One of the surprises of the season so far has been the excellent form of Karl Darlow in goal for Newcastle.
With Rob Elliot out at the beginning of the season as he recovers from his serious ACL knee injury, it had been expected that Karl would be starting the season in goal, after he had played so well for us last season after being brought in during early April for the injured Elliot.
But Rafa sprang a surprise and brought in 24 year-old Belgium U21 goalkeeper Matz Sels from Gent as our first signing of the summer in late June and Matz got the start in our first game at Fulham.
Karl Darlow after saving penalty at his former club
But after the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa when Sels was at fault and hesitated for Villa’s equalizing goal on 89 minutes in came Karl Darlow and he has taken his chance superbly.
Last time out he saved two penalties at Nottingham Forest and he’s been one of Newcastle’s best players.
Karl has been talking in the local press today and he wants to keep his place for the rest of the season.
This is what he said as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“I want to keep the shirt for at least the rest of the season,” “That’s my aim, that’s my goal. “I want to get this club promoted.”
“I want to be a big part of that, and that’s what I’m aiming for.” “I think I’ve progressed and come back a better goalkeeper,”
“When I came in at Forest I was young. I had the No 1 spot, and I played a fair amount of games here which has set me up nicely to go on.”
“Obviously, with Newcastle being in the Premier League last year, it was good for me.”
“It was a good experience, and that’s where we want to get back to and hopefully we can build again and get up there.”
“It’s going to be tight at the top.” “We know it’s a tough, tough league, and there’s plenty of games left to be played.”
“We’re not even halfway through, so to be where we are is very good and we need to make sure we can get going again and we know we’ve got a lot of strength in this team.”
“It’s a long, old season, and we’re still in a very good position. Hopefully, we can get a positive result.”
Rob Elliot is fully fit and has been training for a good few weeks now and his next step will be to have some games for the U23 team and after that anything can happen.
If Rob shows the form he was in last season Karl will have to play extremely well to keep the goalkeeper jersey at Newcastle.
But that can only be good for the team in general as the competition for the goalkeeper position increases considerably.