Writer: Aaron Gales
Date:Sunday February 15 2009
It may seem harsh to many, but if the last three games are anything to go by, it is immediately obvious why Steve Harper has been forced to play second fiddle for the vast majority of his professional career.
Now whilst we have perhaps been spoiled with the fantastic form Shay Given has shown over the years, the last three games have shown Harper to be a sub standard goalkeeper.
Against Manchester City, the first goal went through his legs, and for Craig Bellamy`s winner he was flat footed and didn`t even move. To be fair against Sunderland he did very little wrong, making a couple of good saves into the bargain.
It was against West Brom that he let himself down badly, and should have done better with both goals. On both occasions he was too slow to get down to the ball and didn`t get his body behind the shot.
I think what has become most evident in the recent weeks since Shay left for Manchester is that it wasn`t just the Irishman`s outstanding form that kept Harper out the team all these years, but Harper`s shortcomings as a top flight goalkeeper.
Fortunately for Newcastle, the goalkeeping
slot is not one where we are currently short with outstanding youngsters such as Fraser Forster who has been on the bench in recent weeks.
However despite the claims of Forster it is young Dutchman Tim Krul who should find himself elevated to the position of number one. Krul is an outstanding prospect, who impressed during a fine debut in the intimidating atmosphere of Palermo and who has done well in previous loan spells with Falkirk and Carlisle.
Whilst it may seem harsh on Harper, who has always waited patiently for his chance, without ever complaining, it is clear that he is not the right man to be between the posts for us for the foreseeable future.
The sooner the name of Tim Krul is on the teamsheet the better.
Date:Sunday February 15 2009
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