Harper v Krul – You decide.

Posted on February 16th, 2011 | 41 Comments |

Who's best?
Who's best?
Right, there has been many an argument / heated debate between Toon followers about the perceived merits of our 2 top ‘keepers. Some say that current number one choice, Steve Harper, lacks ambition for staying with the club so long as perennial back up to Shay Given, while others praise his loyalty.

There were plenty who claimed Harper was the better option, but that due to Given’s whining in the press when coming back from injury, he forced various manager’s hands and got back into the team, not always on merit.

Some would say Harper wasn’t tough enough and gave way to Given for the sake of ‘team morale’.

Some prefer Tim Krul to Harper. Being the younger option to Harper, who is in the Autumn of his career and claiming he needed ‘blooding’ into the Premiership way of things and that he wouldn’t get that ‘doing a Harper’ from the bench.

Harper certainly has the experience through years at the club and his loyalty can’t really be questioned. Steve has also waited patiently for his opportunity.

Some would argue that he only has a limited number of years left, at the top level, although he still has plenty in the tank and if you look around, you’ll find that ‘keepers seem to get better with age. Hence, some top ‘keepers playing at the top of their game until they’re 40ish.

Krul, on the other hand, has played quite a few games now, and has shown he’s a very capable ‘keeper. Granted, he still has things to learn and will get better with age and experience. Both are very good ‘in the nets’ and we are blessed with a plethora of good young ones coming through in Forster/Soderberg/Alnwick.

So, at this point in the season, with quite a few games chalked up by each player, let’s take a look at the stats:

Harper first, as he started the season.

He’s played 12 and a half games, had 5 and a half clean sheets, whilst shipping 13 goals in the process (1.04 goals per game).

Krul, who got his big chance this season after an ill-advised, late challenge by Beckford on Harper at Everton early in the campaign, side-lined Steve.

He’s played 18 and a half games, with 2 and a half clean sheets, shipping 37 goals (2 goals per game).

Whilst they’ve played different amounts of games, Krul has played a few more cup games, some against supposed ‘weaker’ opposition, and they share the Everton games’ clean sheet and appearance, hence the half scores.

So, on face value, Harper has had more clean sheets, and has shipped almost half as many overall. Meanwhile, Krul has played more, has less clean sheets and has shipped far more goals per game.

Does this say Harper’s experience wins through? Or, Krul has just had more to do?

It is Krul’s first real test at Premiership level, but does he still have a way to go?

But, Harper hasn’t had that many games down the years and this season could also be construed as his first as a proper starting / preferred ‘keeper. Anyway, like it says at the top:

Harper V Krul – YOU DECIDE.


NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it'll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black 'n' White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

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41 Responses

  1. Now – Harper, no doubt.But for next 1-2 season, I think Harper will become our Goalkeeper coach and Krul or Foster challenge for No.1

    The game against Bermingham, I have to say Harper is simply the best. When we need him, he will be there.

  2. we have 3 canny keepers,its easy for me,its about the only dept we have some riches,pick the guy in form simples :)

  3. BTW,
    worky, i didn’t realize i’d submitted that for your perusal. :)
    I guess it’s even easier than i expected.
    Just need to get the pic bit together, i’m working on that.

  4. harper right now. krul, while has the talent, still needs to develop more. i think forsters loan this season has done him a load of good and could see krul getting a chance to go out on a short term loan with a recall clause as his best bet.

  5. Harper for me. That’s not to say Krul isn’t any good, I just think Harper is a bit better at the moment.

  6. Harper at the mo – think the fact that krul did ok has given him a kick up the arse, think harps gets more respect from defenders and krul still has a bit to learn
    I ain’t bothered that he stuck around in he reserves, looking at the English keepers in prem there ain’t any better than harps at the mo – Forster is def an option but sweatys football is not much diff to to league one in all honestyW

  7. 4411,
    i reckon you’ve hit it there mate, Harper does seem to have better command of the defense.

  8. Harper shades it at the present. Krul needs to be more composed. probably down to the fact that without injury to harper he only gets a fleeting appearance and tries hard to make an impression.

    This has been a common problem with our young un’s. too many people judge them on one game or a short substitute appearance. They need games and assurance

  9. The team looks more confident when Harper is playing,Krul has a couple of rough edges but will be a top keeper still very young for a keeper.

  10. The difference is in the distribution of the ball. Harper seems to be a better decision maker as to kick or throw, and Harper seems to have better control of where his kicks land.

  11. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm (Edit)

    *You all good mate.


    Yes Clint, thanks. It’s next week they’re messing about with my knee.

  12. Krul is gonna be a great ‘keeper for the Toon.
    He’s got plenty of time & a bit to learn, he can learn a lot of what he needs from Steve, i reckon.
    He just needs to bide his time, be ready for when he gets the call, like he did early in the season, when he did a great job, especially knowing he only had a novice in Soderberg on the bench behind him if he got hurt.
    As he gets more experience he’ll command the box & his defenders better.
    It’s a nice problem though, to have, at least, 2 great ‘keepers at the Toon.

  13. Well I picked Harper partly based on his performances this season and partly because I saw Tim Krul in Madame Koo’s on the Saturday night after the mighty Arsenal comeback match. When I went up and quietly said hello and mentioned that I thought he was a great keeper and that he was unlucky to have not kept the jersey when Harper came back from injury, he then decided to deny that he was in fact Tim Krul. What a kn0b!

    It was blatantly him. You should have time for fans especially when you’re a young player coming through. It’s not like he’s the big d1ck in town yet is it…

  14. Well out of the options displayed at the top of this page, no-one seems to have suggested Not Sure.

    He could be the dark horse in this debate, you mark my words; always back the underdog is my credo.

    Hope this helps.

  15. Have to admit, at the beginning of the season I thought krul should be given his chance, then when he played he pulled off some amazing saves, but the defence always looked nervous, they look more solid with harper there and harper should be one of the first names on the team sheet, just a shame he spent so long playing second fiddle to given or else he surely would have a few England caps.

  16. He still shoulda got some caps when you think they picked useless lumps like green.
    The lad has never let us down & come in & done well at a moments notice.

  17. Harper is the better distributor and is much calmer at the back than Krul. One gets the sense that the fullbacks have more confidence in Steve, which is enough for me.

  18. harpers far better in everything, its a no brainer however as with post 1 id bring Forster back in immediately. he is just too good. imagine him in a stable team after a few games the guy would be a legend in a couple of seasons.

  19. Amazing really, what a turn around.

    After loads of people crying out for Tim at the start of the season. Good comeback by Steve.

  20. joppadoni says:
    February 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    “id bring Forster back in immediately. he is just too good.”

    Frankenstein’s monster. The only time I saw him at a game, it was for 45 minutes at Leyton and he spent most of that time on all fours fishing the ball out the back of the net! I’m not saying he’s a bad goalkeeper at all though. I’d like to see more of him and he’s doing well at Celtic so they seem to say.

  21. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    “Amazing really, what a turn around.

    After loads of people crying out for Tim at the start of the season.”

    People blow in the wind, Clint.

  22. Yes Clint I would, Given is the best shot stopper we’ve had, yes his lack of stature hampered him sometimes in the box but great agility.

  23. Can’t disagree with that Maverick.

    Though he was always a bit suspect on free kicks being lobbed over him due to him standing way off his line & almost tempting the kicker.

    10 great years service from the lad though & saved wor ass on many occasion.

  24. Forster also won the league 1 trophy last year with Norwich, they loved him down there, he won a few MotM awards too.
    Seems to be doing a canny job north of the border too.
    Top prospect!

  25. they are both shit like your fickle fans did anyone see that 40 stoner at blackburn what a slob yet you tramps think its fun taking your primark shirts off at games you horrible thick inbred tramps. listen hurry up and have a “sack the board” protest i like a horror movie just try not to “boycoutt” the club…….ps…alan (no medals at nufc) shearer is a boring tramp

  26. You’re absolutely right SIRDENNISWISE, why didn’t any of us think of that before. Well done. You should be proud.

  27. ah nice to see someone as opinionated as Dennis Wise (and also as wrong as him in so many ways!)

    if we were all so “fickle” how come we had high attendances in the Championship than most Premiership?

    anyway, I digress, in terms of goalkeepers for next year I’d LIKE to see Harper keep the number 1 but with the likes of Krul and Forster sniffing around (and proving their worth) I can only see it getting more difficult for him.

    not that I am complaining about us having some depth in an area like! also, what are peoples thoughts on this Soderberg kid?

  28. I’m thinking one of either Forster or Krul will be sold off in the summer. Neither one wants to play 2nd fiddle to the other and both want to be number 1, and play more games. You cant blame them.
    After 2 seasons playing regularly for Norwich/Celtic Forster wont relish the odd game or two for the stiffs and bench warming for Harper, who is clearly miles better than both Krul and Forster and will still have the number 1 jersey next year.
    Krul could go out on loan like Forster has done, but I think he thinks he is better than that, so NUFC has a problem. Hence why I think one of them will be sold.
    Can already see the fat one rubbing his hands together.