The keeper conundrum.

No1 - Tim Krul? Or Forster? Or Harper?
With three keepers vying for the number one spot at NUFCthis season, the pre-season games in America may give an indication into who will start in goal for us against Arsenal.

If Fraser Forster, Tim Krul and Steve Harper all have particularly good games then Alan Pardew may have a goalkeeping dilemma on his hands, both in terms of who to select and evidently who to sell. Pardew has maintained all along that he could have a problem with his goalkeepers and none of them are going to want to drop to third choice which means that one will more than likely be leaving St James’ Park before the transfer window slams shut on August 31st.

Steve Harper has been a long-term servant of the club and had to endure twelve seasons as backup to Shay Given. Once Given had left for Man City Harper began to become the regular goalie for us. Now Harper does have his good and bad days in games and that’s where I feel that he may not be the regular goalie for us. There are times when he should be diving for the ball but just doesn’t go for it at all. That cost us last season on occasion.

I have noticed a lot that there are times in a game where Harper can be very flat footed and slow to react when there has been a shot on goal. There are times when I don’t feel safe with Harps in goal and he never seems to be able to make his mind up what to do. Perhaps it is time for him to be overtaken in the pecking order by a younger keeper which would perhaps leave him on the bench again.

Harper was injured quite a bit last season and that allowed Tim Krul to have a large chunk of time to play in goal. Certainly Krul took his chance and made a name for himself in the team. Perhaps this may be Harper’s undoing, he isn’t getting any younger and perhaps it’s time to step aside and let a young’un have an opportunity?

Although if Harper does stay with the club, his leadership would be key in the dressing room to guide the younger goalie and offer advice to him. The experiences he has had may be vital in filling the void that may have been left by Nolan so to keep him around would be a good way to keep the team spirit up.

For me though I don’t think Harper will be keeping his place as the number one goalie anytime soon.

Tim Krul made his way to play in goal after the injury that Steve Harper suffered at Everton. The Dutch international put in many good performances and during the times that he played he demonstrated that he is capable of playing in the Premier League.

The away game at Blackpool perhaps demonstrated Krul’s ability the most. He had to come rushing out of his goal in order to stop Blackpool from scoring. That move could have easily gone wrong, but Krul managed to get his hand to the ball and divert it away for a corner. If he had made that move a second too late he perhaps may have given away a penalty.

I believe that Krul is more commanding when there are set pieces and does make an effort to try and stop them. He is a very talented goalkeeper and he has demonstrated that a lot to Alan Pardew over the course of last season.

With the young Dutchman making his way into the number one spot left by Edwin Van der Sar in the Dutch team that clearly states to me that he has a very good chance of becoming the number one goalie for Newcastle. The fact that he is playing international football may put him at the forefront of becoming our new first choice goalie.

Fraser Forster has been the third-choice goalie for the past three seasons at Newcastle. He has been the one out of Tim Krul and himself that has been sent out on loan. Krul has been out on loan before of course, but after Shay Given left Krul was promoted to the first team squad full time.

The Hexham born goalie made a name for himself at Norwich City during the 2009-10 season. His displays during that season helped Norwich to the League One title and many of the Norwich faithful were delighted with his displays. Further evidence of his quality was shown we he was named Player of the Year 2010 by the club and his fantastic season was further capped by the fact that he was awarded the Macron Golden Gloves award for the best record for clean sheets in the league – Forster managed to keep eighteen clean sheets in thirty-eight appearances.

Last season Forster was on a season long loan deal at Celtic. The young Hexham lad played in every match of Celtic’s season with the exception of two cup matches and kept a total of 21 clean sheets during that season. A poor league the Scottish Premier League may be, but it’s still a further indication that the young lad has ability.

These three goalies are all trying to compete for the starting spot and one of them may become disappointed with what happens during pre-season. Competition is fierce and it remains the one position where we are well stocked for the now and for the future which is why I youngsters like Ole Soderberg are looking to go out on loan. Realistically his chances are going to be limited and he is only ever going to be third choice at best next season. It’s tough for a goalkeeper at Newcastle United!

However I believe that Tim Krul will be our number one goalie at the start of the season and possibly Forster may be on the bench. This may not be the case but out of the three I think Krul will be given the nod by Pardew as he has demonstrated to him that he is a goalie who can play at a world-class level.

What do you think? Who will be our first-choice goalie?

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

70 thoughts on “The keeper conundrum.

  1. I haven’t seen enough of Forster to judge but he must be doing something right to get player of the season with Norwich. I think it’s time for harps to take up a coaching role at the club as I’d hate us to loose out on a future world class goalkeeper. That would just be our luck, sell Forster and he will be future England number 1 with another club 😆


  2. @HBA

    Many reports from Celtic say Forster was slow at getting to the ground for low shots.
    He had a good record but that could be down to the poor quality of opponents.
    Our keeper coaches will know who our best keeper is and they should get the nod.


  3. Zoe – Just goes to show how liking a player can skew a view – you obviously like Krul but for me he made a loads of blunders last year and demonstrated he isn’t yet consistent – yet he shows promise – Harps was head and shoulders above him, he was utterly consistent and kept us in many a game with outstanding save after save – the above article is a wee bit unfair and biased imo – but its doing it job and stimulating a response 🙂

    Booby – the feedback re Foster – was that because he is so tall you’d expect him to be slow down to low shots but he was actually very quick. I’m surprised you’re misinformed 😉 😆

    Harps – 1st by a long way.
    Foster 2nd

    Krul – bye bye fella been nice having you.


  4. Stardy
    You say Harps kept us in many a game with save after save.
    He didn’t play in many so tell tell me which ones you mean. Krul played the majority of the season so must take most of the credit


  5. @stardust

    I agree wholeheartedly about the order. 1. Harps 2. Krul 3. Forster.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with your reasoning. You get your views from the patrons of Benwell dole queue. I get mine from close analysis of there performances and make an informed judgement. 😛


  6. Booby

    You going to lie down by the roadside holding your cheeks apart as the council fellas come along with their strimmers? 😆


  7. Booby

    “there performances” tut tut you lost your line as soon as you showed how thick you are – Potty makes the same mistake – Two peas and all that 😆


  8. @stardy

    I’ve got an appointment at 10am this morning. Seriously, does it hurt? I’m pretty apprehensive but can’t wait for the results.

    I’m going on a family naturist holiday next week and I want to look my best. 🙂 😯


  9. agree..get extra nervous when Krul is in goal and a quality cross/corner come in. The kids def got the talent….just needs to command the box


  10. @stardy

    Who’s Potty? 😕

    I can only think of 2 people who trounce you on here and that’s Stu and Me.


  11. Zoe – You’re absolutely correct, Krul is the future. Harper has had his time never let us down, but Krul is now a full international and has deserved his call ups.

    Ignore Mongdust as he’s proven time and again he cannot judge a player. Dignity calling…


  12. @Stu

    There’s no getting away from it. Dusty is ahead after that.
    Cone on stu! You can do him! 😆


  13. Booby – you mean you’re going perving holiday – You will be going around the site with a little pinky on popping out from your fat belly – you even get excited over 60yr old lollypop ladies – and the prospect of seeing them naked would be too much for you 😆


  14. @dusty

    It’s in the South of France. Some of the women look gorgeous on the web pictures.
    Thanks for the elastic band tip to stop me getting excited. 😆
    Mrs Shinton is asking questions why I need it but I’ve said it makes me look bigger. 😛


  15. Krul tends to flap at the ball alot. I remember that chelsea game at the end of the season, came out to a wide ball, flapped and missed and left the goal gaping for a simple headed goal out of nothing.
    He still has a lot to,learn and should remember that.
    Harper is still my number 1, Krul 2.
    Bye Bye Forster I’m afraid. Lets get the bidding started.
    I’ve heard the scum like to pay over the top for an average keeper.(Goalie for Zoe’s benefit 😕 )


  16. I can picture Stu now curled up cringing realising he bit like a great White! 😆

    Best move Stu.
    Don’t reply and hope it goes away. 😆


  17. Yep Booby – I don’t bother with lil Potty these days – he has the likeability of a live eel sandwich – Kind of wriggly, slimy and makes you wanna puke.


  18. @stardy

    Ouch! That was a bit strong! 😯

    I’ve got to be honest, I agree with Stu’s views on the regime but not his footballing opinions. But to be fair. Hes always polite and puts his point across well.

    I bet he’s still cringing tho! 😆 he’ll be in a quandary now. If he replies it will be construed as a bite. If he doesn’t it will be construed as a huff. 😆

    What a dilemma. 🙄


  19. @raffo

    I don’t understand that blue writing? It doesn’t make sense and and has lots of forward dashes in it? 😯


  20. @BB

    You and raffo trying to be clever?

    What the bloody hell does that blue writing mean? It doesn’t make sense. 😯


  21. Bobby – whats a forward dash ❓
    Is that something that shola doesn’t do very often? 😕


  22. Krul for me. He played most of last season and did well for the main part. Yes he made clangers, but so does every keeper and he has his whole career ahead of him. I’d rather give him the No1 now whilst he is still a bit wet behind the ears than risk losing him and end up with an aging Harper and untested Forster as our first team goalkeepers.


  23. @BB
    It’s very similar to a forward slash but different. 😆

    Regarding the keepers. It really does depend on what the individuals are saying behind the scenes. Do they enjoy the competition? Would Krul ask for a transfer?
    But for purely reliability and current skill levels I would stick with Harps.


  24. Harps has had plenty of flaps and moments even in the Champ where I thought he looked dodgy. He hasnt really been all that good for me, a few top saves here and there are perhaps clouding thoughts on him.

    Lets also remember his age If we let Forster go for £2.5million for arguements sake, when Harps finishes next summer, we will then have to fork out for a replacement. Obviously how much will depend on if we get a No1 or No2, but it seems much more sensible to try and get some money for Harper and keep the 2 young quality keepers we have. Forster isnt at all shabby and I think he is closer to Krul than others do.

    Whilst I thank Harps for what he has done, theres no room for sentiment and we should be ruthless if we want to move on.


  25. I think Krul has potential, but I just cannot understand why people rate him so highly already.
    He has only played a handful of fixtures and has had some clangers of note so far.

    Harper has looked far, far, far, far, far more reliable than Krul in goal and I think Krul should be going out on loan for a year to correct some major flaws in his game.
    Especially his judgement (getting caugnt in no mans land) when coming for crosses and his punching away instead of catching the ball.

    Harper is still our top keeper 100% for me.

    I’m shocked people see it any other way. 😯


  26. @JJ

    I’m shocked that your shocked that people can’t see it.
    I’ve got strong views on the regime but I’m never shocked by the poor judgements of others. 😆

    You’ve got to learn that people are shocking judges but never be shocked by it. 😯 😯 😯 🙂


  27. Interesting point JJ.

    I think Krul needs regular football now. No wuestion. Ideally that would be with us. I think his Holland caps are mainly due to injuries elsewhere than him being outright #1 like Hart is.

    If he were to go to Holland for a year then it may do him the world of good, esp if Harps does have 1 year left in him.

    The worry is that he may not want to go and we lose him. I hope somethings done so we can keep Krul and Forster as I want them to stay.


  28. @Bobby Shinton number 9

    I’m not shocked by your assessment 😯 😆


    Ye, I think Krul has the potential, but he still needs far more competitive games, and if he doesn’t come right in a league as tough as the Prem league, he could lose his confidence completely and it would be hard to come back.
    He’s already had two or three well publicised blunders.


  29. So to clarify, are we to expect a goalkeeper to never ever make a blunder? The fact is that keepers do make blunders, but they usually cost so get highlighted more. No mention of the games Krul kept us in I see, like Blackpool and Everton away for example.

    I guess we could persist with the Liverpool supporting Mackem for another season, but I expect the same rules to apply to him and want to see nothing but perfection from him. Remember, goalkeepers don’t make mistakes….


  30. I’ve been out of the loop for a few days but am I correct in thinking Pardew has been told by our glorious regime that he must sell before he buys? Totally bizarre considering we received 30m up front from Liverpool only 6 months ago!

    Sceptical or doom and gloom merchants as some call us are proved correct again. 🙁


  31. Stu – dont start that again. £350million doesnt just go on transfer fees. I thought you were a bit more clued up.

    And frankly I see no problem is selling before we buy. It may be that we have such a large squad already that Ashley rightly wants to see it reduced so we can increase the quality? Maybe theres another reason than raising the money to fund purchases?

    Plenty of dead wood to clear and use that money more wisely


  32. Toonsy

    Of course they can make a mistake, but surely you want fewer than more?

    Therefore you have to pick Harps and I gladly accept your change of position to want Harps too 😆


  33. “So to clarify, are we to expect a goalkeeper to never ever make a blunder? The fact is that keepers do make blunders, but they usually cost so get highlighted more. No mention of the games Krul kept us in I see, like Blackpool and Everton away for example.”


    Its a keepers job to inspire confidence in their defence. I think Krul’s mistakes are more obvious and more regular than Harper’s.
    I don’t expect perfection, from any player.
    In fact if you check the emails, you’ll see, its the last thing I want. But I do feel Krul is ready just yet, and I believe Harper will be the better choice for at least one more season.

    Having said that, Krul may well come out this year and show massive improvement on what I have seen in the past. Lets hope so…


  34. Stu @ 38 – “… am I correct in thinking Pardew has been told by our glorious regime that he must sell before he buys?”

    The Sunday Sun is our glorious regime now? Besides, Pardew isn’t the one doing the buying and selling.


  35. “Raffo
    July 18, 2011 at 10:10

    *£35 million.

    If we had that amount we would be winning everything!!!!”

    £350 million, Raffo, if we had that amount we would have one hell of a training venue, and at least another 5 free signings… 😉 😆


  36. Lol. Money has to be the reason.
    If it was just about improving the squad I can’t see why Ashley would be bothered if we bought a striker first and then tried to sell some deadwood second.

    We need more quality players. Especially another decent striker.
    Unfortunately Ashley spunked £35m on undersoil heating and agent fees (if you are naive enough to believe such nonsense) so now we’ll have to sell someone half decent to raise money no doubt.

    On goalkeepers, I think Harper should be no1 choice this year but Leukemia should be given many games so he get experience for taking over maybe next year.


  37. Stu – I read that it was we’re getting a striker and a left back, moneys been set aside for them, and anything else is sell before you buy. And I can see why to be honest. if we get 2 more we;ll have 26 players that need to be in the squad. 1 needs to go anyway and if another is brought in 2 need to go.

    I know these players are players such as Xisco, who are not worthy of a squad number anyway. But we don’t wanna be paying more people wages than we need to be, or paying a guy 50k a week not to even be able to call upon him and his w*nkness.


  38. Jobey just beat me to it.

    People need to read things more carefully, there’s the money for a striker and a full-back then we have to sell.

    People love to hate the regime at our club far too much these days 😆


  39. I think Krul will become a top keeper but at the min he is still learning, there was a few games last season that he was out flapping like a seal.
    Harper for me is a better keeper atm so I would prefer to see Harper get the nod


  40. IF we get 2 more quality players (ie NOT just the cheapest available) then I think it would be reasonable of Ashley to try to shift the likes of Xisco, Smith, Ameobi, Loven etc etc before buying anyone else.

    I still think if we do get those two players they will be bought on the basis of cheapness first, quality a distant second.

    Come one Ashley, prove me wrong.


  41. Forget this nonsense about the squad size, half our players don’t even count as official squad players due to Their age.


  42. Krul, Harper, Forster, Simpson, Colo, Willo, Taylor, Kadar (21 touch and go), Enrique, Perch, Raylor, Smith, Guthrie, Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Jonas, Barton, Cabaye, Tiote, Gosling (21), Best, Shola, Lovo, Ba, Xisco

    There’s 25 players. Not sure who i’ve missed.


  43. Then add Ranger, Ferguson, Abeid, Tavernier, Sameobi and Vuckic who are all younger, we’ve got quite a big squad. Just lacks quality in depth


  44. @raffo

    Alot of people on here don’t like to mention the£35m and say it’s a boring topic.
    The only reason they say that is because it proves our point about the regime.
    If they had spent all the money we wouldn’t hear the end of it by the Ashley brigade.

    If we have spent £10m of that then I would be amazed. Don’t forget Nolan went for £4m and 5m in wages over 2 yrs.

    I’m not bringing the subject up btw. It was you.


  45. @stu

    You clearly have looked at the squad size and terms of ages and who qualifies.

    It would be interesting to hear your counter to Toonsys argument that the squad if full and we need to sell before we buy.


  46. BS9: “A lot of people on here don’t like to mention the£35m and say it’s a boring topic. The only reason they say that is because it proves our point about the regime.”

    I don’t think anybody actually disagrees with your point about the regime. The problem is that you say it all the fckin time! That’s what’s boring.


  47. @brisvegas

    Ha.. . . As long as I keep annoying you I will keep bringing it up.


  48. We had a 23 man squad at the start of last season, Judas didn’t count I think because of his age. We also added Campbell and Kuqi, I may of missed some out but the squad as it stands is near as damn it full. 3 have gone out and 3 in who must be named in the 25 man squad. The club have said(as far as I’ve read) that there is money for a left back and a striker, after that we’d need to sell to buy. Which we would, there’d be no room in the 25 man squad(I think) unless we want to pay players who wouldn’t be allowed to play. Whether Ashley releases funds for a striker and lb is an entirely different matter 😕


  49. @Richie
    So what do you make of Stu’s earlier comments;
    40 mins ago
    Forget this nonsense about the squad size, half our players don’t even count as official squad players due to Their age.


  50. The club have said … that there is money for a left back and a striker.

    I’ve seen a number of people saying this but I’ve yet to actually find where it’s from. Can somebody point me to the appropriate article so I can read it for myself – not that I don’t trust you or anything, just like to read for myself.


  51. bobby…no idea and tbh can’t be arsed going through all the names and ages but we defo had 23 man squad named at the start of last season and that didn’t include players 21 or under, of all the ones named only Sol and Nolan have gone, Marveux, Cabaye and ba to be added so there’s 24 right there, as I say I may have missed one or 2 either way but if some miracle we do bring in a striker and a lb we’d be over the 25 already if I’ve worked it out right 🙁


  52. bobby…..also I don’t know if any of the players who didn’t have to be named last season will have to be named this season due to their age now, which could chuck yet another spanner in the works 😕


  53. 1 Krul, 2 Harper, 3 Forster, 4 Simpson, 5 Colo, 6 Willo, 7 S Taylor, 8 R Taylor, 9 Kadar, 10 Enrique, 11 Perch, 12 Smith, 13 Guthrie, 14 Ben Arfa, 15 Marveaux, 16 Jonas, 17 Barton, 18 Cabaye, 19 Tiote, 20 Gosling, 21 Best, 22 Shola, 23 Lovo, 24 Ba, 25 Xisco, 26 Routeledge

    Youths: Ranger, Ferguson, Abeid, Tavernier, Sameobi, Vuckic, Lua Lua, Airey.

    GK: Harper, Krul, Foster
    DL: Enrique, Fergie
    DC: Colocini, Kadar
    DC: Taylor, Willo, R Taylor
    DR: Simpson, Tavernier, Perch
    MC: Tiote, Barton, Gosling, Guthrie, Cabaye, Smith
    AML/R/C: Ben Arfa, Jonas, Marvaeux, Routeledge, Lua Lua, S Ameobi, Abeid
    FWD: Ba, Best, Ameobi, Lovenkrans, Xisco, Ranger, Airey

    Clearly we have a big squad. And not much quality, which we have to shift before we buy.

    Players I would love to shift that are not needed are:

    Smith, Perch, R Taylor, Ranger, Xisco, Routeledge, Lovenkrans.
    That would open up five positions.

    Then I would love to sell Ameobi and get a stronger right back, right wing and striker in. In an ideal world that is.

    Problem is nobody wants our dead wood… Maybe Routeledge, but thats about it.+


  54. Well if Stu isn’t going to defend himself then he’s lost the argument. 😕


  55. Some on here talk like Harper has never made a mistake, what about that time last season when he kicked the ball to a defender and an opposition player intercepted it and put it straight in the net! Harper is too relaxed IMO he doesn’t pump up the defenders enough. Krul is a better shotstopper. Second half at West Brom, 1-0 Asenal away win, these are games where you could say Krul has kept us in it, 100%. He has been Given like in some games. He needs games to improve and he should be given them now IMO.


  56. I still don’t think Harps is as bad as many seem to say…he’s not the shot stopper given was and perhaps that’s why he seems slow. Krul is in a very similar mould to Given so maybe people just prefer what they’re used to?

    Harper is no world beater, his time is coming to an end, but I don’t think there was one game last season where he was 90% at fault or higher which cost us a game….I can’t say the same for Krul. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Krul and he’ll definitely become a better keeper than Harps, I just don’t think he’s quite there yet..


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