It’s good to see goalkeeper Rob Elliot get a few games towards the end of this season and he could keep his place for the last game of the season on Sunday afternoon, so at least he plays three first team games this term with Karl Darlow having been our number one goalkeeper this season.
Credit goes to goalkeeper coach Simon Smith for improving Rob Elliot last season and now Karl Darlow this season since he rejoined us in the summer of 2015.
But if the news is accurate today Newcastle are keen on signing 31 year-old Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton and the Lancashire club would want as much as £15M for him – which seems a lot but the transfers this season are going to be ridiculous in the Premier League, as Rafa mentioned in his press conference today.
Rob Elliot in training yesterday
Rob Elliot was always an upbeat and positive guy who loves living in Newcastle and he was true to form when he recently was interviewed in the Chronicle – he seems to be proud of everything and everybody at the club:
🙂 🙂 🙂
“This season has been a magnificent achievement.” “It’s a brand new squad we put together – there’s a few old faces and a lot of new ones.”
“We’ve got the club back to where we want to be.”
“The lads aren’t concentrating on the league too much.” “We want to put in a good performance – to finish the season off well.” “We just want to put in the right performance, win the game, then the rest is up to Brighton.”
“It’s testament to how well the lads have done that we are heading into the last game of the season still with a chance of winning the league.”
“Hopefully Sunday will be a great day for the players and the fans and you just never know we might even top it by winning the league.”
“The players have been magnificent and well done to them.” “There is an outside chance we can win the league – we are going to go for it until there’s no chance at all.” “It’s the first step towards what we are aiming for,”
“I’m immensely proud of everyone. The whole club, the whole city, from top to bottom. Everyone talked like it would be a simple thing to do at the start of the season, ‘Oh, Newcastle will go up’. But it wasn’t ever going to be that simple.”
“For a group of players that young, that have just been put together, to a league that not that many of them know, to do what they have done, I think, is a brilliant achievement.”
“Hopefully, this will just be the start and there’s a lot more to come from everyone.”
In reality it was never going to be a cake walk for us
It was what the national journalist were putting out so it was a no-win situation for Rafa Benitez and Newcastle.
If we did walk it then it was to be expected because we bought the league (whatever that ever meant – sounds like jealousy to us), but we expect they were really hoping we would struggle like Aston Villa and Norwich did.
That would have been great news for them – because it was bad news for Newcastle.
But we did very well in being where we are right now and in the top two since early October – the Championship is a tough tough league – it will be a much easier schedule next season in the Premier League.
But wait a minute – on second thoughts – we’ll have two long cup runs – so maybe not?
If Rafa does bring in an experienced Premier League goalkeeper in the summer then both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow will have their work cut out to be the number one goalkeeper at Newcastle next season.
We wouldn’t have minded it if Rob and Karl fought it out for the number one position next season – they are both good goalkeepers who have shown they both can still improve.
But it seems Rafa wants to turn up the competition for the goalkeeping spot for next season – he’s a big believer in real competition for every single position and it pays off – as long as it’s friendly competition for the good of the team.
And it looks Rafa will sell Tim Krul too and will be a surprise as far as we are concerned.
What do you think?