A bit of surprise news this week saw the permanent departure of long serving and adopted Geordie, Tim Krul, to Brighton. The surprise came that a one year loan has already been agreed last month, effectively taking Krul up to the end of his existing Newcastle contract before he becomes a free agent in summer 2018.
It is odd it has been made permanent and on a one year deal, as it effectively just replicates the loan deal already in place. You would hope he is not eligible to play against us on Sunday, as despite getting him off the wage bill, there appears little incentive for NUFC to sanction this deal now. Especially as it is very unlikely we will get any sort of fee. Let’s look through his time at the club…
Palermo – the dream debut
Tim’s most famous night in a NUFC shirt was incredibly his debut, aged just 18. Newcastle sent out a threadbare reserve side in Italy for our Uefa Cup game against Palermo. I remember watching the game and Krul kept us in the game with a series of stunning saves. It got the world taking about the little known Dutch keeper we had signed from Den Haag. We had a talent on our hands and you knew it was meant to be that night when we won through an Albert Luque winner, yes, that’s right – Luque!
THAT White Hart Lane performance
Arguably Tim’s finest hour in a Toon shirt. November 2013, we went to Spurs and picked up an impressive 1-0 away win. During that time, we seemed to be a bogie side for Tottenham and always seemed to get something at the Lane. However, this game will always be remembered for the heroics of Krul.
He made 14 saves in the game, which was the most of any Premiership keeper in seven years at the time. His awesome shot stopping style was in full flow that day. This is one nearly all Newcastle fans will remember.
Tim had an excellent season, like most of the squad did, as we surprisingly finished 5th – our best finish since the days of Sir Booby Robson. Krul kept 15 clean sheets as we defied the odds and played some fantastic football as we almost sneaked into the Champions League places.
Tim was part of the squad as we went down last time round. He only made 8 appearances due to injury but his form had clearly dipped and the signs of him perhaps going stale at Newcastle were beginning to show. Such a poor season for the team would have no doubt hurt Tim after being at the club so long. It became clear also that he was not going to be part of Rafa’s long term plans and with Bentiez staying that summer to lead our Championship assault, the writing was on the wall for Tim.
Injuries certainly affected Krul. Long term ankle problems were the first sign of his decline but it was his ACL injury that seemed to take the edge off his game. It is of course a very difficult injury to bounce back from, or to full form. When he was fit again we were back in the Championship and Elliott and Darlow had been playing well. It meant the beginning of the end of his time at Newcastle, as loan moves were hastily agreed.
Alkmaar and Ajax loans
And it was these two loan spells at Ajax and AZ Alkmaar in his native Holland last season that were more signs of his struggles. He was in and out the side, often playing for Ajax reserves and at AZ, didn’t look his old self. It was these displays that may have made up the mind of Bentiez, who felt it was time to move Krul on.
Krul returned to Tyneside over the summer full of beans, refusing to give up on his Newcastle United career. It was a painful pre-season for the Dutchman, who was shown all the signs by Benitez that his time at the club was up. He failed to make a single match day squad over each pre-season encounter and had slipped down to FOURTH in the pecking order. His dream had turned into a bit of a nightmare, but after months out in the cold, he sealed a deadline-day move to Brighton.
Right time to leave?
Krul made an impressive 185 appearances and his departure ends his 12 year association with Newcastle. He is still just 29, which for a goalkeeper usually means his peak years are ahead of him. I just think injuries and a loss of form caught up with him and it is right for all parties he moves on to pastures new.
He will always be remembered positively for his time here and over the years we have been spoilt with some excellent goalkeepers, such as Given, Srnicek and Harper. Tim certainly falls into the category in his prime and fans wish him well.
What was your favourite memory of Krul? Would you have kept him?