The forgotten position?

Things aren't so bad at the back.
One thing that seems to puzzle me as a Newcastle fan is the fact that we don’t really give our goalkeepers the credit they deserve, and at best we take them for granted.

Throughout Shay Given’s playing career at Newcastle he was very highly acclaimed by the media and fellow professionals alike, and even won two Premier League ‘keeper of the season awards. However for whatever reason he never seemed to be held in the same regard on Tyneside, and while he had his fair share of fans (me included), many supporters I spoke to felt he was overrated.

This baffled and annoyed me although I acknowledge the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Granted he did have his flaws, his kicking was average and he didn’t command his box as well as many would have liked, however his shot-stopping was second to none and he was very fast off his line.

Given moved on to Manchester City with my blessing as he deserved some success (although unfortunately things didn’t work out for him there) and we were left with Steve Harper and Tim Krul. Now I am totally aware that they aren’t exactly ‘world-class’ keepers, but let’s give them credit where it is due.

With one or two exceptions I believe that either Krul or Harper could walk into any of the bottom 13 or 14 sides and be first-choice keeper. Both have proved that they can be relied upon this season when needed, and whilst Krul has made the odd error he is young and still becoming familiar with the Premier League. Krul has the potential to be one of the top keepers in the division and I can see us selling him at quite a profit to a bigger team in the years to come.

Harper has rewarded this club with a huge amount of loyalty over previous campaigns and it must have been hugely frustrating constantly being in the shadow of Given. As a goalkeeper he has now reached his prime so should be playing regular football week in week out, whether or not that will happen here or elsewhere remains to be seen. I certainly wouldn’t hold a grudge if he wanted to play his last few years in a team where he is guaranteed to be first choice keeper.

Whilst many fans are extremely opinionated when it comes to outfield players, the current goalkeeping situation is often met with a reaction of indifference. Fortunately while clubs struggle to find one consistent Goalkeeper that is comfortable in the top flight, we are blessed with two, or three if you count the promising Fraser Forster.

So at a time when it is very easy to criticise and point out what is missing at our club, let’s also take a moment to remind ourselves what we do have and that our last line of defence, if nothing else, is worth bragging about.

About TheDimpleboy

Follow me on twitter - @TheDimpleboy I support the Heed as well as NUFC and you will find me at the International Stadium when Newcastle are playing away. I currently have a season ticket in the Leazes end.

72 thoughts on “The forgotten position?

  1. I think goalkeeper is just a less sexy position maybe. I do feel confident with whoever is chosen as the #1.

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  2. Think most of us here have been saying how blessed we’ve been with ‘keepers.
    It’s a good thing we don’t talk about them too much as it means there not doing much wrong 😉

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  3. When I saw ‘forgotten’ in the headline, I couldn’t help but think about haris vuckic. Has anyone heard if he’ll even be fit when preseason starts??

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  4. Harper is still the more reliable keeper IMO. Timmy has a lot more learning to do before he should be considered first choice, but he’s certainly developing well. I’ve got my fingers crossed Harps is fit and ready for next season because I feel a lot more confident when he’s between the posts

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  5. I think Krul is gonna want first team football now and tbh he is in the driving seat and holds the upper hand now that he is on the international scene and can realistically expect to be at least no.3 keeper for Holland and in the squad from now on. He could turn around and say ‘I need first team football from now on’ and what are we to do, risk him leaving and being the Next Van Der Sar somewhere else just for the sake of playing Harper for another 3-4 seasons. This could spell the end for Harper IMO and the club might not even offer him a new contract with players like Soderburg coming through. .

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  6. We do have three very good goalkeepers. Krul for me should be number one, with Harper on the bench and Forster out on loan to a championship team or if possible, Norwich in the premier division.

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  7. LS

    I know what you mean but after the way Krul has improved over the last 30-40 appearences I think he might be worth taking a chance on. Goalkeepers need experience and lots of aspects of his game have greatly improved over those games. Imagine what he might be like if he plays next season and after the next 40 apps.

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  8. keepers are mega imprtant… look at arsenal.. al lof theirs are a joke. man utd, when schimchel left they were knackered for years. bartez was not good enough, howard crap, he lloked high and low and it was only when they got edwin van dame in that it sorted itself out. Harper is great and it proper baffles me that he is not englands no 1. if he had played for any big team then he would have been i am sure. i have not seen forster yet but he will no doubt be good. seems strange that we can have three top class keepers but have dog shite every else on the pitch. how very odd.

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  9. I don’t see why any club has to have a ‘designated number 1’. Can’t Harps and Krul battle for position each week? Every other player does.

    Krul will get plenty of games, but I also think Harper is still the better bet overall. But the gap is closing, and against certain types of opposition he’s probably already the better bet.

    As the article says – nice problem. We are indeed spoiled rotten in that position. :mrgreen:

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  10. DJG.. exactly! look at the bloke green in the world cup man.. he actaully caught the ball , then turned around and chucked in in our own net ffs. he should have been done for match fixing!!

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  11. Meanwhile, looks like, as everyone thought, Gervinho’s going to Arse. Hairy muff, to be honest.

    I still wonder if Defoe is worth breaking the age criterion for if he can be got cheaply enough. He’s not happy there and doesn’t get the kind of service he needs, whereas I think Benny and the new boy will be excellent next to a striker like him.

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  12. Craig – how about the England – Switzerland game? Both goals involved highly dubious ‘keeping. Neither was exactly easy to deal with, but you do have to wonder if Harps would have got us 3 points there.

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  13. whumpie.. no chance defoe… any player we buy must have a resale value and thats after a five year gig. the blueprint is clear i think. or about as clear as anything can be under fat boy and dekka.

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  14. @whumpie

    Another dream in Defoe?

    Too big a transfer fee . Too big wages.

    Get real please. 😯

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  15. You’re probably right on both counts. And to be honest, why break the strategy – the only consistent thing we’ve had?

    Ho hum.

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  16. Personally I don’t think either keeper has the “right” to be number one. They should both be fighting to be in the teamsheet week in week out.

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  17. Doesn’t leave us with many domestic option does it? Sturridge but even then the wages could be an issue…I can’t think of any others so only leaves the foreign market & a premiership unproven striker.

    I’m starting to think we may never see bobbys @rse in fenwicks

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  18. Keepers and center backs are two positions you don’t want to change too often as you a sense of stability there.

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  19. i am not so sure its that easy to swap keepers out all the time. the keeper also has to command his area and mashall the back four. its like swpping the captain around every five mins. dropping shearer would never of happened, roy keane etc, tony adams, van the man. its no coincidence that all teams not just in uk but all over tend to stick with their number 1’s until they are defo no longer number 1’s. that is to say, they are on the wain in their career and past their peak. i think that harper should be number 1 until he is done for, then he should go as keeper coach, krul number 1 and forster number 2. its natural progression. evolution of the ranks.

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  20. @23 You make a good point Craig and I would be inclined to agree with you up to a point. But I don’t think it’s fair to give harper the spot till he retires, yes he has been loyal but if Krul is playing better then surely he should be played instead?

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  21. Nothing official so far today…I wonder if there’s problems with Gerv…sorry Cabaye’s medical?!?

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  22. no chance sturridge. he is too good. he will want to be in a team playing in europe. besides, they know his value at cheslski. just last week you had terry and cole saying his is dogs nuts and future of their strike force. even if they would sell… how much you think… baring in mind carroll was 35 million… 20-25 million as a starting bid? forget it. zogs is a snip at 12 million and we need to do that deal now as he has matured and sorted his shed out. he will be huge star for france soon and his value will rocket way beyond what we could afford.

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  23. @25… as soon as it becomes blatantly obvious that krul is consistantly better than harps then of course its time isnt it.

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  24. yes the reason was he was over rated mate.Given was never big enough in my opion everytime the ball come in the box in the air me heart skiped a beat.

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  25. 32… it is a very old arguement about given… he is mega aglie and can make saves that defy logic but it is noted and accepted by most that he was lousy at arranging his troops and was often caught out of position. if he was so good how come no other team has gone in for him and he warms the bench at city? he is also all about himself similar to owen. he is all about the national team and shay shay shay. something else… if he was injured and harps came in and did well given would start making noises straight away saying that he wasnt happy on the bench, thus constantly undermining harper. he dont say too much at city though and he has spent the entire season on his fat guiness drinking ars5e. i never liked given as a bloke and i thought he was a rotten apple to the point i weas glad when he went. another one that thought the grass was greener and thought he was better than what he was.

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  26. I would start the season with Harps in goal. Age and experience , coupled with loyalty dictates that he at least deserves the oportunity. It,s surely only a matter of a few games before TK makes the position his own anyway.
    Forster has been making overtures about leaving to further his career which should , IMHO point the way forward to Krul being our No 1, and Soderburg his understudy for the season after next. The times they are a changing. HWTL.

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  27. @34 No actually the turning point and the reason he left was after we were beat 5-1 by Liverpool. I was there and Given put in a Man of the match perfomance and played incredibly yet they still put 5 past us due to horrific defending. And of course a keeper isn’t going to be happy on the bench! Modal proffessionals that are in it for the game want to spend as much time as possible on the pitch. And I don’t have a clue where you got the bad apple comment from? 😕 His behaviour was exemplary and was a really honest guy.

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  28. Apparently Gervinho has gone to Arsenal, I don’t think we should’ve been going for him anyway, if noone is sold we already have one midfielder too many: Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Barton, Nolan, Jonas. If we had signed Gervinho it would have meant even playing 5 midfielders that two of those would have to have a place on the bench. And i’m not sure Gervy could play the lone striker role.
    We are one striker, and IMO one centreback off an absolutely class starting XI, after that we just need depth. I know people arent convinced by Simpson, but I’m not sure who we could get sufficiently better to replace him.
    Roger Johnson and a striker and our starting line up is DONE

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  29. Re: Sturridge – it’s interesting that none of the top 6 have shown any interest in Sturridge, makes me think they know something we dont

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  30. Craig I am shocked you feel that way about Given!
    He was a true servant to the club and deserved his shot at the cups. There’s only so much playing behind Bramble, Boumsong, O’brien and the rest you can take

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  31. 4411 – I think there is no way Chelsea will sell him atm, way too much potential, I think that’s why there hasn’t been too many rumours

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  32. @40…. yeah i also thought that too as did all of us but once he went the truth started to come out. it turned out he had instructed his agent a year earlier to find him a new club. its the truth mate, sorry en all like. does anyone esle recall all that coming out after the deal was done? check back through google and maybe you can find the info on it mate.

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  33. @47 Even so, can you really blame him wanting to leave after having some of the most shocking defenders the premier league has witnessed in front of him???? If it wasn’t for him then I seriously doubt whether we would have stayed in the top flight for so long.

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  34. the [email protected] reckon 5 oclock announcement

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  35. Batty-

    Merci pour cette article. Maintenant, je vois que Citeh est la racine de tout mal et devrait être dégagé, comme une dent infectée.

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  36. Between leaving and staying, there is always a choice. I have one year contract and we are still in discussions. What is certain is that I be prolonged, or I’m leaving ” , said Gervinho two days ago. Yet earlier he had reported having already made ​​his choice. A choice he kept still for him. Is there a chance to see him stay in Lille another season, to compete in the Champions League with LOSC?

    The answer is no. According to our information, Lille would come to an agreement with Manchester City about a transfer fee of € 17.5 million! A very nice amount LOSC despaired even get because of the contractual situation of the Ivorian international. Faced with greater competition on this, Manchester City pulled out the heavy artillery, a trifle for the owner Mansour, to take over.

    Gervinho would in turn contract with a salary loan already astronomical! The Citizens have so much ahead of Arsenal, which is hard to imagine proposing such amounts.<<<< OH 😆

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  37. The twats aint been getting much right of late have they?

    anyone else read the rumor that cwrr07 ( i think that is his twitter name ) is derek llmbaris son? no idea if true but what a horrible accusation to level at anyone 🙂

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  38. With all these players joining other teams who we going to be left with?

    Maybe we should enquire about Jones at Grimsby???

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  39. Krul should be number 1, Harper on the bench, sell Forster for 3-5 mill, when Harper retires make Soderberg no.2 🙂

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  40. My understanding is that City have to sell before they buy as Mansour and co are trying to make it a sustainable club………. fat chance of that

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  41. Batty-

    Yeah, I really hate Citeh. I hate Citeh as much as it’s possible to hate a football club. Even more so than the Scum. At least the scum are entertaining from a zoological perspective. Citeh and their Arab cnut owners can go straight to hell and take all their money with them. Feckin up this league and this beautiful sport.

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  42. OHURLEY i find myself agreeing with you,them and chelsea owners have stuffed the game right up with money,at least one citeh player on £230000 a wk,get real man nearly quarter a mill a week some guys wont see that in a lifetime,of course they love the club,what a load of crap!

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  43. Yeah – its a disgrace, might think differently if we had a multi billionaire owner prepared to splash the cash tho 🙂

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