Steve Harper’s exit is strange and baffling.

Posted on October 24th, 2011 | 31 Comments |

Steve Harper's exit: Strange and baffling.
Steve Harper's exit: Strange and baffling.
Of course, as most of you will already know, Steve Harper’s one month loan move to Brighton was confirmed earlier today, with ex Charlton keeper, Rob Elliot now replacing him as the full time backup for Flying Dutchman, Tim Krul.

Speaking on the move in a rare interview, Newcastle United’s Silver Supremo, Alan Pardew, said:

“The paperwork isn’t finalised but in principle, I think he’s likely to play in this evening’s game. Harps is very keen to play and obviously he’s a top goalie. It’s an opportunity to him to play and that’s what he wants to do.

“For Brighton, it’s a real coup for them, so we’ll just see if it all gets confirmed later.

“He’s sat here behind Shay Given for so long and is so unfortunate to have a top young goalie come through the ranks like Tim to push him to one side.

“But he is a goalie who’s going to play for the next three or four years at the top level, so it’s an opportunity for him to show his wares.”

“Show his wares” could imply that Harper is being lined up for a permanent move from the Magpies. Some might also say, alternatively, that Pardew wants to see what he can do in proper competitive matches. However, the second seems unlikely as Harper has already more than proved himself at Newcastle United, and Pardew comment that he would be showing his wares to play “three or four years at the top level” tends to suggest that a permanent move to another club is on the cards eventually.

In an interview with BBC Radio Newcastle’s “Total Sport” last Thursday, Pardew previously commented in response to a multitude of questions asking for clarification on the Harper situation:

“You’ve got to understand that Harps is a player that I respect enormously. He’s got a great mentality about the game.

“He’s been in his career here so unlucky to have Shay Given in front of him for so long; and then, when he gets a chance in the first team he does so brilliantly and someone comes, Tim Krul.

“Tim’s done superb and he gets the nod over Harps.

“Now, I’ve got to treat this guy with respect because he deserves it in my opinion. So, do we take him all the time to reserve games? Does he really need to do that? He’s done it for so many years, Great goalie. Do I want to put him on the bench every week? No I don’t if I’m honest and the other goalie that we’ve brought in needs to emerge. So he’s got to get some experience, Rob. So, there’s kind of a balance there for me.

“I talked to him, I tried to let him know exactly how I feel.

“If we get an injury to Tim on Saturday (against Wigan last Saturday), I’m 100% sure Harps will be in the goal.

When asked on the programme by Mick Lowes:

“What would you say to fans who think, and I think the majority do think that Steve Harper is still the number two keeper at the football club?”

The Silver Supremo responded:

“He is.”

Lowes then added:

“He wasn’t on the bench against Tottenham. Just fancifully thinking, if someone goes through in the first ten minutes, Tim Krul brings him down, Tim Krul’s off, you’d want Steve Harper going on.”

After clarifying that Harper was “injured” for the ‘Spurs game, Pardew then replied, tellingly now that we know that Harper has now been sent into sea side exile:

“That’s my point because I think the guy we brought in is a very, very good goalie, Rob.

“I don’t think that he did himself complete justice at Nottingham Forest, and what we’ve seen from him in training is an outstanding goalie.

“I think where we go from here is I would like one of them to go out actually and play on loan perhaps just to keep them right up to speed, and that’s something I’ll look at with either Rob or Harps.

“I think it’s important that if you’ve got good cover, then the other one can go and play.

Hmmm. Well of course it’s hard to disagree with a manager who is currently fourth in the Premiership, but unlike Rob Elliot, Harper has more than done himself justoce over many Premier League games. After seeing bits of Rob Elliot at Charlton, whilst he was undoubtedly a very respectable keeper at the League One club, and he may look good on the training ground, his performance against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup was disappointing, and he still has to prove himself at the highest level. Harper is an experienced Premiership goalkeeper of great repute, and I know who I would rather see coming on if something were to happen to the Flying Dutchman.

Brighton manager, Gus Poyet, jumped at the chance of having him, and claimed that several other teams were too. The Uruguyan midfield maestro, and now seaside supremo, said on his appointment:

“Steve was available and with the huge amount of Premiership and Championship experience he has, we felt he would add something to the squad.

“He will use that experience to help the defensive players and the goalkeepers, and help us get back to the defensive form we showed earlier in the season.

“Of course, our fans will know all about Steve and his qualities. He is a top player and will bring a a great deal of experience to the defence.

“There were plenty of teams interested in Steve – it wasn’t easy. We are very pleased and lucky to have got him. I am not going to say the names of the teams but there were others.”

It’s a somewhat baffling move as Harper would undoubtedly be the best possible cover should something happen to Krul in the next few games, but good luck to Steve on his new adventure.

To borrow the title of Sir Bobby Robson’s autobiography, let’s hope it’s a case of “Farewell but not goodbye.”

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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31 Responses

  1. So Krul is no.1 with Elliot on the bench.
    Foster & Harper out on loan.
    Ole Soderberg plays in reserves – with who on the bench?

    OK its only for a month but it leaves up a bit exposed.
    If Krul is injured or even sent off – Elliot moves up to no.1 – is he good enough? Ole Soderberg goes on the bench – so who plays in reserves? Is there a decent youngster on our books?

  2. fair enough for having your opinion, but how are you in a position to judge that harps is the best cover? for all you know, rob elliot is better than harps and pardew can see that from training. i don’t know any better than you, but it’s possible (and I know what pardew said, but he would never publicly criticise harper). frankly, krul has done things this season that harper wouldn’t have got close to doing. for me, krul has reminded me what a good keeper looks like. i think i may have forgotten when i was watching harper. good servant to the club and all that, but maybe, at his age, this is the best move for harper, the club and for rob elliot.

  3. Supermac says:
    October 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    “Elliot moves up to no.1 – is he good enough?”

    Supermac, Steve Harper has played well over a hundred Premiership games for Newcastle United. On the other hand, Rob Elliot hasn’t played one game in the Premiership, just League One and with teams like Bishop’s Stortford and Accy Stanley when he was sent out on loan by Charlton.

    He’s looked like a fairly impressive keeper for Charlton after he finally broke through into the first team, and he might be “promising” as Pardew says. However the difference in experience and achivement at the highest level between Harper and Elliot is obvious. So personally, I would have kept Harper in case something happened to Krul.

  4. My opinion is, Krul is keeping harper out, harper needs play time to keep sharp, he isnt getting it, the loan is only a month, probably followed by one more month, before January transfer window opens, Harper has playtime, Man Utd come in for Krul (Van der sar will help them swing it) Harper is match fit, Harper slots in. Elliot isnt good enough for first team place. Sorry, its my opinion

  5. I hope im wrong, i would hate to see them sell any more of our Talent, it will break the team.

  6. Harps is definately No2 and Pards knows it . I reckon that hes gone out on loan to keep himself match sharp instead of collecting spelks week in week out. If he’s needed, he’ll be back sharpish. just my view of course.

  7. has soderberg not gone to darlington on loan?

    as far as im aware we only have elliott and alnwick for cover.

  8. Well it may be that Harps is now 36 and just wants to play some games before his career ends. Surely the only way to prolong his career is to get out there playing.

    The goal that Nolan just scored past him wasnt the best keeping.

  9. Stephen C says:
    October 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    “has soderberg not gone to darlington on loan?

    as far as im aware we only have elliott and alnwick for cover.”

    I thought that both Alnwick and Soderberg were on loan Stephen. Alnwick at Gatesheed and Soderberg with Darlo?

  10. At a time when anything at Newcastle seems to going right, this worries me alittle bit.
    I can only imagine Brighton made the approach and Steve fancied a month riding donkeys and wearing kiss me quick hats.
    I really hope that this is not a sign that he is on his way out, he is a great pro and a really loyal, talented player.
    I for one, would like to see him end his plating career with us then join the Geordie revolution in a coaching role.

  11. Harper is better off between the sticks in Brighton than moping around the training ground feeling peeved that he’s not getting any games. (On which note, I think it likely he’s more than a decent bloke and he isn’t moping, but I’m sure he wants to play.) Hopefully, he’ll come back in 30 days feeling chirpy and good to go. I also think that, so long as we are doing well in the league and “breaking even” on the financial front, Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias are more likely to stick than twist on selling any more first team players. Unless, of course, the fistful of dosh being waved around gets Mike breaking into a sweat as he makes a lightning dash to crank up his chopper the way he did for Andy Carroll.

  12. So to sum up –
    Krul is no.1 with Elliot on the bench.
    Foster & Harper & Soderberg & Alnwick all out on loan.
    Who plays in reserves – with who on the bench?
    If we have an injury who do we/can we recall?

    Seems very strange to me. And risky.

    And I wish Kevstevas hadn’t mentioned manure – simply on the evidence of MOTD they are in dire need of a goalie. I can well imagine fergie acting quickly – he’s had enough troubles in the past to tolerate dodgy keepers.

  13. No point in getting upset, you all know the score with this clubs policy, as stated by Joey not so long ago.
    “Younger, cheaper and better”, so don,t act either surprised or upset.
    I did’nt hear too many fans complaining when he sat on the bench behind Shay, all those years, it was ok cause we had a good backup, who never complained.
    So the guy is on his way to Brighton, but he will be picked up by a better side, he’s too good a goalie to end up there.
    But get used to it, it’s about money and he will not be the last to go, just business !

  14. Missed the Wigan game, (out chasing tuna off the Jersey coast, erm New Jersey that is) may catch a re-run during the week.
    Whats the story on the three rumors, Liverpool want us to take Carroll back ?
    They also want Colocinni ? and believe it or not Raylor ?
    Is this nonsense or what ?
    How about the Spanish defender come midfielder,were rumored to be chasing.
    We could certainly use another Tiote, in case anything happens to him.
    It’s assumed that a decent striker is on the way come next window, hope the same is true of some help for the back four.
    Amstel time,

  15. If anyone had watched Harper “allow” Nolan to score tonight then you would not be defending him.

    Positioning was way off.

  16. Krul is no.1 with Elliot on the bench.

    Foster & Harper & Soderberg & Alnwick all out on loan…?? Really? surely not…and maybe the loans have a return ticket clause should we get injury problems.

    speaking of which, if Saylor has to go to usa to get a mask to wear with his broken nose – who steps in at CB?

    Perch? James Tav (i think on loan), and Willo still out for a month….

  17. ron @16

    I must admit that thought crossed my mind when I heard that Nolan had scored and I havn’t even seen it. Old pals act perhaps?

  18. Steve Harper confirmed tonight that Pardew is spot on in letting him move on, hopefully permanently.

  19. chuck says:
    October 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    “Whats the story on the three rumors, Liverpool want us to take Carroll back ?
    They also want Colocinni ? and believe it or not Raylor ?
    Is this nonsense or what ?
    How about the Spanish defender come midfielder,were rumored to be chasing.
    We could certainly use another Tiote, in case anything happens to him.”

    The one about Liverpool wanting us to pay £25 million + Coloccini + R. Taylor to take Carroll back is obviously complete tosh. The only justification offered in the story was that they were “Scouse romours” and that was it.

    As for us getting another Tiote, the original “Mr.T” is making a comeback.

  20. Big Bob says:
    October 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    “Steve Harper confirmed tonight that Pardew is spot on in letting him move on, hopefully permanently.”

    I would be the same if I was him Bob. He’ll be a big loss to the club though.

  21. 64% of scousers on voted tonight that dalgleish was right to drop Carroll – one goal in 11 hours football, would we want him back?

  22. Excellent bit of business that. It will be interesting to see how Carroll’s career unfolds from the standpoint of finding out if we sold him at the perfect moment in time. Obviously, we’ll never really know (there being no control carroll that stayed with us), but a bit of “what if” there.

  23. The thing is, how are Liverpool going to get anything out of Andy Carroll? They paid 25 million too much. For a player worth 10 million max. How can they expect any one to take Carroll in any part Exchange. Carroll in not worth more than collo. Yes they might have paid 35 million but that’s their own stupid fault.

    Realistically if Liverpool hadn’t paid 35 nil for Carroll any realistic deal for collo would be Carroll plus 2 million for collo and if they want raylor aswel plus 12 million.

    Mike ashley isn’t stupid. You can’t con a con man.

    Mike ashley has been doing this for years.

    If you ever buy a slazenger T-shirt from it looks good on the website but when you get it you will see, it isn’t as good as it looked and it doesn’t stay in shape for any longer than a week. If you wash it It doesn’t look the same shirt you bought. And you maybe wish you had have bought from jjb.

    Ring any bells?

    I would pay 12 million for that redeaga he had a good game on Saturday don’t you think?

  24. On harps though. With harper looking to move on do you think first will return? Or do you think Elliot looks like a no.2 worth having? He had a mare at forest and if we weren’t going to keep harper why didn’t we let foster know?

    But are we expecting too much to expect two top class goal keepers at the club. Every other club doesn’t seem to have equal replacement on the bench. Although spurs do, this season. We were the only club for years who have had Luke for like in the goal keeping stakes.
    How many of is have said harper would have been England no.1 if he had have left ten years ago?

    Does any one recall the pavel and hooper days? Let’s hope Elliot isn’t as bad.

    I think we might find out against blackburn. If he plays and we are out the cup by Thursday you might find harper is back quicker than you like.

    But one thing. Pardew wants rotation on the bench.
    But does the loan of harper not suggest he is having a negative attitude on the dressing room?
    Was it not harper, who said last season, when we were flying high, that Europe wasn’t an option?

    It seemed to have a negative effect on the fans and the players.
    Maybe he has passed his sell by date. Yes he is a good player. But a lot of people have noticed he isn’t the same person he was.

    I was down the training ground last season obtaining some autographs. There were a few waiting outside, harper just sped by, didn’t stop. Harper and best were the only two signatures we didn’t get.

    Everyone else including smith were happy to stop and talk and didn’t seem to care.
    But harper especially, didn’t even slow down for us. I had to jump out the way to avoid being hit by his wing mirror.

    So maybe there is more to this than meets the eye.

  25. stephen c says:
    October 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

    “Mike ashley isn’t stupid. You can’t con a con man.”

    SJH and FFS seemed to manage it when they sold him the club Stephen.

  26. Harps was one of the “Senior Pro’s” who CH asked to liaise with the rest of the players.

    Nolan’s gone, Bartoon’s gone and now Harps. Which leaves Smudger and he’s probably not going anywhere until the end of his contract next June but no doubt keeping his head down until then ! Either Pardwho or Fatman are responsible for the culling just not sure which ! Maybe both ?

  27. Well I think its more a case of Harps not being happy as no2 keeper again, and who can blame him.
    But to be fair to Pardew, Krul clearly should be no1.
    I think Harps will be gone in january one way or another.
    Again we dont know what has been said behind the scenes post Hughton sacking etc, but we were pretty desperate to bring Elliott in in the summer, which makes me think this goes back a bit further.
    Its a shame, I like Harps and he has been a loyal servant to this club and a model pro, but I cant blame him for wanting 1st team football. I wish him well wherever he ends up.

  28. Andymac – re the cull, I think its more to do with Derek llambias. But he will be using Pardew as his cover because the blokes a coward.
    I’ve never liked him, but unfortunately he is Ashley’s hench man, so wont be going anywhere anytime soon. Mores the pity. He’s the weak link at the club imo and I long for the day he is replaced by a man (or woman) who knows something about running a football club.

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