Rob Elliot is coming back to full fitness and he will be fighting to regain his first team place at Newcastle after having been out for over seven months with a serious ACL injury he picked up in Dublin playing for Ireland at the end of March.
Rob was our Player of the Season for last season after some stellar displays in the Newcastle goal, but now he has both Karl Darlow and Matz Sels blocking his way even to being on the bench at the moment.
Rob is a terrific character and he has talked today in the Chronicle and explained how the goalkeepers know they have to perform well with good players breathing down their necks for the first team goalkeeper jersey.
Rob Elliot in training recently
How they perform in training is always important to Rafa Benitez, but we are really well stocked with goalkeepers.
And we haven’t even mentioned that Dutch International Tim Krul is away at Ajax for the season, although he is still not fully recovered from the ACL injury he picked up over a year ago playing for the Netherlands.
This is what Rob Elliot told the Chronicle today:
“If you look at the goalkeepers currently, Matz has done well since he come in and kept four clean sheets, almost one every other game.”
“Then we had a couple of bad results and Karl came in and has done great.” “Matz is away with Belgium now, Tim is with Ajax and hopefully I will be back fit soon.”
“Young Freddie is with the U-21s and Paul Woolston (Woolie) is with Blyth Spartans.”
“So you could argue that the goalkeeper situation is as strong as its been. The good thing is we all know that nobody’s place is safe.”
“That’s what you want as a goalkeeper. If you play well you keep your place you will do well, if you don’t you might lose it.”
“With the quality we have, Matz has done brilliant, but because of the quality and strength in depth we have the manager has been able to change it.”
“Karl has come in and he now knows the same.” “He’s got to keep at it.” “It’s great for me to come back because I know it will be hard to even get back on the bench before I even think about playing.”
“We are in a great position, but it’s about finding a space for everybody now.”
Karl Darlow is the first choice goalkeeper at the moment and he’s played extremely well since he came in for Matz Sels after the 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
In fact Karl played well for us last season too and seems to be improving at Newcastle and he’s become a good goalkeeper for the club since he joined the first team squad last season.
That was after having a season on loan at Nottingham forest after we signed him in the summer of 2014.
It’s going to be some fight this season for the goalkeeper jersey at Newcastle.
What do you think?