United in Safe Hands

Posted on September 13th, 2010 | 114 Comments |

Krul, Harper and Forster - Sorted.
Krul, Harper and Forster - Sorted.
I have always felt United have been spoilt for choice with goalkeepers, for the last ten years at least, with Shay Given being and Steve Harper battling for the No.1 jersey. And now, even with Given being No.2 at Manchester ‘Abu Dhabi’ City, United are still blessed in this position.

The fact that our No.3, Fraser Forster, made his Celtic Park debut this weekend as The Hoops cruised to a 3-0 win over Hearts means that the 22-year-old could potentially add an SPL winners medal to the League One winners medal he already holds after a superb season with Norwich City last season.
Even if he did return with the two Championships to his name he will be far from guaranteed even a spot on the bench next season with United also having Dutchman Tim Krul, who has been fantastic whenever he has been called upon for the first team.

I don’t expect United to be blessed with the same incredible loyalty Steve Harper showed us by playing second fiddle for ten years from Krul or Forster, and the next 2-3 years could decide which one is moulded into Harper’s long term replacement. Krul has enjoyed successful loan spells in recent years at Falkirk and Carlisle United and at 22, like Forster, still has a good 15 years at least ahead of him.

After waiting so long to be No.1 at United, even at the age of 35, I am sure Harper is still in no rush to surrender his position at United, and in all honesty he deserves the right to be our No.1 untill he is not longer capable of performing at the highest level.

But Newcastle must also look towards the long term and I would love to see Forster and Krul compete for at least one season battling to be No.1. It can be ruthless being a goalkeeper as Harper knows, he was No.1 during the ’99-’00 season before a freak injury in training allowed Given to step in, and he set up home between the posts for the next eight years.

Both Forster and Krul have the potential to emulate the acheivements of Given. Being young and ambitious, my only worry is they could become tired of being No.2 to Steve Harper who could potentially be number one for another five years. Simply look at Edwin Van Der Sar at Manchester United who has held out competition from Thomas Kuszczak, Ben Foster and others and remains No.1 now at the ripe old age of 39!

It has been four years since Krul made his terrific debut away to Palermo in the UEFA Cup, exciting us all with a string of fantastic saves. Four years on and the Dutchman is now an established Under-21 international but spent last season as No.2 to Harper, again coming to United’s rescue on the opening day of last season with a string of second-half saves away at West Brom.

Forster has quietly build up his reputation in the shadows of Krul with loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Stockport County before winning player of the year award for Norwich City. His clean sheet record with all three clubs exceeded 50% and he lifted the ‘Golden Gloves’ award for League One last season.

His move to Celtic was instigated by former coach Alan Thompson’s recommendation to Celtic boss Neil Lennon. The move will only help to increase his maturity and personally I am excited to see how our Hexham born keeper copes with the pressure of his first Old Firm derby. However he fares, I have no doubt he will return to St James’ Park bigger, better and stronger for the experience.

At the moment it is impossible to say which one will end up as our long-term No.1, but I can say we are most definately in safe hands in at least one area of the pitch at St James’ for some time to come.

Which is pretty reassuring in all honesty!

NUFCBlog Author: Paul Reece Paul Reece has written 14 articles on this blog.

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114 Responses

  1. I think Forster may well turn out to be our best keeper by as sonn as next season. Krul just hasen’t the experience that Forster has now. Plus Forster is such a giant I can see him filling the goal when diving.

  2. ILM – I didn’t write this mate ;)

    On topic, I think Harper has looked shakey at times but he won’t be dropped. He has the experience.

    Krul is a good shot-stopper, but he worries me with crosses to be honest.

    Forster has been untested for us at first-team level, but the stats don’t lie and it looks like he is going to be a cracker.

  3. I think Forster will turn out to be the better keeper with the way things are going. Anyways i know some people want Nolan dropped for saturday but i can’t see it happening, it will probably most likley be;

    Perch Williamson Coloccini Enrique
    Ben Arfa Barton Tiote Jonas

    Subs; Krul, Campbell, R.Taylor, Smith, Routledge, Lovenkrands, Ameobi.

    People agree?

  4. Aye it’s Foster for me like, got nothing to back that up with like, just what I think. Any one stood next to him? He is a big lump like isn’t he…

  5. toonsy,

    I think Harper is not what he was when we was on top form years ago. He’s reached that age where some aspects of his reactions and timing he just won’t ever get back. He is by far the best kicker though, I wouldn’t exactly say he has huge experience for a 35 year old, but certainly more than the other two. He couldn’t be blamed for Sat though.

    I think Forster may just surprise a few who think Krul is our dead cert next keeper; if he continues to develop like he did last season at Norwich. Glad he’s at Celtic.

  6. ha i see im the first to vote for a win on sat!

    Personally i think harps is a tad dodge he always seems to fall backwards without spreading himself well enough.

    Right about Krul lacking the experience however and TBH I would have prefered to see him go out and Fraser stay.

  7. i know it’s a totally different subject but i know people want Nolan dropped because he’s too slow but i feel when Ben Arfa starts probably rm he will cut inside and be the ‘number 10’ we want but when defending he will go out wide again, i do feel though with Ben Arfa not being the greatest defensively and Perch behind him, it might be a weak point defensively whereas on the other side Jose and Jonas are a good partnership defending and attacking..

  8. dan4toon
    I think he may play the same team, however I hope he will play Tiote instead of Smith. But over all, nee panic eh, Blackpool was one bad game, however if they have any sort of professionalism about them and want to gain back some respect for Saturday’s display, they ought to put in a good shift.

    Let Nolan start, the 4-5-1 away from home has been kind to us and I think it suits us, and Nolan, so stick with it I say. Both Jonas and Routledge had stinkers on Sat but they are good, pacey outlets, an important tactic away from home, so I would stick with them. Introduce Ben Arfa on the hour if things are needing to be changed.

    Loose to Blackpool at home, win at Everton away, could only happen to us like…





  9. Aye they do grow them big in Hexham dont they Toonsy Lad :lol: .
    I totally agree with you (Paul ?) we have been blessed in the keeper Dept for a fair few years, long may it continue

  10. Good article. Who is writing on here these days? Thought it was just Toonsy. I would prefer a team full of Geordies so naturally would prefer Foster to come good. I think most of us prefer to see one of the kids develop into a special player than the club buy a ‘box office’ player. Andy Carroll is so much better than a big summer signing.

  11. I Love Mike,
    i know what you mean but i just feel that Ben Arfa playing instead of Routledge it offers us more of a goal threat and better delivery. I have to say though i am very confident about Carroll beating Heitinga and Distin in the air, although i feel confident about Carroll beating most people in the air.

  12. Lets give Benny and Tiote a chance eh. In the 20 mins benny played, Ive got to be honest he looks better than anything we hve currently got and I can see him creating more than Jonas tbh. Tiote we havn’t even seen yet but he has to be better than Smith. Smith is not a premier league player anymore and hasn’t been for a long time, maybe since his leg break.

  13. Agree with the leading article. Goalkeepers is probably our overall strongest position.

    The game is played at both ends and all of the chat is what we do in the final third. For me our strikers should be two from Ranger, Vuckic, Xisco and Carroll when playing a four four two.

    Saturday coming is a poser. Do we worry too much about Everton and their physical approach and pick a physical side or do we just pick a side that we belive is our best. even if full of lighweights in the tackle.

  14. Aye that’s one position we don’t need to strengthen……just like the 80’s when we had Kevin Carr and Martin Thomas ……….er well mytbe not :-)

  15. BIG DAVE heard from a good sauce youve been speaking with a forked tongue m8,been a bad boy eh tut tut

  16. good post m8,still worry about harper like,yes he pulled off a couple of saves on sat,one game ive felt a bit better but one swallow doesnt make a summer

  17. RICHIETOON aye m8 so you new about it,poor batty,honest peace loveing fellow like that never has a bad word for anyone,maybe stu,think hes turning into a judas like m8

  18. Me stalking ? never :lol: but I can remember someone on .com stalking and abusing him, actually come to think of it he had lots of stalkers ;).
    Ice I know where yer coming from about Harper he does seem to have an odd off day

  19. I would like to see it be forster for same reason as lacedeamonia i would like to see a team with a backbone at least of home grown geordie players, and would preferred to see krul go out on loan as he has only played something like 30 competitive club games i think.

    Alot may depend on how forster performs in the mickey mouse league this season, started brightly with two clean sheets

  20. BIG DAVE you always said you never used a nick,and to pick on poor batty leading him up the garden path.you do know you will get some stick now like :)

  21. Richie I dont normally work Mon nights, and yer right mate trust no one except maybe Ice and Me :) but no one else and you should be ok ;)

  22. PAUL C.H. sees them every day in training maybe he sees more than us,just a thought like,but in saying that ime not a 100% harper fan

  23. Ice I only have 1 nick on here mate scouts honour ;) but I do have a different one on Eds :lol: I had been dropping Batty hints for a few months but never guessed it was me just everyone else aprt from me :)

  24. BIG DAVE thats alright if it was on eds blog,suspended sentenace then,batty might drop the charge if you talk nice to him :)

  25. Richie I dont think Stoke will be an easy game either they are good travellers, talking of travellers where is Batty tonight, maybe moonlighting some lead without telling you and Ice ;)

  26. Dave….if they don’t pick up a win before they play us and if we can get the first goal I think they’ll go to pieces……..lots of if’s there tho.

  27. yeh c.h will seee more then anyone and will be his decision just stating who i would like to see, harper must still be doing something right to keep krul behind him despite krul impressing when called upon

  28. Richie it wouldn’t matter to Batty if its too windy he would still expect you’s to climb the roofs ;) .
    Aye Ice I heard he was fond of the bins especailly asda’s and tesco’s its amazing what he can do with out of date food.
    Richie I think we can beat them especailly if we score 1st

  29. ice,
    aye reet.
    That’s why he’s in my fantasy team.
    The little get.
    Wouldn’t mind a few minus points from him on satda like.

  30. off topic like but went to see LuaLua on Sat (I live doon Brighton) he had a stormer of a game scoring a blinder and cleverly setting up the 2nd.
    on topic – I’m hoping hughton wont replace Jonas with Ben Arfa, think he might just start picking two of Routledge, Jonas and Ben Arfa and leave Nolan, Barton as untouchables
    Smith is obviously going to be replaced with Tiote tho not sure where Cambell is going to get a game – poss Chelsea in LC?

  31. I just realized that y’can sub players last week.
    that lost us a good few points like.

  32. Stevep,
    aye Sol v chelsea.
    HBA should get on v everton, but only as sub if we play the away 451 form.

  33. can’t see why Carroll would goto Spurs – they’re 1 point above us and look like they’ll struggle this season – oh and they have wasp stung face in charge the kin crook :)

  34. arry’s gonna have problems with the league & chumps league, especially with injuries mounting.

  35. Big Dave says:
    September 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm
    Richie I dont normally work Mon nights, and yer right mate trust no one except maybe Ice and Me but no one else and you should be ok<<<<< rich never trust big d

  36. BATTY hes gone into hideing now.

    its richie turn to sell that stuff at the car-boot you scratted oot them bins mind

  37. oh yeah – reckon Forster will turn out to be better keeper but it’ll be close between him and Krul, Harpers starting to look past his sell by date for me
    not worried about spuds bidding for carroll as I cant see why he would go there and even Ashleys not stupid enough to sell him

    I really like Smith, he wears his heart on his sleeve and gives his all, unfortunately it isn’t good enough in our team, it aint like we’re man u where people like fletcher can over achieve and look decent in a very good squad – fletcher would look shite at the toon
    sorry smith but its a no from me :(

  38. batty

    Not sure about that mate. Forster is getting by far the better experience at the min and there was not much between them to start with. 2 clean sheets in 2 games so far, I know its only scotland but if he gets a SPL medal to go with his League 1 medal last season could hardly dismiss him as 2nd fiddle to Krul. He is the one I would hang on to if we were forced to lose one, can see him being a very good keeper.

  39. stevep says:
    September 13, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    ‘I really like Smith, he wears his heart on his sleeve and gives his all, unfortunately it isn’t good enough in our team, it aint like we’re man u where people like fletcher can over achieve and look decent in a very good squad – fletcher would look shite at the toon
    sorry smith but its a no from me’

    Totally agree.

    We should never sign any players from man u coz they’ll only ever be cast offs, same go’s for Simpson. Have to sign players from feeder clubs on the way up not down.

  40. Went to see under18’s saturday, Alnwick looked solid in goal, one point pulled of a great double save, haven’t see much of the other youngster.

  41. Good craic good craic lads. :)

    Not saying for one second that I dont appreciate their goals and contribution to us getting back up last season. Why though can’t some people realise that Nolan, Smith and R.Taylor just arn’t good enough for the premier league and never will be anymore. Why do we get these players on 5 year contracts so that we’re stuck with them and pay them £60K a week? Coz we can’t attract the best players in the North East and never will. My dad is 56, he was 15 the last time he saw us win something. I could be an old man in a cripple cart and still not see us win anything!

  42. DJG

    Ryan Taylor, Simpson an perch r all similar defending quality but Taylor is the only wide player who can hit a decent cross in for Carroll, may as well have him at right back

  43. Toon_factor says:
    September 13, 2010 at 10:06 pm
    Drop perch play Ryan Taylor at rb ffs hughton

    Whats Perch done wrong like? Seen all the games so far and he’s been fine. It was only this time last year that people were saying Ryan Taylor wasn’t good enough to be in the team!

    Would be pretty easy to list the players who were shocking in their first season only to be fantastic after they settle in? Bit of patience eh, if we’re to survive we need continuity in the team and continuous support from the fans, no team has ever survived a relegation battle without the support from their fans, remember that.

  44. I love mike

    Perch hasn’t done anything wrong and I’m normally the first one to tell the slaggers to fcuk off but from what I’ve seen this season there has been no attack coming from down the right and that’s definitely the weakest link in the team so a thought put Ryan Taylor at rb cos him and perch are sImilar quality defenders butvryan taylor 100% better attacking so maybe moving jonas to rm to help out Taylor and playing ben arfa lm cos Enrique doesn’t need the help defending from jonas whereas Ryan Taylor might

  45. I have been pleased with Perch like. R.Taylor would possibly offer more from set-pieces but he isnt good enough to be a premier league RB and neither is Simpson, thats why he was 4th choice at Man U and Ferguson prefered to play a CB there. Perch might be good enough but he needs more time to just learn that 1 position and have a settled back 4. I hope Hughton doesn’t mess about playing him at LB, that’s what Kadar is for.

  46. ———-Harper———-

    Is what I would go for and just be brave like Blackpool showed us.

    Everton will give us a good indication of what to expect from this season, they are the typical mid-prem team. If we switch off they will destroy us, if we perform like these players can, who knows.

  47. As far as goalkeeping goes I think Harps has still got a bit left in the tank, agreed he has looked a tad shakey at points this season, but in comparison to most English keepers he’s having a blinder :) At least I wouldn’t blame him for any of our defeats, so yeah he’s still reasonably solid, and seems like a top bloke on top of that. As far as Krul and Forster go..I think unfortunately that Krul might be a victim of his slight edge in experience, as I would imagine Forster is quite happy to be seing regular action out on loan, even if he’s not at newcastle, he’s picking up regular games and much needed experience..as for Krul, well he can take cup game duty but in all honesty how long are we going to last in any of those? And I suppose he’ll get the nods if Harps is injured, but otherwise I can see him becoming a bit frustrated at his lack of games, he’s young for a keeper but he does look quality so undoubtably he’ll want to be playing somewhere, even if he does love newcastle (and the birds love him :) )

    As for Everton, I’m not expecting anything out of it other than a performance. Hopefully the old guard will up their game to make up for their all round poor performances. Fairplay there were chances, but for me Barton’s chance should have been a cert, and it would have at least allowed us to keep a point. Smith’s tackle did us in lets be honest, I don’t mind the lad and fairplay you have to blame management for his wages and contract, I’d take 60k to play football even if I knew I was awful, its a shame he doesn’t often seem to want to earn it, but I thought he played well against Man U and Villa. Still I’d like to give tiote a blast, if he’s got pace it’d be good to see. As for those wanting Arfa on instead of Nolan well thats just madness…imo play the usuals and then see where we stand at half time- Whoever’s not pulling their weight-have a word-and if its still not their day bring on the new lads.

  48. Personally I still think we need to sign a specialist RB. Of the guys we have I think Simpson is the strongest in that position if he can just hurry up and get back from injury. I think highly of Perch, but don’t think his best position is RB. I’d love to see the lad in midfield. He has great pace and passing abilities. I hope Hughton gives Perch a chance sometime to play midfield as I think it would be very interesting to see him play from that position. For Saturday’s game I’d like to see Harper, Perch, Williamson, Colo, Enrique, Routledge, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Jonas, Lovenkrands, Carroll. With Barton, Campbell and Nolan coming on as subs if anyone shows signs of tiring.

  49. Jill
    With that line up, if we have a few in/around the box for a corner or free kick, our midfield would be non-existent if they broke on us, they would be practically be straight in on goal.

  50. ILM- agreed
    As much as I want to see attacking football, the best result we could get out of everton imo would be 0-0.
    Carroll will cause enough trouble up there and make them worry about throwing too many bodies forward, but lets be realistic, the most we can get is a point really.

    Blimey 17 votes for a draw?
    Where have all the doom and gloomers gone :)

  51. newkiebrown
    We have great height in the team now, so with just one decent delivery we have a chance of snatching a goal, like Williamson on sat, that was pretty much just a punt into the box and he hit the post.
    I would be happy with a 0-0, but as I say, with our height, you never know… :D

  52. Everton only have two points and will be desperate to catch up to their top half spot, so I thing we just need to go there and keep the ball and frustrate them as much as possible until the home fans start to get windy, creating our own chances on the break and from set-pieces and hoping we can finish one this time. Aslong as we play better and just basically do what blackpool are doing away I will be happy. A 0-0 or 1-1 would be a superb result. I don’t think the toffees are a top 6 team, Man U just switched off at the end. Look at the 3 goals Man U banged in, two were poor defending and the sort that are Big Andy’s bread and butter so I live in hope. Please play Benny on the right wing Hughton. Routledge can’t beat the first defender, within 5 mins benny had put in a dangerous cut-back.

  53. DJG
    I’ve been advocating not changing things this week apart from Tiote for Smith, however as the days go on i’m wanting Ben Arfa to play.

    The pace of Guiterez and Routledge however as outlets away from home are fantastic assets, if utilised in the right way – a la Blackpool – could easily create chances, they just need to turn up! Their defending was awful against Man U so who knows, they might correct this, they might carry on in the same vein…

    hmmm i’m confused :(

    However, we cant really put in a worse performance than Blackpool so i’m optimistic of a decent game actually. Totally agree RE Everton, style of play and their fans, could be one for the taking. Or they will come out all guns blazing, hmm interesting one Saturday may turn out to be…

  54. pft what’s that mug on about, Carroll not a threat to Jagielka and Distin? Maybe he has been over hyped but in the air he’s one of the best in the prem imo.