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Steve Harper

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Newcastle United keeper Steve Harper has admitted that his St James' Park career is "very much up in the air".

 

The 31-year-old keeper, who is easily United's longest-serving player, has 12 months of his current deal to run at a time when No 1 Shay Given has just committed himself to the club for the next five years.

 

No-one can question Harper's loyalty, and that's why I believe Freddy Shepherd and Glenn Roeder would be sympathetic to the Easington-born keeper should he decide to leave before his contract runs out.

 

I know of at least one Championship club who are prepared to prise Harper away from St James' Park before the season opens. But, not surprisingly, if he does leave United Harper would be looking to stay in the Premiership.

 

And he told me today: "Really it's just a case of waiting to see what happens.

 

"I am 31 now and it is not getting any easier sitting on the bench week-in, week-out.

 

"What I do know is that I don't want another season like last season, which was one of my worst ever as I only managed to play one first-team game and that was in Slovakia in the middle of July."

 

My view of Harper has not changed in the past three years: if he was playing regular Premiership football then he would be in the England set-up.

 

It is something Shepherd agrees with and the United chairman has expressed his disappointment that his reserve keeper was not No 3 for England behind Paul Robinson and David James in England's World Cup squad in Germany.

 

Before that can ever happen Harper needs a run in the United team and he must have thought he was going to get his chance when Given came off with a broken thumb in the game with Spurs at White Hart Lane on New Year's Eve.

 

The respect between the United keepers is mutual and they are also big pals and that's why Harper can say: "Only Lazarus can come off with a suspected broken thumb and play two days later.

 

"That time was probably the lowest I have experienced in the eight seasons I have had here since I got my first chance back in 1998-99."

 

Despite that, and while there is some uncertainty about his future at St James' Park, the keeper is back to his typical up-beat self.

 

He adds: "The fact that we were fantastic under Glenn Roeder at the end of the season and have qualified for Europe means that I might get more opportunity.

 

"The only thing I'm not looking forward to is when we are slogging it out in pre-season getting a text from Alan Shearer saying he is on some golf course in an exotic part of the world.

 

"But it goes without saying that Al is going to be a big, big miss both on and off the field next season."

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All he does is sit around, does a few training sessions every week, and gets paid more than I ever probably will.

 

Lazy bugger with no ambition, no sympathy from me. Plus, he's not that good anyway. Spurs away anyone?

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Guest alex

Loyalty or knowing where he's well off? He would have been found out after about 4 or 5 games at another top flight club and would have ended up spending the rest of his career in the Championship or lower on less dosh than he gets here for a zero pressure job. Good back up and that's about it.

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Loyalty or knowing where he's well off? He would have been found out after about 4 or 5 games at another top flight club and would have ended up spending the rest of his career in the Championship or lower on less dosh than he gets here for a zero pressure job. Good back up and that's about it.

148161[/snapback]

 

Hard to make judgments like that. He has played quite a few games for us (notably the champions league) and did well.

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Guest alex
Loyalty or knowing where he's well off? He would have been found out after about 4 or 5 games at another top flight club and would have ended up spending the rest of his career in the Championship or lower on less dosh than he gets here for a zero pressure job. Good back up and that's about it.

148161[/snapback]

 

Hard to make judgments like that. He has played quite a few games for us (notably the champions league) and did well.

148187[/snapback]

The fact he's spent so long here as a reserve says it all tbh.

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It certainly tells you everything you need to know about his ambition. There can't be many players in football who would have sat on the bench for this long and done the once every 3 months interview with the local rag about how nice it would be to get a run in the team.

 

He's got an easy life and he knows it. And he doesn't have the drive to get out of this comfort zone that he's created for himself - was that a bit too management-speak? :(

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a mate of a mate of a mate told me hes quite happy drawing his wage cos he gets to spend every afternoon playing golf and sitting in the club with his mates. Hes a local lad and didnt see much point in leaving all his family and friends behind to go and play somewhere else for similar money.

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Yeah let's all laugh at Harper now.

 

Come on, he does deserve a medal for his loyalty. And I reckon he is a better goalkeeper than Scott Carson tbh.

148072[/snapback]

 

Have you been at the communion wine?

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He probably could have been in the England setup if he'd left a few years ago, maybe even now. But that says more about the state of English goalkeepers than anything else.

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He's a canny keeper like and I'd like him to stay just for the fact that if we did lose Shay to injury then you know you've got someone decent coming in. He'd walk into the starting line up of a canny few PL teams imo.

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Loyalty or knowing where he's well off? He would have been found out after about 4 or 5 games at another top flight club and would have ended up spending the rest of his career in the Championship or lower on less dosh than he gets here for a zero pressure job. Good back up and that's about it.

148161[/snapback]

 

If Boumsong stays, he'll be branded a mercenary only staying because he can't get a better deal elsewhere. If Harper stays (again), it's because he loves the club and wants to help the squad.

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Guest alex
Loyalty or knowing where he's well off? He would have been found out after about 4 or 5 games at another top flight club and would have ended up spending the rest of his career in the Championship or lower on less dosh than he gets here for a zero pressure job. Good back up and that's about it.

148161[/snapback]

 

If Boumsong stays, he'll be branded a mercenary only staying because he can't get a better deal elsewhere. If Harper stays (again), it's because he loves the club and wants to help the squad.

148701[/snapback]

I'd rather keep Harper than Boumsong though :(

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I reckon Harper's reputation is pretty far in excess of his talent. If he wants to stay fine, but this annual charade about should he leave for first team football is very boring.

 

Personally I hope this is his last year, as I think Tim Krul has a chance of being a decent goalkeeper, and he should be given the chance to be Shay's deputy sooner rather than later.

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He probably could have been in the England setup if he'd left a few years ago, maybe even now. But that says more about the state of English goalkeepers than anything else.

148626[/snapback]

 

There is a lack of top english keepers to challenge Robinson these days, with Kirkland always injured and if Harper had been playing week in week out he'd have been in the set up for me.

 

I'm always happy that he stays, we get good cover for Shay and he gets well paid, lives where he's happy and he's went to college/uni in his free time as he obviously wanted to do that and as somebody mentioned he can piss about playing golf if he fancies it!

 

As for ambition, if he doesn't have much, so what, not everybody has to be a career or success obsessed person, some people are happy to enjoy life, be comfortably off and do what they want with their life.

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He probably could have been in the England setup if he'd left a few years ago, maybe even now. But that says more about the state of English goalkeepers than anything else.

148626[/snapback]

 

There is a lack of top english keepers to challenge Robinson these days, with Kirkland always injured and if Harper had been playing week in week out he'd have been in the set up for me.

148920[/snapback]

 

When David James is 2nd keeper you know something's wrong.

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He probably could have been in the England setup if he'd left a few years ago, maybe even now. But that says more about the state of English goalkeepers than anything else.

148626[/snapback]

 

There is a lack of top english keepers to challenge Robinson these days, with Kirkland always injured and if Harper had been playing week in week out he'd have been in the set up for me.

148920[/snapback]

 

When David James is 2nd keeper you know something's wrong.

149085[/snapback]

yeah and he's called sven

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He probably could have been in the England setup if he'd left a few years ago, maybe even now. But that says more about the state of English goalkeepers than anything else.

148626[/snapback]

 

There is a lack of top english keepers to challenge Robinson these days, with Kirkland always injured and if Harper had been playing week in week out he'd have been in the set up for me.

148920[/snapback]

 

When David James is 2nd keeper you know something's wrong.

149085[/snapback]

yeah and he's called sven

149139[/snapback]

 

;) To be fair to Sven, James being near the team isn't his fault.

 

 

Playing Gerrard and Lampard is though. :D

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