Newcastle United player review 09/10 – Goalkeepers.

Posted on May 5th, 2010 | 120 Comments |

Harper: Waited long enough for his chance!
Harper: Waited long enough for his chance!
Here we go with the first in a series of player reviews for the season just passed. Rather than an individual write up for each player I thought it would give us more to discuss and work through if I reviewed the team by on-field position.

That of course means our player review for the season 09/10 will feature four editions; Goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers. So in true football cliche style, let’s build from the back and start off between the sticks with a review of our goalkeepers and how they have done this season.

It does appear to have been an area where we have been blessed with quality for a good few years now, and with top quality rising through the ranks at St James’ Park it looks likely to remain one of our strongest positions for some years to come. For many years we had Shay Given, a brilliant keeper and widely regarded as one of the best in the Premier League throughout his time with us. In January 2009, Shay moved on to Manchester City where of course we wish him all the best, apart from against us next season. Whilst losing Shay was a blow, most of us knew we had a good backup ‘keeper in the form of the forgotten man of Newcastle United.

Steve Harper – Harper has been at the club for 17 years now, and had only featured in a handful of games before Given’s departure. Shay leaving ensured that Harper finally got his chance in the first team for the remainder of last season, and it meant that he would be starting this season as No1 at Newcastle United for the first time in his career.

He has been solid all season and played in 45 of our 46 league games this campaign, setting a new club record for clean sheets along the way. Despite suffering a slight dip in form over the last few weeks of the season, his importance to the team cannot be ignored. In tight games, Harper has been the difference between a win and a draw at times, games against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and Preston at Deepdale spring to mind first. At 35 years old, he has at least another season left in the tank yet, and his experience could prove vital for next season in which he will surely retain the number 1 spot between the sticks.

Tim Krul – After his memorable debut against Palermo in 2006, and loan spells at Falirk and Carlisle, Krul has emerged as next in line for the number 1 jersey at Newcastle.

His first team action has been somewhat limited this term, mainly due to the form of Steve Harper, although he has still featured seven times for the first team this season. On the opening day he came on at half-time to replace the injured Harper, and made a string of top saves to keep the score level at 1-1. Cup games against Huddersfield, Peterborough and twice against Plymouth followed in which Krul again drew the plaudits. He made another half-time appearance at Swansea City before being handed his first league start of the campaign in the final day match against QPR, keeping a clean sheet in the process.

Fraser Forster – Whlist Fraser hasn’t featured for us this season, it’s only fair that I comment on just how well he has done whilst on loan at Norwich City this term. He has made 37 appearances for the Carrow Road outfit and been a key figure in their League 1 title winning campaign. Canaries boss Paul Lambert has been full of praise for Forster and it’s anticipated that Norwich will again try to sign the Hexham lad on loan for next season in The Championship. Fraser Forster also picked up the Norwich City Players Player of the Year award this season.

I’m sure you will all agree that providing we can keep them all happy we are pretty much sorted for a good number of years in goal. We also have young keeper Jak Alnwick plying his trade for the youth and looking promising, could he be another potential great off the production line of Newcastle goalkeepers?

Look out for my next player review which will feature our defence!

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

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120 Responses

  1. Interesting to see what happens here.

    Harps is obviously the man of the moment while Forster and Krul need match experience. It would make sense to loan Forster back to Norwich to get him some experience facing increased competition in the CCC. Since their fans seems to rate him and he helped get them promoted, I assume that he would be first choice. But then what to do with Krul? He seems to be getting a little restless with the lack of playing time. do you loan him out as well and look for an inexpensive back-up to Harps? Or do you let Krul play in the Cups and give him a few spot starts in the Prem?

  2. Someone has to be no. 2 & that’s Krul.
    Harper knows all about it & deserved his shot.
    Krul will learn a lot next season on a prem bench & getting some cup games.
    We can’t loan out Krul & Forster, that would be dumb in extremis.
    Harper No.1, Krul No.2, Forster loan to Norwich.

  3. I would send Tim krul on loan next season just like Fraser Forster has be and make Fraser Forster number 2.

  4. Na,
    Keep Krul as NO.2.
    Forster’s got a good craic going there & like MDS said, the increase in comp in the ccc will develop him.
    Krul just needs to bide his time & stick at being part of the first team, where he belongs.

  5. Fraser Forster is a better prospect than Tim Krul.Its a decision i wouldnt like to make myself!

  6. I agree Harpers form dipped a bit in some games towards the end of the season, but as a whole I would like to keep things as they are, the only prob I see on the Horizon is that Forster might not want to return to being a No2 or 3 after tasting regular 1st team action where he is clearly well liked and respected :(

  7. BIG DAVE,ay mate his form was real bad,should have been dropped imo,just like your form dipped in forcasts lol :) love that dog like

  8. Ice one wrong prediction in the last 5 games aint that bad :) as for the dog I cant believe how old he is getting over the last few months he never even wants to go out for a dander now, he seems to just want to potter about round the garden bumping into things :(


    Dirty fecking scummy Leeds fans!

    Dave – Chuckle reckons we should close this place down as we don’t write enough blogs compared to another blog that rewords about about 10 a day. What you reckon?

    Can’t find his comment about it, though he did say it.

  10. BIG DAVE,you know how life is m8 do 100 good things nobody sees it, do 1 bad thing everybody sees it ;) sorry to hear about dog m8,take it you had eyes tested like, has he a blue haze over them?,pupil like

  11. TOONSY said before you cannot beat quality,forget m8,theres a lot of sad people about

  12. Jesus icedog, I can’t even see the pic good enough to pick out any haze over the eyes lol

    Your eyes must be good ;)

  13. Toonsy thats pretty shit like but these things happen all the time :(
    As for this Blog I think it is a good thing to be honest that there isn’t any uziblogging as it tends to get real tiresome haveing new threads all the time and stops the flow of craic and banter. IMO Uncle Eds now is no different than news now and if thats what floats someone’s boat so be it. I just prefer to have a blog for blogging and News now for news and all the other shit stories that come out all the time.

  14. toonsy says:
    May 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    “Dave – Chuckle reckons we should close this place down as we don’t write enough blogs compared to another blog that rewords about about 10 a day. What you reckon?”

    Toonsy, Divven’t let Statler and Waldorf get ye radged again! :-)

  15. He’ll be on later showing dismay at how I have twisted his words, probably calling me a cnut again to boot.

    With charm like that I guess ‘Amstel time’ is also lonely time.

    Badabing ;)

  16. icedog says:
    May 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “WORKY any comment m8”

    Icedog, I got your other comment about the community site thing. I keep mulling it over every so often, but I’m gannin’ through a bit of a crisis ATM which makes me very busy. I may surprise with something one day when things are better. ;-)

    May have to get a straitjacket for Toonsy already if Statler and Waldorf keep it up!

  17. WORKY crossed wires m8,reply to comment @43,post on pancake/hall about 69 fairs cup

  18. icedog says:
    May 5, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    “WORKY crossed wires m8,reply to comment @43,post on pancake/hall about 69 fairs cup”

    Ahhh. Hang on!

  19. One of the young keepers will be sold this soon imo.

    We have two top class young keepers and a very good first team keeper – One of the young keepers will want to leave and the club will find a good offer impossible to turn down.

  20. Stu – Do you not think maybe Forster going back to Norwich on loan for the season would be a compromise? By the end of next season we will have an older Harper who can wind down a bit, plus Krul and Forster to scrap out for 1 and 2?

    Unless it’s a silly offer or one where the player wants to go to, like Krul to Man Utd for example.

  21. BIG DAVE,it comes to us all m8,thats why i belive always do good turns we might need one ourselfs one day,you have my heart m8 there like one of the family eh,give him a cuddle for me

  22. Icedog,

    Thanks for that, mate! It really means alot that you made so much effort. I’ve just had my two videos go down recently and I don’t have a betamax at all anymore.

    I think I’ll be able to track something down, or of you did get something already, that’s would be great. I’m still really touched that you made the effort with all that other stuff gannin’ on.

    BTW Icedog, have you ever had a look at that “Classic Football DVDs” link in the link section of this site? I think you might like it alot. I’m going to check him out for some old games there when things let up a little. I really want to do a long thing on Hughie Gallacher as well.

  23. Toonsy I cant see Harper wanting to wind down after next season after waiting for his chance for so long mate, and I cant see Forster or Krul wanting to be a No3

  24. WORKY nee bother,will check site out,will keep trying on 69,if no luck i”ll buy it for you and send it,might be a few weeks like,cheers

  25. Dave – True. Just trying to think of a way around it so we lose nobody like. I suppose with Harper missing out on so much football in his career it will give him some extra fuel in the tank, and goalkeepers generally last longer anyway.

  26. krul has a lot of traits of that great keeper m/u had for years,id”e put money on that,what odds big dave ;)

  27. toonsy says:
    May 5, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Don’t think Forster going out on loan is a bad shout but it would be Krul I think would be looking at being no 1 somewhere.

  28. Stuart79 says:
    May 5, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Yeah, I guess. I suppose if the money is good enough the we would probably go through with selling him.

  29. Stuart I think your right as he has high hopes of international footie and he wont get that on the bench. I think sometimes we have to see the bigger picture from the players side, especially for a keeper as there is only one position to play in.

  30. @ comment three……………. how can we send krul out on loan next season??? he is our number two ffs!!
    As`for given, i do not wish him all the best….. he had`been looking for a new club for a whole year before keegan’s departure. fcuk given. given for me has proved to be a snake.

  31. toonsy says:
    May 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    That’s the problem isn’t it, toonsy. If we get a good offer we will sell – Probably not just keepers either.

    Although what is a good offer? I wouldn’t have sold Given unless we got a good offer and £6m wasn’t a good offer imo – Especially considering who was doing the offering.

  32. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Doesn’t work like that though, does it? Not at a club like ours. They might wait their turn at Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal but not a lower end club.

    That’s life…

  33. Given himself lowered the price by wanting away.
    That’s a sure fire bargaining chip right there.
    Hence the price.

  34. Stu – True, I don’t think £6 mill was good enough, but, if a player hands in a transfer request what can you do?

  35. That’s one opinion Stuart.
    Krul would be on the bench at a top 4/5 club, just the same.

  36. For now,
    he’s a No.2, he’s young, unproven, an up & comer.
    A No.2

  37. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm


    We didn’t have to sell, he was under contract.

    Berbatov was desperate to leave Spurs but they held out until the last minute of the transfer window and got £32m.

    Was just poor really, considering we had a ready made replacement in Harper so we could and should have gone to the bitter end with it.

  38. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm
    That’s one opinion Stuart.
    Krul would be on the bench at a top 4/5 club, just the same

    There is a difference though in being on the bench in a relegation scrap or lower/mid table club, to being at a CL club. They would at least think IF they get to be number one they will be playing in big games, against the best players. It will have been worth it.

  39. Well Stuart,
    we don’t know the in’s & out’s do we?
    But if someone wants to be away, it’s a lot harder to push it.
    & if they do want away, hadaway with ’em, cos it’s pointless keeping them, isn’t it?

  40. Unbelievable really.

    Spurs have spent a fortune without crippling the club financially and end up in the Champions League.

    Amazing what you can do with the right man spending some decent money.

    City will spend millions and millions but if they chop and change their manager every year they’ll find it hard to achieve anything.

  41. Spuds would be crippled if they had to balance the books, which they don’t.
    But they’ve still said that igor has to sell to buy from now on.

  42. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Yeah I agree, if someone wants out they should go. But not on their terms – We could have easily got £10-11m for Givben if we had some balls. Look what happened with Lescott at Everton – He was worth £8m max – City started with a £12m bid and ended up paying £24m!

    We had nothing to lose.

  43. if we sold either krul or forster, they’d be a backup somewhere else. unless that’s a backup to someone who is in their last season and there isn’t already an established #2 waiting in line, i don’t see them needing to go. only place they’d be a #1 imo is CCC or lower. not much ambition there, no?
    that said, i think the idea of re-loaning FF back to norwich is the way to go. krul to be our #2 and get the cups and odd runouts.

  44. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Can you explain to me how a FTSE 100 company doesn’t have to balance the books?

    Also I gaurantee you they don’t have to sell before they buy this summer. Not now they have a gauranteed £20m in extra income – Minimum!

  45. Except we had novices dealing with it.
    I think they’ve toughened up since then.
    i.e. Martins £9m etc

  46. Cos they’re bank rolled by that mega group, can’t remember the name.
    levy is just a show chairman.
    £20m is chicken feed.
    Look at american sports if you wanna see real money changing hands.

  47. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm
    Except we had novices dealing with it.
    I think they’ve toughened up since then.
    i.e. Martins £9m etc

    Hope so – Although I cannot for the life of me believe that Ashley was/is a pushover. We desperately needed the money didn’t we?

    Hopefully we won’t be selling anymore of our best players in the future, but I find that too hard to believe.

  48. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Spurs’ largest shareholder is Joe Lewis but he doesn’t bank roll them – He is just the majority shareholder.

    Check out their accounts – They made a profit last year.

    They increase their turnover instead of reducing their spending.

    Makes sense to me.

  49. @ stu 61 – true that’s an extra 20M for next season,but what about the next? pretty sure city will drop another bajillionity and change to make sure they’re top 4 next season.
    i feel like spurs have pushed their spending and need to manage this extra income correctly. if not…well…liverpool anyone?

  50. nah toonsy, didn’t mean they’ve spent it all this season. i just feel like over the last 3-4 years, they’ve spent quite a bit, at least in comparison to those on a similar level (ie villa, everton) would say city too, but yea… :)

    granted i don’t have numbers in front of me so i could be totally wrong.

  51. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    No and not bothered – It’s irelevant – I would pay double what I pay to watch NUFC play like they do and get into the CL.


    Spurs spent a fortune in 2008 summer and then again in the January 09 under Redknapp and he then spent heavily again this summer.

    They did sell Berbatov and Kean during that period but all that money and more was reinvested.

    That’s the main thing – If they had just banked that money they would have been bottom half.

  52. toonsy,
    that’s where they get money from, suck it out of their 30 odd k fans.
    Ticket & season ticket prices are possibly the highest going.
    Grands for season, £70+ for some tickets. Nice.
    We wouldn’t wear it, would we?

  53. eastcoast – I think it’s a bit of a myth that these teams are throwing cash around like people keep saying. It just isn’t happening, apart from City and perhaps a one off mad transfer window.

  54. For 08/09 Spurs spent £18.75 million
    For 90/10 Spurs spent £0.5 million

    What Spurs do is rotate their squad, strengthen as they go.

  55. I seem to remember A-Rod, K Griffey jr etc signing £200m+ deals years back.

  56. They ain’t got anyone big to sell anymore though (spuds).
    Which is why the no.s add up right now.
    You take the sales away & they’d be much bigger no.s.

  57. CLiNT – Aye but the money in American sports makes the PL look like a penny bizarre. Their advertising income is immense, mind-boggling in fact.

  58. toonsy, maybe, maybe not. i mean, look at the list of players they bought since last summer.

    what did we get for bassong again? i know it was officially listed as undisclosed, but i’d imaging that crouch and possibly krancjar went for at least as much, if not more. that crew right there i’d guess cost them at least in the 25-30M range. fair guess?

    yea they’ve sold berbatov, keane (technically a wash i think)bent and others, so i’m sure it evens out somewhere for them.

  59. Aye toonsy.
    that’s what i’m saying, we deal in joke money, they deal in monopoly money.
    Mental big.
    £50m for winning the champs league, funny!

  60. toonsy says:
    May 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    That’s net spend – That’s not actually the point.

    They have been lucky that they have sold a couple of players for a combined fee of over £50m plus the likes of Defoe ect…

    The fact is they have reinvested all that money. That’s the major point. If you spend it wisely you can make things happen.

    They haven’t let the selling of their better players reduce the quality of their squad – They have done that by reinvesting all that money and not wacking it in a bank.

    Simple really – If you sell your best players and replace them with poorer players you slide down the table – If you replace them with good players and sometimes better players you go up the table.

    Look no further than us and Spurs for complete polar opposites and examples of the above.

  61. eastcoast – That’s right. They aren’t spending new money, they are just reinvesting money from players sold basically.

    On the face of it, it looks ompressive that they have bought all them players, but really all they are doing is spending the profit from those sales, or selling to balance books if they outlay the money to buy someone first if you know what I mean.

  62. But we sold our ‘better’ players after we went down, so bad analogy.
    Turmoil will kill anything.

  63. Stu – We are actually agreeing(ish)

    The point is that people are banging on about teams spending a shedload of cash when it really isn’t the case. They are looking at what they spend on incoming players and not what they recoup which gives a clearer picture that it isn’t new money being spent.

    Your quite right that Spurs have reinvested the cash, but it isn’t new money.

  64. clint – american sports money is stupid. baseball and basketball players make ridiculous amounts of money. american football is a bit different as they have salary caps, so its not as crazy, but the stars still make big money there.

    here’s a few. didn’t include individual sports (golf, boxing)

    shaquille oneal: 20M
    kobe bryant: 17.8M
    kevin garnett: 21M
    derek jeter: 22M
    a-rod: 22M

    and that was a list from 2007. numbers also don’t include what these guys make in endorsements, which doubles their income in some cases. it’s amazing figures.

  65. eastcoast,
    as i thought mate, thanx.
    See those guys could run our teams out of their own pockets.

  66. eastcoast – Don’t worry, I didn’t know the exact figures of the top of my head, and to be honest I was surprised when I saw how little new money Spurs actually spent, although I did have a feeling that there wasn’t that much diffrence between money spent/money in for Spurs.

    Which kind of confirms that many people just look at or remember the signings and not how much was recouped on player sales, particularly of clubs that aren’t our own and as such we only really pay limited attention to :)

  67. clint – would be nice. coupel of them pitch in a half a years salary would set us up with all we would need for next season!

    toonsy – good point. though i feel like more and more deals are “undisclosed” so it’s kind of hard to tell anymore.

    been fun guys. gotta get the hell out of the office now and head to the bars! cinco de mayo awaits!

  68. CLiNT,

    I was actually referring to pre relegation. The likes of Parker, Emre, Milner, Given or nzogbia. Plenty more too.

    But hey ho

  69. Yes we got decent money but it wasn’t Mostly reinvested and when a little of it was they weren’t as good as the ones they were replacing.

  70. Some bad attitudes there like.
    & not many trees pulled up either.

    But when you have change of owners, multi change of managers, what can you expect?
    Players wanting to leave etc.

  71. Fraser Forster~~~Almost same amount of Clean Sheets as Harper.

    Games Saves Clean Sheets
    41 221 20

  72. i see a few younguns have been released.
    Wesley Ngo- Baheng, Callum Morris, Fank Danquah, Jonny Godsmark and Darren Lough

  73. Great going guys. Nice to read through all these comments. I just think we need not to worry about what Spur are all about. If Mike wants to achieve something , He should invest around 20-25 Mil and that should buy us 3-4 good players. We should also get rid of same number of players from senior squad so that no salary overheads are there. On top of that club should plan to raise more money from other avenues like advertisements and sponsorships.

    In longer run there should be plan to make a name in developing countries and big economies like China and India. It will be hard but slowly if we can work on it, then it can happen. As for very small amount of money you can sponsor various sporting activities at root level. Other than this we should also look at establishing 2-3 academies worldwide to attract local talent. It won’t cost much but can provide great talent in long run. Atleast one in South America and One in Africa and might be one in Europe somewhere.

    Main thing is at every organization to succeed, a visionary leader is required. I hope Mike can see how to generate more money and then spend on squad. We atleast should be playing EUROPA every year or atleast finish Top 8 every year for some years.

  74. Hitman @ 100…. doesn’t that translate into minimal spend on new faces?

    It could do just that but I suspect that Hughton’s uttered those words as reassurance to the current squad and thus avoiding any itchy feet.

    Wheteher his assessment is right though will become obvious by winter and any weaknesses, addressed….. we hope!

  75. hughton is towing the party line,he wants to grow a set and tell the FCB straight :wink:

  76. You’re probably right hitman but I do expect some reinforcements to the squad.

    The key to next season is that the fans don’t expect miracles in our first season back in the Prem. I know it sounds very negative, but if next season’s aim is to avoid relegation, that’ll be a success.

    We must be patient and not become a Yo-Yo club and tale one step at a time…. learn to walk before trying to run.

    Onwards and upwards for the lads!

  77. id be happy with 4th bottom next season might be negative but i dont expect much with ashley

  78. play them all at the same time…that should keep the keepers happy & keep us in the prem next season..

    ….icedog , kirk’s going speed dating soon.

  79. Toonsy
    Do you understand english ?
    The comment you refered to merely mentioned the combined number of blogs on one page, followed by my expressing that it was too many for the average reader to deal with.
    (think 14 on one page)
    It`s of no concern to me how many blogs you write, or for that matter how many Ed. does.
    Point was that sometimes less is more,

  80. interesting bit of news on sky last night prior to the man city spurs game, they showed the club net spending league over the last 3 years no surprises that City were top but even after selling Darren Bent, Berbatov etc Spurs were second with a net loss of 73 million ! that was way ahead of Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool – be interesting to see what they spend in the summer, suppose they’ll sell robbbie keane but don’t think he’s worth more than 10 million and Harrys already banging on about bringing top players in – if they get knocked out in qualifying round they’ll be up sh!t creek

  81. @chris – just been talking to my norwich supporting mate, we’ll def be going

  82. dunno yet – suppose it all depends on how many tickets they sell

    Tickets for City’s home friendlies against Newcastle and Everton will go on sale exclusively to 2010-11 season ticket holders from 9am Tuesday, June 1, with remaining tickets on general sale from 9am Monday, June 7

    I’ll prob book thru toon website just in case

  83. Yes it`s true most proffessional athlete`s in the US earn big bucks and most of the revenue is from tv.
    But you have to realize there are over one hundred and sixty baseball games broadcast each season, over eighty basketball games but much fewer US football games.
    Also the size of squads differ, with the largest in football followed by baseball then basketball.
    From those figures it`s easy to see why footballers are paid in general less than the other two.
    However basketball has a salary cap,where the owners recieve a certain amount of gross revenue the rest going to the players, it`s quite complicated but seems to work to the benefit of both sides.
    The EPL appears to be attracting a good number of US investors, which leads me to believe they expect to get a decent return on their money, Glazers, Hicks and his partner, Randy Lerner, Kronke etc.
    It`s my belief that money can be made by a well run club and that revenues will increase substantially in the coming seasons.
    Naturally local markets and teams with small population centers cannot match the earning ability of dense population centers and teams with an International following (Man. U., the big London sides etc)
    Though NUFC has a loyal fan base , a state of the art stadium etc. it lacks the massive international fan base of say a Man. U. therfore revenue from shirts and other sales bring in far less revenue, none the less it has to be an attractive enough target for an investor with an eye to-wards the future.
    The fact our present owner has attempted to sell the club on various occasions, indicates he wants out and it certainly would`nt bother me if we were to be bought by US interests, perhaps they could institute a swound business plan for the future.

  84. @Chuck – Glazers, Hicks and co have loaded the clubs with debt, will be interesting to see how Liverpol get on without a couple of seasons in chumps league to finance player aquisition, won’t be surprised to see Torres leave and he’s the only player they’ll get really good money for (discounting Gerrard as I doubt he’ll leave)
    Benitez has been a bit of a disaster in the transfer market

  85. Chuck says:

    “and it certainly would`nt bother me if we were to be bought by US interests, perhaps they could institute a swound business plan for the future.”

    If they’re anything like Hicks, Gillett and the Glazers, no thanks.

  86. Or we could end up with a Randy Lerner or Ellis Short? Although both of them have now turned off the money tap apparently.

  87. toonsy says:
    May 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    “Or we could end up with a Randy Lerner or Ellis Short? Although both of them have now turned off the money tap apparently.”

    “Randy Lerner” sounds like a character out of a ‘Carry On’ film, and any gadgie who would invest the kind of money Short has on that lot of Wearside vagrants must be a brick short of a hod, Toonsy.