at the time as well. Granted I believe it was part of their loan deal but surely if his ability was that clear he would have been subject to more interest.

    I think Krul has gone from one of the top 4/5 keepers in the league to the bottom 4/5 (out of regular starting goal keepers, not back ups). He doesn’t command his area too well, not overly vocal and his distribution is appalling.

    We need to seriously look at the defence and goal keeping positions in the summer if we manage to survive this season.

  • 45 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:06 PM


    You could be describing Carver comment 24.

    Seems to be a theme that runs through the club.

  • 46 Transfer Sage // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    I think we should look to try and bring Forster back this summer.

    Yes it will be difficult as Southampton are strong than us currently but neither of us look like winning anything or playing champions league football so maybe the pull of coming home might work.

    Maybe a long shot but surely worth enquiring

  • 47 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    I assume he was a Toon fan so that was a real kick in the teeth for him.

    I’m sure the terraces can prepare a suitable welcome for Defoe when we play them.

    I would never wish something nasty for anyone but there could be exceptions!!

  • 48 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:15 PM


    I agree with you, bringing Forster home would be great, we could sell Krul to Manure (if they still want him) keep Elliot as he has been steady this season for us, if not the best he has produced some magnificent saves.

    Forster, Elliot and Darlow would be decent although Darlow still has some work to do before he will be ready for the premiership.

  • 49 Transfer Sage // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:17 PM


    Long shot but could be worth it. Could see man Utd or Liverpool moving for him though. Especially if De he’s finally gets his move to Madrid.

  • 50 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Essex Geordie Bill

    Aye the lad is a life long Toon fan mate.

    Thing is Defoe will not keep her long, he changes woman faster than his shirts.

    He may get something special from the terraces, wonder if he brings his new girlfriend to the game?

  • 51 AncientC // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Transfer Sage – Krul only has 1 year left on his contract in the summer.

    Forster would have 2 years remaining on his, which would be around the time Southampton would be looking at giving him a new deal.

    If the club really wanted Forster back, there may be an opportunity.

  • 52 beermonkey // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM


    i think both those clubs are more likely to go for forster than krul

  • 53 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Sage you may be right, but coming home could have the same drag as it did with Shearer, he turn the Mancs down to come home.

    I wouldn’t mind Butland either, but he would be a more difficult challenge.

  • 54 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Forster will move to bigger and better things if Saints let him leave. I think Man U is probably a pretty good shout if De Gea goes.

  • 55 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Very different circumstances though for Shearer. Newcastle were there or thereabouts when he turned Man U down. Nowadays……

  • 56 firebug666 // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:29 PM


    But we are still there or thereabouts mate, all be it at the other end of the table.

    Anyway it’s all just wishful thinking as the club will have their targets for if we stay up, and I will guarantee that the players we want will not be amongst them.

  • 57 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Krul seems to have been infected with the club injury virus and we aren’t getting a full season anymore from him so if big(ish) money could be got then selling is probably a good move.

    Elliot is our No.1 at present with Darlow and Woodman as back-ups so we aren’t to bad in that respect. At the risk of flogging a dead horse and repeating what has been said millions of times on this (and other) blogs already, our GKs need a better defence protecting them, not more GKs although I would like to see Forster back with us.

  • 58 Munster Mag // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Keeping both wasnt really an option. Catchy probably blamed pardew though 🙂

  • 59 WWSBRD // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Would Forster be the keep he is today if we had kept him? Our player development is awful

    I have heard Pedro struggles with our under 21s because how they see football compared to him and that football isn’t as easy to them as it is to him (mainly hearsay I admit but it wouldn’t shock me). Plus the under funded nature of our reserves and training facilities it’s no real surprise it is what it is. We haven’t kept up with grass roots scouting developments and neglect their training if we do bring lads in so hard to expect better

    I believe it was Rob Lee who said he wouldn’t let his kids come to NUFC because of how bad we are it would ruin them

  • 60 21st Century Schizoid Man // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:36 PM


    “England quality” was meant to be ironic as England’s internationals are not always world class…. and neither are their coaches. I’m Welsh so I quite enjoy the fact that for the first time in my life our international side closely ranks the English side.


    Yes, agreed. I’d been following his career with interest as I live in Scotland. But playing two blinders against a top ranked world class side like Barca attracts more media and pundit attention as it shows a higher level of performance than playing against Partick Thistle.


    When exactly could Forster have played European football at the level of the group stages of the Champions League with us ?
    He was more appreciated at Celtic, matured as a player, and got game chances he would never have at the Toon. He wanted to go. It was the right decision for him too.

  • 61 WWSBRD // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    If we go into next season with Elliott as number 1 we best be in the Championship

  • 62 Essex Geordie Bill // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Of no interest to anyone else, but I am sitting watching the (quite long) war gaming period of my life being sold off on Ebay. It’s all a bit sad and depressing even if it is necessary.

    My Battle Mechs are next up if anyone is interested. They are going on later today.

  • 63 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Good afternoon Betty…I take the banter for what it is mate…and sometimes it’s not just banter but wumming. And then I take it as that. I do think one can tell the difference 😉

    I asked about Gibson and Sterry earlier – I don’t know if you read that? I am not writing anyone of, maybe that is how you read my post back then? I just don’t have that much faith in the description a diehard Newcastle fan gives if our youth players. Been hearing some many flattering description over the years just to feel like being taken as a fool!

    So how did Gibson and Sterry do?

  • 64 Lilongwe Geordie // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    I wrote a number of scouting reports on Forster when he was playing for our U18’s. Followed him closely at Norwich (thanks to a good friend who is a Norwich fan) and at Celtic. The Barca game raised his profile, but it didn’t make him a better keeper. He was always very good.

    Yeah, I think the coaching set up under Woodman definitely hindered Krul, and would have likely done the same to Forster. I was at Celtic last week meeting with the International Academy Manager, and they have an incredible setup. Far more impressive then I had realised. I’m sure that will have benefitted Forster, and certainly helped him continue to progress.

    Anyway, off out to watch the rest of the days footy, so catch up later.

  • 65 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    I wouldn’t mind us going for Schmeichel.

  • 66 AncientC // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    21st Century Schizoid Man, Okay, I see what you mean. That said, England are not looking too bad at the moment.

  • 67 The next Mike Williamson // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    forster was always improving. but even at Norwich in league 1 he broke clean sheet records, he then broke the record in Scotland before the barca game. We should have bought him. Southamptons defence is so so when he’s not playing. he’s been making their defenders look better than they are for years.

  • 68 bettyswallocks // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Sterry and Gibson both played well and Sterry had a hand in our second goal. I had heard some very positive reports about Sterry already but apparently he’s a bit of a hot head.

  • 69 Mister Tuff // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    Jib – is there not something like a Google School you can get enrolled in -you might not make as many gaffes.

  • 70 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    I don’t know how old those two are but have either of then been out on loan for a long period of time?

    …the PL is something entirely different than the youth team!

  • 71 The next Mike Williamson // Feb 21, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    pardew gave him 45 minutes in a friendly and he made a mistake for which he was hauled off and criticised after the match and sold just afterwards.

  • 72 Jib // Feb 21, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    I think we’ll end up on 40 points with 2 games to go , those being home to Spurs and Man City.

    They should be vying for the title , could be an opportunity for some payback time.

  • 73 No Defence // Feb 21, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    I must admit I did find that story canny funny, until the last bit where it says he lives in pont, is there no where nice in Makam land you know like pennywell. ?

previous post: McClaren Pleased With These Two Youngsters

next post: Forget Yesterday – These Are The Only Games That Count