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Harper will be going nowhere!

Posted on July 16th, 2010 | 74 Comments |

Harper happy at Newcastle.
Harper happy at Newcastle.
Over the last few days there have been strong rumours linking Celtic with a bid for our number one goalkeeper, Steve Harper.

Rumours are abound that Neil Lennon is looking to test the resolve of Newcastle by launching a bid for the veteran ‘keeper, but they can bid away as much as they want as I believe that Harper just wont leave, unless the bid is at such a level which makes it hard to resist for the club of course!

Harper has been with Newcastle United for approaching two decades now, but he has still only played around 200 first-team games in his career. The boyhood Liverpool fan has found himself in the unfortunate position of playing second fiddle to Shay Given for a number of years and it is only since he has moved on that the Easington born stopper has had his chance to shine in the first team.

At the ripe old footballing age of 35, Harper is approacching the twilight years of his career and will be relishing the chance of being first choice goalkeeper for Newcastle in the Premier League next season. That will serve as motivation for him and should contribute to him not wanting to upsticks and leave to go to Celtic, although if, by some strange twist of fate, he did leave then we already have adequate cover for the stopper in the shape of Tim Krul and Fraser Forster, so there is nothing to worry about in any eventuality.

Still, Harper spoke to The Daily Star and the rumours of him moving were, perhaps inevitably, brought up. Here is what he had to say.

“I have waited years for the opportunity of first-team football with Newcastle United in the Premier League so I’m not going to turn my back on it now.”

“I still have a couple of years left on my contract and I am looking to play on for as long as possible. I’ve only played around 200 first-team games and, if I can get that up to 400, that would be fantastic.”

There are certainly no utterings of discontent there and seems as though Harper is looking forward to next season already.

Hopefully it will put an end to the Celtic rumours as I am sure the team will want to remain focussed going into the new season. The very fact that he has waited so long for his chance as the number one, and the fact that we are back in the Premier League should have already indicated that, althouh the press are the press and they will run with a story continuously, even if there are denials or quotes that suggest the player and club are happy with the way things are.

Manager Chris Hughton also seems happy that Harper will be leading us into the new Premier League. Speaking to The Shields Gazette, Hughton had this to say;

“Steve’s a very experienced goalkeeper, and he goes into the new season on the back of a very good campaign.”

“At a time when we’re looking at what we have, and what is coming in, we still want to call on as much experience as we can. He’s a quality goalkeeper and he played the whole season for us last year. He remains a very big player for us.”

So there you go. It certainly sounds as though all parties are happy with the way things are currently, and whilst a move to Cetic can’t be fully discounted as yet, you have to say that with both the player and manager being happy it looks unlikely that it will happen.

Roumours eh? Gotta love em!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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74 Responses

  1. Personally i think we should pat steve on the back thank him for his years of service and sell him asap. He is not getting any younger and has a history of high profile clangers in the prem. I will admit he has been a great servant and last season was excellent but at 35 has little future at nufc. Krul and Forster are ample replacements and the say 2 million for harper could be well spent strengthening other areas of the squad. Any transfer rumours today ?

  2. Toonsy, can never leave comments on the facebook. It just flashes up error comments could not be posted at this time. Don’t know if it’s just me?

  3. Can’t comment when there is a link to a thread mate. There has been no comments on links for a while mate.

  4. agree krul and forster should be fighting for no1 before we lose them jus for the sake of sticking wit harper

  5. I don’t think it’s time to be taking risks back there. As much as I think Harper sometimes makes careless mistakes you know what you’ll get with him. Krul looked great in the second half of that game where he came on against West Brom but maybe over flambouyant and I could see mistakes being made, his confidence erroding and ineviatibly that costing us points that we can’t afford to lose.

  6. I think Annan is a top rumour to start the day!

    I thought he was great in the world cup and he is a CDM so that could see Smith on his was. A decent ball playing CDM is exactly what we need and he would be great.

    Joe Cole signing today eh?! Lets see.

    Jay Jay – Hollyoaks is great! WITH THE SOUND OFF ;-)

  7. Here’s a new one for the conspiracy theorists. It seems Ashley has always operated from a distance – not hands on anyway.. Does that leave Llambias actually running the club? Given that the guy knows nowt about football or NUFC (“I’m just here to sell the pies”) who on earth is he getting his advice from? It was him that sacked Alan Thompson for not being fully committed to the club (when the lennon/celtic rumours were flying – but before anyone had spoken to Thompson. Hughton was furious about this). How would Owl Heed know about these things? Finger on the pulse? Doubt it! So who exactly is giving the football advice?

  8. Georgio
    Thompson wasn’t sacked his contract was up.
    The club decided not to renew it as he was on more than hughton

  9. georgio,it would certainly give weight to the theory,that they who are running the club are useless.

  10. WM – the contract MAY have been up for renewal but as everyone was happy with his work . . . I have it word of mouth that it was a Llambias decision and it was just about the Celtic rumours and committment. Thompson was shocked – he joined the club at 10 and no one at Celtic had even rang him at that stage.

    The question remains – who is advising the fecker? No names have ever been mentioned since tenous links with Ashley/Kelmsley over a year ago.

  11. Lesh – I cant take any credit for that really, it was a re-post from someone on ed’s blog.

    What about the “LESH” site?!

    Waddles – any gen from you today bud?

  12. Lesh – here you go

    craigcoozy // Jul 16, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    ed – i informed every1 on monday morning he had just got off flight from ireland and checked in hotel with perch! just got sum inside intel that they are hoping to announce on monday morning so we wont have to wait till next fri!

  13. Raffo
    Same as yesterday.
    Geogio
    I know for a fact that Thompson was approached just before the first weekend in may from celtic.
    Wise appointed Thompson on a fantastic contract.

  14. Credit where credit’s due Raffo.

    The “LESH site”???

    Here’s a little nugget that was posted yesterday….

    ’15 Jul 2010 23:35:19
    Peter Whittingham has been offered a 3 year deal with Newcastle.

    If he agrees to sign, the fee will be £1.75m which will help Cardiff in their debt struggles.’

    Ho hum

  15. It is a little strange with Thompson, has he been replaced yet? I cant remember seeing anything.

  16. nice Lesh!!

    he is a decent player though isnt he. left footed? is he more a central player rather than a winger though? he can take a free kick I know that much. and for arounf £2million wouldnt be all that bad either

  17. Don’t want to bang on forever about the Thopmson thing but the big question remains – who is Llambias talking to? For advice?
    It’s crucial stuff – transfers, contracts, budgets, wages, fees. Seems certain he goes to Ashley about big yes/no decisions on CH requests, but all the rest? I’m lost to think of who it could be.

  18. Don’t want to bang on about it???

    You said he was sacked. He wasn’t.

    You said he hadn’t been approached by Celtic. He had.

    Mebs comeback when you have an argument with a smidge more credibility?

  19. What I meant was – the post wasn’t really about Thompson (who was sacked!). It was about who the fck is pulling Llambias’ strings????

  20. Jesus man georgio, enough of the conspiracies man, get back to stirring your cauldron!!!

    Ashley is just the clubs bank, he has nothing to do with the club apart from when they want dosh!

    Apart from Best im more thank happy with the quality of the signings the club has made in the past year so lets not go over old – and boring – ground!

  21. ILM – didn’t mean to rattle anyone’s brain. Was just interested if anyone had any knowledge about who is actually running the club. I just can’t imagine it’s Owl Heed.
    Anyway I’m off – the stuff from the cauldron is flooding the floor

  22. Fank thuck for bloggers like trojan and gergio giving us real insight into exactly what gans on at the club – without them we’d all be in the dark!

    :roll:

  23. Don’t worry lads, the joe cole and klass-jan huntelaar press conferences will be on ssn soon.

  24. I keep looking through the LESH site but theres nowt really.

    I think we will have to wait for the sunday rags and then perhaps Monday we may get something. There was a rumour yesterday on De Guzman coming for a trial but who knows. Maybe Toonsy can get something from Neil Farrington on his Twitter thing

  25. waddle,no suprise to me that annan isn’t a goer,we’ll never sign anyone of that calibre.

  26. Raffo, Did you see Dickson Etuhu For 5 million ? And we havent even been link with him ? Does this we’re gonna sign him ?

  27. Magie pie eater… Harper has a history of high profile Prem clangers? Sorry but are we now referring to one incident… a brilliant shot from Alonso that could have caught out any keeper as multiple reasons to sell him?

    Funny how nobody ever got on about Given’s positioning, he was no doubt a brilliant even world class shot stopper, but proper footballing people, people who know a thing or two about playing between the posts can recgonise that Given was left looking suspect on occasions. But because he pulled some good reaction saves we never mention this.

    Harper was absolutely rock solid last season and as reliable as he was pulled off some brilliant stops. Harper is as good an all-round keeper as Given was a shot stopper. I want to see us reward Harper for his time and service with a full season in the prem and them respectfully, with dignity, to allow Krul to come through. Let’s not forget that despite Forster’s more local background, Krul has been around since a what, 16/17 year old? Including a shock incredible performance against Palermo. He’s my next no. 1.

  28. Ciaran – Nah mate I havent seen that one, and I dont like the sound of that rumour neither, plus isnt he the guy who Joey had a spat with when we last played at the stadium of shite?! (I know I know, who hasnt Joey had a spat with!!!)

  29. There you go biys, cheers Tino, I said he would stay. S Taylor for the No 5 shirt and the captains armband IMHO

  30. Taylor likes the 27 shirt Raffo mate, and should be nowhere near the captains armband imo!

  31. totally agree w/ peter @59. i think harps deserves this full season up in the prem for his loyalty to the club. he’s still got it. possibly even a 2nd season. we all know that krul and forster are good enough to eventually be our #1, but i don’t think either of them have the necessary experience to get them through a full prem season just yet.

  32. East coast – Loyalty has got bot all to do with anything, Dereks been there years and years but I wouldnt put him on as sub just to fulfill an ambition if he wanted it. We are a business and need to look to the future. I dont advocate getting rid but I think we must give the youngsters a game here and there or we will lose them. I though Harper made some errors last year and if you are good enough to play then you should play. Look at Rooney

  33. Oh is it the squad number fettish that JT has at Chelski?! I just like the first 11 to be numbered 1-11 like Holland were

  34. raffo – whichever of krul/forster doesn’t get loaned out will definitely get the cup games this season. i still think harper a better overall stopper given his experience, but either of them can hopefully push him to keep his performance level up. don’t disagree that harper made a few errors, but who didn’t? no one is going to have a perfectly flawless season.
    totally agree with you that if you’re good enough, you should be in th sqaud and hopefully thats the message CH is giving the players who are on the fringe.
    also, in regards to ST and his #27 – i think it was said before that he was a big phillipe albert fan.

  35. Oh well if it is in tribute to Philippe then he can keep it!! Same reason with Rob Lee and the No7 shirt for me.

    Well I hope that we at least integrate Vuckic into the team this season, hes the one im really keen to see integrated asap

  36. He may have the same number, but Steven is not fit to lace Phillipe’s boots man. One of my fave all time players for Newcastle

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