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 – 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.