The Times has reported that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is to review the club’s options for a goalkeeper, after Rob Elliott’s terrible knee injury playing for Ireland, which has ruled him out for at least six months.
Rafa has contacts all over the world and he could bring in a more experienced goalkeeper to help out Newcastle in the final games of the season, although Karl Darlow will start against Norwich City on Saturday.
It’s not unusual for Rafa to consider a free agent, but whether he can find a good enough goalkeeper, who’s fit enough to come in and do the job for Newcastle, has to be dubious at the moment.
Rob Elliot – grabs his injured knee on Tuesday night
The season is over six weeks on Sunday when we play Tottenham at home in the final game of the season, so there is not much time left and shows that Rafa is concerned with the lack of experience of Karl Darlow.
The 25 year-old has played only one game in the Premier League for Newcastle in late December and looked full of nerves at the beginning of that game at West Brom, which we lost 1-0.
Rafa is looking to play the experienced players during the Newcastle run-in to the seaosn since youngsters in such a difficult environment are more prone to making errors, due to their inexperience in the game.
Ever since Tim Krul was injured last October the Board did nothing to fortify the goalkeeper situation by maybe signing a free agent goalkeeper or bringing an experienced goalkeeper in on loan in January.
A simple solution last November would have been to bring in Steven Harper, who was available and out of work and could have come in and got the job done for Newcastle should Elliot have been injured.
Instead Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce showed the initiative and signed Harper up.
Murphy’s Law – if something bad can happen it will – is such that Elliot would be injured – which he was on Tuesday night playing for Ireland and is out maybe for the rest of this year with a serious ACL knee injury.
It’s yet another example of the Newcastle Board showing no initiative whatsoever, but to do nothing and hope for the best.
It’s not good enough by a long way.