The race to be Newcastle’s number 1

Newcastle have been blessed over the years with some great goalkeepers, with Shay Given, Steve Harper and Tim Krul sharing the number 1 shirt for the best part of 15 years. Since Krul damaged his cruciate ligament, we have plenty of options but not a settled number 1. What could happen this summer?

Who holds the jersey at the moment?

Tough one to call. This season has seen three keeps arguably at number 1. Sels was brought in for a decent fee and was Rafa’s clear number 1 at the start of the season, starting the first 10 games or so. A loss of form has saw him struggling to now make the bench; it just has not worked out for him.

That led to Karl Darlow playing the most games this season, backing up a good stint in the side at the back end of last season. Inspired displays and saves and also been marred by the odd error but at just 26, he is young for a goalkeeper. He can certainly improve but is a good option to have.

However, Rob Elliott was injured most this season and was brought back into the starting 11 eleven for the final few games when fit. You get the sense Rafa rates Elliott above Darlow and when asked if Darlow is number 1 Rafa has never back him publically, always insisting “ We have three good keepers.”

Another option is forgotten man Tim Krul. An excellent servant and shot stopper, he has been invaluable to Newcastle in the past. He doesn’t look the same since his injury though and some poor displays on loan at AZ Alkmaar this year have saw them sending back to NUFC. He only has 1 year left on his contract and his long association with Newcastle may just be up.

Freddie Woodman has also completed at impressive loan spell at Kilmarnock but expect him to loaned out again next year. He is seen very much as a great option for the future, not for now.

 

Wil Rafa buy another goalkeeper?

Despite four solid options, rumours won’t just go away that Rafa wants to buy another goalkeeper this summer. With so much depth already, if he does dip into the market it would not be for another squad player but for a clear number 1. Names linked so far have tended to be mainly from abroad (Napoli’s Pepe Reina being one) and it will be interesting watching this one develop. The fact Rafa has rotated this year does suggest to me he is not convinced entirely of any of the current custodians.

 

Who may be sold and who will start next season?

Whether we sign a new keeper or not, 5 into 3 places just doesn’t go. I think Woodman will be loaned out, meaning at least one will be sold or maybe two if we sign another goalkeeper. I personally think we will sign another new goalkeeper and Rafa will go with Elliott and or Darlow as his competition, which would be a great place to be.

Sels clearly hasn’t worked out and Krul needs a fresh move to reignite his career.  Newcastle need to invest big funds next year and a new goalkeeper is nowhere near as important as other parts of the pitch but as always, quality additions are welcome.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

35 thoughts on “The race to be Newcastle’s number 1

  1. Simon good read and I agree. Krul will surely be sold. Woodman loaned. I dont think Rafa is convinced by Darlow whilst Elliott is steady and cheap. I expect Elliott to stay with either Darlow or Selz sold and a proper keeper bought in.

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  2. I think Elliot is first choice. The fact he is not playing in the Ireland team still makes me think he was not fully fit but Rafa put him in anyway. Says as much about his trust in Darlow and Sels as does about Elliot.

    I am happy to stick with Elliot with either Darlow or Krul as backup. Krul didn’t just turn crap overnight and I think a few more months of healing and he will be back to normal. My (and everybody esle’s) problem with Krul is his distribution and Darlow is a good ‘keeper but always looks like an error waiting to happen. It doesn’t happen that often, but he doesn’t really inspire confidence either.

    First rule of goalkeeping should always be – first do no harm.

    I don’t think we need another ‘keeper unless he is head and shoulders above what we have. Butland is, but would cost 30 million. I would actually pay that because I think he is so good that he would guarantee PL survival.

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  3. If we can get Pepe Reina in for £4m then it’s a no brainer for me like – we have our new no. 1 ??? (Safe hands)

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  4. Eric Sykes:
    I think Elliot is first choice. The fact he is not playing in the Ireland team still makes me think he was not fully fit but Rafa put him in anyway. Says as muchabout his trust in Darlow and Sels as does about Elliot.

    I am happy to stick with Elliot with either Darlow or Krul as backup. Krul didn’t just turn crap overnight and I think a few more months of healing and he will be back to normal. My (and everybody esle’s) problem with Krul is his distribution and Darlow is a good ‘keeper but always looks like an error waiting to happen. It doesn’t happen that often, but he doesn’t really inspire confidence either.

    First rule of goalkeeping should always be – first do no harm.

    I don’t think we need another ‘keeper unless he is head and shoulders above what we have. Butland is, but would cost 30 million. I would actually pay that because I think he is so good that he would guarantee PL survival.

    Yep Butland is excellent but sadly will be far too expensive.
    I would stick with Elliot and Darlow , get rid of Sels , possibly Krul too and loan out Freddie

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  5. Elliot and Darlow as back up to Reina for me. Whether that link is real is impossible to tell but he’s a cracking goalie and a possible captain.

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  6. Great news!!!

    Arse has signed a new 2 year deal at Arsenal ??????

    That should mean the press leave the toon alone next season ?

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  7. See Lasogga and his Mam have been linked again. Wasn’t he one of Pardew’s wishes?
    Bewildering series of links from the papers – no idea at all now what’s at all likely.

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  8. shamrock:
    Haha. Good he deserves it. Ungrateful fans forget what he has done for their team.

    Sham – they are off their heads mate. The mans a legend of the PL (I hope Eric accepts that use of legend ?). He’s probably only 2 or 3 players off.
    Trouble is, City & Utd will go out and spend £250m again this summer & Wenger isn’t about that.

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  9. georgio:
    See Lasogga and his Mam have been linked again. Wasn’t he one of Pardew’s wishes?
    Bewildering series of links from the papers – no idea at all now what’s at all likely.

    Lazy journalism mate.

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  10. Sharpy: that stuff about not being paid in full if Sissoko was moved on was always ******* mate. Some idiot Spurs fan who doesn’t know how installments work wrote it on the internet and it took on a life of its own. I am assuming it was a naïve kid as anybody with a mortgage, car payment or credit card knows how installments work,

    Regarding Sissoko and Poch. He may have bought his own ticket out of there. I remember Townsend fell out with one of the coaches, not even Poch himself, and was sent to train with the reserves for months.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa buys him back at a 50% discount as I think he rates him. I wouldn’t want him as he still has the problem of no end product, although if he becomes a NUFC player again, then so be it.

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  11. I watched Sissoko for Spurs a few times and he was usually terrible. However, I don’t think it was all his fault. The guy he was bought to replace, Son, had a fantastic season and I think Sissoko suffered in comparison with the fans. Spurs also play the high press which is not his game, he is more about running at speed at defenders from his own half. The last thing is that Son, Kane and Alli all tend to drift to the wings which is where Sissoko is and got in his way a bit.

    I think Spurs should get rid as he is not suited to their system. He still shouldn’t be blabbing to the French press. It seems that every time he is on international duty it happens. His Agent should put a gag order on him with talking to the French press.

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  12. Eric, I wouldn’t want him back, he’s a disrespectful toe rag who is seriously delusional as to his ability. I would be really irked if Rafa brought him back to the Toon .

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  13. Mangala from City seems to be the big rumour today. Press reckon it has legs too. He clearly isn’t good enough for them but they did once spend £42m on him so he must be reasonably decent…

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  14. No to Sissoko. He brings nothing to the table. No point in looking good if you cant defend, pass or score.

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  15. Stuart79:
    Mangala from City seems to be the big rumour today. Press reckon it has legs too. He clearly isn’t good enough for them but they did once spend £42m on him so he must be reasonably decent…

    Stu – he had a buy clause to his loan contract of around £15m. Craic is we’ve gone to City and said, as you were prepared to loose him for that to the clause would you accept our fee – cash up front. I see City taking it personally. He’s better than Hanley.

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  16. Sharpy: don’t you think Mangala would be a replacement for MBemba? We could probably get 10 mil for MBemba and just about break even. Hell, in this market I bet we could get 8 mil for Lascelles and upgrade to McGuire for 15 mil. There’s also the 2 at Boro, Chambers and who’s the other.

    I think we should keep MBemba but it doesn’t look like Rafa rates him.

    Think about it though. Look what Pards and the pickled walnut with hair had to work with. A Chronically slow and disinterested Coloccini, Williamson and Taylor. Any, and all of these are a step up – even Hanley.

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  17. That is not to say I think Arrogant Alan would have done better with better players. He was not and is not an average PL manager as someone who used to post on here said every day for 3 years. He drags the players down to his level whether it be Carlos Tevez or Hayden Mullins.

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  18. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: don’t you think Mangala would be a replacement for MBemba? We could probably get 10 mil for MBemba and just about break even. Hell, in this market I bet we could get 8 mil for Lascelles and upgrade to McGuire for 15 mil. There’s also the 2 at Boro, Chambers and who’s the other.

    I think we should keep MBemba but it doesn’t look like Rafa rates him.

    Think about it though. Look what Pards and the pickled walnut with hair had to work with. A Chronically slow and disinterested Coloccini, Williamson and Taylor. Any, and all of these are a step up – even Hanley.

    Eric – Mbemba is only 22 mate and other than the communication barrier I think he’s a bloody good player – £10m?! He’s needs 1 good season to be worth 3 times that and time is very much on his side.
    Same goes for Lascelles. I’m sure he’s only 23 and played a large part of the season needing a hernia operation. I’d be keeping him too personally mate. Clark was Mr Reliable last season so he’d stay.
    Hanley out Mangala and a LB in. A keeper or 2 out and Reina in and we are sorted at the back for me like.

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  19. Sharpy17: Eric – Mbemba is only 22 mate and other than the communication barrier I think he’s a bloody good player – £10m?! He’s needs 1 good season to be worth 3 times that and time is very much on his side.
    Same goes for Lascelles.I’m sure he’s only 23 and played a large part of the season needing a hernia operation.I’d be keeping him too personally mate.Clark was Mr Reliable last season so he’d stay.
    Hanley out Mangala and a LB in.A keeper or 2 out and Reina in and we are sorted at the back for me like.

    The thing is all we have is young, prospective players in this position – Mbemba, Lascells and Clark. Rafa probably wants to bring in some experience. Who to sell? Maybe Lascells, reason? Clark is Mr. reliable; Mbemba can’t be sold for much money, due to his lack of playing time last season. Only Lascells, can be sold for some money, maybe to a frontrunner like Chelsea. So it could be good for both.

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  20. Sharpy17:
    If we can get Pepe Reina in for £4m then it’s a no brainer for me like – we have our new no. 1 (Safe hands)

    No way Reina worth 4million pounds. He is going to the last year of his contract; His wife clashed with Napoli’s owner on facebook; and he is 35,36 years old. He will be brought in for the 3rd choice with a minimum price, if you want my opinion.

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  21. funrafa: No way Reina worth 4million pounds. He is going to the last year of his contract; His wife clashed with Napoli’s owner on facebook; and he is 35,36 years old. He will be brought in for the 3rd choice with a minimum price, if you want my opinion.

    Rafa – I welcome all opinions mate, it’s what makes a blog tick ?. I respect your opinion too for what it’s worth.

    Listen if we can get him for less than £4m then crack on and get him in for me. In actual fact he’s only 34 – Petr Cech is 35 and still going strong, so I reckon Reina would do just fine, and would be far higher up than 3rd choice.

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  22. Sharpy17: Rafa – I welcome all opinions mate, it’s what makes a blog tick .I respect your opinion too for what it’s worth.

    Listen if we can get him for less than £4m then crack on and get him in for me.In actual fact he’s only 34 – Petr Cech is 35 and still going strong, so I reckon Reina would do just fine, and would be far higher up than 3rd choice.

    Thanks Sharpy. Seriously I see Rafa struggling in every deal trying to save 200 or 300 million pounds I just can’t believe he would spend 400 million on Reina. That is probably Napoli’s asking price. Napoli is close to buy a new goalkeeper and Reina is on a high salary there, so I say chop off a zero from the price I will take it. 🙂

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  23. I am quite happy with the players we are being linked with as most are equal to or better than what we have. We just have to get a few “over the line”. Pards’ favourite saying 🙂

    I also wouldn’t mind keeping Mitro, MBemba, Lascelles and others but think that Rafa might have to do a bit of wheeling and dealing to get the players he wants under the financial restrictions he is under. We could have to give up somebody good to get somebody better?

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  24. Mbemba did well at the end of the season. I think he is a good player. He has the odd mistake in him but has time on his side, the lingo will click and he is intelligent in a footballing sense from what I have seen. I think surely it is simply Hanley out and a good CB in.

    If Reina did come in, he would not be 3rd choice surely. A lot of good keepers play into their late 30s or even into their 40s at the top level. He is a good keeper still.

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  25. Pepe Reina just played 37 games for Napoli in Serie A, conceding only 38 and keeping 12 clean sheets for a side that finished 3rd above both Milan sides. He is still a top keeper that just completed 8 Champions League games too.

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  26. If he is still top level Napoli won’t sell him for another goalkeeper. He still can kick or throw the ball to initiate an attack, the character which Rafa has been looking for in a goalkeeper. But I doubt his response and his physical abilities are still at top level. By the way he has gained a lot of weight in Italy. I surely don’t see him as a #1 choice. But hey, that is just my 2 cents. You don’t have to buy it.

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  27. You doubt it based on what though? His stats are good. Maybe Napoli want a new keeper because they have fallen out with him. Maybe they want an elite keeper to challenge for the title. Either way if he came here we would be getting a player with massive pedigree, fresh from the Champions League (from a side in a credible league) who just finished 3rd in an elite league, playing almost every game of the season. That is a big step up from our current options.

    I just dont buy the theory that you would bring that calibre of player in as 3rd choice, behind a recently relegated Elliott and an unconvincing keeper who did not make the Top 3 keepers at Championship level, never mind the PL.

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