6 Things We Learned From Everton's Draw With Newcastle United

5. It's Time Newcastle Got Another 'Keeper

Though he pulled off an exceptional save to "deny" Victor Anichebe with the score at 1-1, veteran Newcastle United 'keeper Steve Harper was caught badly flat-footed for both of the goals, and the sight of him lying prone on the pitch after watching Phil Jagielka's excellent first half snap-shot hit the post, puffing his cheeks out said a lot about his current status. Harper is at the very tail end of his Newcastle career, and though he will still be valuable as cover this season, with Rob Elliot not considered up to the task by many Newcastle fans, the Toon need to consider replacing him sooner rather than later. For the first goal, a younger Harper, with the sharp reactions that made him one of the finest second-choice 'keepers in Europe behind Shay Given, might have got to Leighton Baines' shot, as good as it was. Harper was a moment off the pace getting down behind the shot, and as difficult as it is to admit, a younger, more agile 'keeper might have dealt with the shot a little better. That is to take nothing away from the approach play that lead to the goal, but the ball ultimately went through Harper, and some blame has to lie with the long-serving 'keeper. The second goal was a more obvious indication of Harpers' fading abilities, as Victor Anichebe's shot off the turn was nestling in the back of the net well before Harper even reacted, and though Steven Taylor was at fault for allowing Anichebe to roll him so easily, Harper again has to take some of the blame for the goal going through him so easily.
Executive Editor
Executive Editor

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