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Archive for tag: Steve Harper.

Newcastle’s last line of defence – Part Deux

January 5th, 2010 | 179 Comments |

Thou shalt not pass!
Thou shalt not pass!
Two months (and a bit) on from the last review, with the transfer window looming, I thought it might be worth having another look at how the players are doing. With off-field sagas taking a backseat for now, the focus is thankfully on the pitch and given our recent blip, does it add significance to the opportunity to invest this month?

We’re just about halfway through our first season in The Championship since our untimely relegation, and as we sit proudly at the top of the table, it goes some way to proving the quality and endeavour that we have available in the squad.

There is still that underlying fear that our position owes much to the lack of quality elsewhere in the league, an argument which holds some water. Much of our good start to the season is undoubtedly owed to a tremendous defensive record, which was something surely none of us expected.

For what it’s worth here’s my own term review of the keepers and defenders. I’ve only included the lads who have played at least a couple of games so far and I’ve just added to my initial review from back in October. (more…)


England’s No.1?

January 3rd, 2010 | 33 Comments |

Hoping for a bigger trophy?
Hoping for a bigger trophy?
According to his column in the Mail on Sunday, Gary Lineker reckons Newcastle’s very own Steve Harper can be the next Steve Bull. Well not quite, but he does believe that Fabio Capello should cast an eye to the Championship doldrums, if he’s worried about his World Cup custodian as he faces a dearth in quality goalkeeprs.

While there have been other examples, Sir Bobby Robson notably selected Steve Bull to represent England in the 1990 World Cup despite him playing in the second flight at the time. And Lineker believes that Capello would do well to follow the example of not ignoring those outside the Premiership, provided they’re capable enough.

Lineker wrote:

“I wonder if Fabio Capello might take a leaf out of Bobby Robson’s book by casting his eye over a player who is excelling in the Championship while rivals are floundering in the Premier League.

“Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper has been one of the main reasons his side are heading back to the top flight.

“Finding goalkeepers is a world problem because of the way the game has changed, particularly in the movement of the ball. (more…)


Swan song gone wrong! – Newcastle 3 Swansea 0

November 28th, 2009 | 51 Comments |

Two goals and two fingers!
Two goals and two fingers!
Seems like everybody was expecting a tight if tidy affair at St James’ today and with two of the meanest defences in the division, a high-soring game wasn’t on the cards. But with barely a third of the game gone, Newcastle were three goals to the good and showboating as some of the travelling contingent headed for early beers.

Expectations were high that Swansea would prove to be a well-organised and competent football team, particularly stingy at the back but a new-look forward line of Peter Lovenkrands and Marlon Harewood put paid to that theory within half an hour of the kick-off, and Swansea looked like just another fairly average Championship side. Eeh that Marlon Harewood, eh? I always knew he just needed time to settle in…

Harewood’s first came from a bouncing ball in the box and with the defence hesitant he headed the ball in the net to make it 1-0. After some good build up play on the left, Gutierrez finally managed to do what we have been crying out for him to do and delivered perfectly with his left, so that Lovenkrands had the simplest of headers to make it 2-0 with 21 minutes gone. And before we’d reached the thirty minute mark, more good work on the left and and an almost identical cross from Lovenkrands and a similar finish from Harewood and the game looked to be beyond the Welsh side at 3-0. (more…)


Toon go top thanks to balls, brilliance and best of luck.

November 2nd, 2009 | 51 Comments |

Sharp as a Blade tonight!
Sharp as a Blade tonight!
Once again, Newcastle United managed to leave us feeling slightly underwhelmed, and yet still went top of the league after taking all three points at Bramall Lane. The fact that we managed to grind out a 1-0 win against the red and white half of Sheffield was largely down to luck at their end, resilience at our’s and some brilliance from Stevie Harper.

After a fairly forgettable first half, in which Sheffield looked probably the more organised and potent force (though I use that term lightly). This despite their having several absences while we had generally a strong squad to pick from, though Hughton again left me scratching my head with his decisions. Not for the first time this season, the opposition seemed to move the ball sharper than us an didn’t look out of ideas once they crossed the halfway line. But for all their endeavour, the score remained 0-0 at half-time.

Newcastle came out and were the better side at the start of the second half and though there should have been a foul awarded as Kevin Nolan robbed Walker, Ryan Taylor nonetheless took full advantage and our second slice of luck was about to occur as his shot from 25 yards took a wicked deflection of Morgan, with Ian Bennett rooted to the spot in the Sheffield goal, the ball nestled into the far corner.

Sheffield threw everything but the kitchen sink at us in the dying minutes but we held on strongly due to resolute defending and some heroics in the goal from Harper. (more…)


Newcastle’s last line of defence!

October 26th, 2009 | 45 Comments |

Have we been nicking Premiership balls?
Have we been nicking Premiership balls?
Just how much can you discuss the same thing, day after day? Well to be fair, we’ve given it a good go but rather than rant on about the off-field stuff, I thought it might be time to reflect on the on-field matters at Newcastle United.

We’re almost a third of the way through our new season in The Championship and surely the players at our disposal must be half-decent seeing as we’re sitting pretty at the top of the table?

Clearly, some of us have different ideas about the quality in our squad and argue that our position is as much to do with luck and the lack of opposition. I’d probably agree with some of that but you can only beat what’s in front of you (to coin a well-worn cliche). Mind you, we could be here all night talking about the entire squad, so I’ll split it out a little.

For what it’s worth here’s my own term review of the the keepers and defenders. I’ve only included the lads who have played at least a couple of games so far – (more…)