Toon are top of the stops so why all the talk about Wayne's world?

By Lee Ryder on May 29, 08 05:53 PM

Wayne Hennessey was the latest target to be linked with Newcastle United today but surely this is simply another case of plucking names out of thin air.

Hennessey if you didn't know (and let's be honest he's hardly a household name) is a promising young keeper with the mighty Wolves.

But don't go running out to get his name printed on the back of your top just yet.

I mean if Newcastle are well stocked in one department it's got to be the goalkeeping one.

Shay Given may have been injured for large chunks of the campaign but in Steve Harper we have more than an able deputy.

Both of them are loyal servants for the club and if you feel let down by the Toon defence over the years, how the heck must these two lads feel?

On top of that we've got Tim Krul a talented Dutchman who made a stunning Toon debut in Palermo in 2006 when he kept a Serie A side running riot on the domestic front well under control.

A choker of an injury during the warm-up at Watford a week or so later wrecked Krul's chances of building on things the next season and before another injury this term he was pulling off all of the stops on loan at Falkirk.

Then you have Fraser Forster, a goalkeeper with England potential.

Yes it may sound like I'm building him up, but reserve team level or not, some of the saves he pulled off in the second string last year were right out of the top drawer.

Rumour has it that Sam Allardyce actually told Forster he'd overtaken Krul at one stage last season and with the Dutch kid injured along with Given, he found himself on the bench and just a red card or injury away from getting on.

In fact looking at our goalkeeping brigade, it's that strong even young Swede Ole Soderberg must wait his turn.

Those of you who observed the Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final against Whitley Bay will know that the teenager is also one for the future after pulling off some fine saves against a much senior Hillheads outfit.

So there you have it, five reasons why it's unlikely that United will opt for the young Wolves stopper.



Matthew said:

Shay Given hasn't been the same since he got clattered by Harewood, Harper's done well since standing in but he's not top class and never will be.

If the club think they can improve on what we've got then go for it, sticking with players for sentimental reasons won't get us anywhere.

Mal said:

Absolutely agree. I think this just newspapers making up stories. Apart from Given and Harper we have at least 2 future internationals in Krul and Foster. In fact I think we will shortly have to consider selling either Given or Harper or the youngsters will go elsewhere for their opportunities.

Charles said:

For the time being, I'm not too surprised that Newcastle is being linked with someone else. Wayne is a good keeper, (Seen his play before) but the fact that Newcastle's only strength is their keepers, I was shocked to see us linked with keepers, of all players. We've got four good keepers and certainly never need to buy one ever again.

Given is not getting anywhere with that "Harewood's boot" curse and certainly I will cast the vote to Harper.

Matthew, I am not saying Harper is class, but looking at the facts of the previous season, I think he should be voted keeper of the season. Of course, Harper conceded many idiotic, and sometimes dramatic, mistakes but who is to blame him? Try saving more than 25 shots a game and conceding only 2-4 is quite good.

Name several great keepers in the premier league, in the opinion of those pundits...there's Edwin Van der Sar, there's Petr Cech, Carlo Cudicini, there's also James but the thing in common with them, they're all from good clubs.

Edwin Van der Sar, conceded so few he'd get the golden gloves if James didnt exist but then again, he'd save how many in a game? How many he was forced to black, save or hold the ball? Certainly statistic counts shall reveal the truth that Harper and Given have saved at least more than 300 a season and conceded only 30-60 goals, as compared to Van der Sar's puny 60 saves and 14 concede. This goes for the rest of the 'class' keepers, all except David James, that man is truly magical at times...

As for the wage bills, I think offloading Smith would be a better alternative to offloading Duff. Wage is bills must NOT be the obstacle to good players coming--otherwise, consider Newcastle as good as 14th place next season.

Please put club before money, Mike. We really dont want to storm into your office, holding signs and torches.

Mike Ashburn said:

The rumour mill,as far as the media are concerned,with writing it,and the fans reading it,is all part and parcel of being a Toon fan.
Always was,and until the whole infrastructure of the area,and mindset of everybody concerned,changes,it always will be.

BRIAN of Durham said:

I'm sorry if it offends many fans, but if we have to raise funds, and we can still get a big fee for Given, I think we should let him go. Harper has proved to be a brilliant first choice keeper. He would be my choice to retain over Given and with the younger lads coming through, this is one area we can cash in on.

oliver newton said:

You may not all believe me, but my girlfriend used to live next door to wayne in beaumaris, north wales for years. Her brother actually used to train with him all the time, and hes a goalie too!!!! I hope he joins, then he will definately get a letter from my girlfriend asking if we can meet him, and possibly the team. They really used to be good mates, and they still follow his career. Please Kev, lets be having him!

Scotty Forced to Live in Exile said:

Just a quick one for Mike Ashburn - I agree with what you say but isnt all of that half the fun ? Maybe you need to stop taking life to seriously (and stop using so many comars!!!)
Love the blog Lee will continue to admire and read from My exiled state


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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