Every cloud has a silver lining for Newcastle

Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim KrulNewcastle United were rocked this week by the news that experienced goalkeeper Steve Harper will be out of action for around three months. Newcastle’s number one suffered the injury at Goodison Park against Everton last weekend and after having to play second fiddle to Shay Given at St James’ Park for over ten years, Harper has confirmed his status as one of the unluckiest men in English football. But they say that every cloud has a silver lining and Newcastle have that in Tim Krul.

Just like Harper, Krul has waited patiently for his chance at Newcastle and it now looks like he’s finally going to get it. The 22 year old signed for Newcastle back in 2006 and since then his first team opportunities have been limited to the odd game here and there. When he has stepped into the breach, the Dutch U21 goalkeeper has been highly impressive. He has already experienced European football, having performed admirably at Palermo in the UEFA Cup and is a regular in The Netherlands’ youth setup. So can Krul show that the loss of Harper needn’t be the end of the world for Newcastle?

Krul has a major challenge ahead of him this afternoon in the shape of Stoke and the aerial bombardment they will test him with, both with long throws from Rory Delap and crosses aimed at Kenwyne Jones. If Krul can come through it then it will stand him in good stead and give him the confidence to become a Premier League regular. He may have conceded five goals in his two Carling Cup games so far this season, but that isn’t really representative of his performances in either match. Krul has the potential to be a top class keeper and Harper might just find it difficult to win his place back in 2011…