After some impressive displays in goal, confidence has been growing in Rob Elliot of late. I for one feel quite comfortable with him in goal and I thought I would look a little in depth at two of our keepers. I am starting with Tim Krul who has been a loyal servant to Newcastle United.
Tim Krul (Dutch)
Tim is 27, he is 6’2″ (1.88m) tall and weighs 11st 6lb (72.56kg)
Tim was signed in July 2006 as a trainee, he’s had loan spells at Falkirk Aug 07 – Jan 08 making 22 appearances in the league, 4 in the cups followed by a loan to Carlisle Nov 08 – Jan 09 making 9 appearances in all competitions.
Tim broke into Newcastle united’s senior team in season 2010/11 after an injury to Steve Harper, eventually usurping him as number one choice. Tim played a full part in season 2011/12 but an injury plagued season 2012/13 saw him only play 24 games for Newcastle. In the 2013/14 season he was only 2 games short of a full season when a knee injury struck. Season 2014/15 saw him make 30 appearances and sadly for Tim this season was cut short after a season ending injury after just 8 appearances. Tim has made a total of 152 appearances for Newcastle in the Premier league, 6 in the FA cup and 11 in the capital one cup. He has made 8 in the UEFA cup and played 8 times for the Netherlands.
I will stick to his statistics for this season when comparing to Rob Elliot as appearances to date are not that far apart 8 and 13 respectively.
Tim Krul Stats;
This season Tim has made 8 appearances and he has made 34 saves facing 145 shots of which 50 were on goal. He has one clean sheet in 720 minutes played. He has conceded 17 goals and his save percentage is 66.7.
Tim’s positioning is quite good. His kicking isn’t too bad, though he prefers his left foot. For me his main fault is that he punches the ball away when he should be making the catch. This puts us under undue pressure in my opinion. He has pretty good reflexes and he jumps well enough. Like Elliot, he dives well too but he isn’t too hot on stopping long range shots and we have fallen foul to a few this season. Right now I don’t feel he has as much strength as Elliot but that could be injuries taking their toll.
Rob Elliot (English)
Rob at 29 is two years older than Krul and will be 30 in April 2016, funny he seemed younger than that to me. He is 6’3″ (1.90m) and weighs 96kg.
His youth career started at Erith Town and he turned professional in 2004 with Charlton Athletic who he made 96 appearances with from 2004-2011. He had loan spells with Bishops Stortford (6 apps), Notts County (4 apps) and Accrington Stanley (30 apps) over two loan spells.
In August 2011 he signed for Newcastle on a 5 year contract making his debut on 20th September in the league cup. His first Premier League start was in the 2012/2013 season against Southampton after an injury to Tim Krul, conceding a goal in the 3rd minute.
This season had seen Elliot become 3rd choice keeper behind Karl Darlow but when Tim suffered a season ending injury, Darlow had an ankle knock and Elliot was called into action. We were close to losing Elliot who wanted first team football but luckily for us he stayed and he actually signed a new long term contract back in January 2014. He made his first appearance this season on October 18th against Norwich City, a game we won 6.2.
Rob Elliot stats;
Rob has played 13 Premier League games to date and he has made 42 saves facing 189 shots, of which 63 were on goal. He has 3 clean sheets in 1170 minutes played and has conceded 21 goals. Interestingly his save percentage is exactly the same as Tim Krul’s at 66.7 though he has played more minutes than Tim.
So the question is, who is the better keeper? Is Rob now a keeper as it were or is it too early to tell? Tim’s weakness is saving long shots but his long passing is good and he rarely commits a foul. Elliot commands the box well and is seemingly unflappable when dealing crosses, catching the ball well more often than not. Both keepers would appear to have good reflexes and agility. Both dive well and in truth there is little to separate them other than Tim’s tendency to punch. They both seem strong and vocal and both have had to suffer a very poor defense in front of them for long periods, though the signs are that the defense have picked up of late.So my final thoughts would be this;
For me I’m finding it hard to split them, though i am tending to go with Elliot purely based on the fact he doesn’t punch as much as Krul and seems less flappable, at least for now. It will be a fair while before we see Tim back in action and even when fit he will take time to regain match fitness – so we have Rob in the first team for a fair while yet. It is also clear to me that Darlow is not quite ready to be a regular Premier League starter yet so we should be looking to bring in a loan keeper to back up Elliot until Krul’s return.
What are your thoughts on Tim and Rob, I would love to hear.