Harry Redknapp is no stranger to using over the top comments to grab the headlines.
Picking his best 11 players from this weekend’s matches, Redknapp picked four Newcastle players (see full team below), including three from the Magpies back five.
In his write up, Harry Redknapp picked out Karl Darlow for special mention in his piece for the Telegraph, saying:
“It was a fantastic moment for Karl Darlow to save that penalty from Yohan Cabaye, of all people.
“To go from third choice goalkeeper to the thick of a relegation fight is so difficult but he handled the pressure when it mattered most and made a couple of other big saves and that was a huge win for Newcastle.
“I don’t care who you are as a manager, you don’t sleep easy on Friday night if you’re suddenly relying on an inexperienced youngster in goal.
“You’ll talk to your goalkeeping coach and he’ll say give you some reassurance but you’re just hoping and praying the lad can deliver.”
When Karl Darlow came into the side at the start of April after Rob Elliot’s injury, there was a lot of similar misplaced hysteria then, even from Newcastle fans.
Karl Darlow actually started the season as the number two to Tim Krul and it was only because the former Forest keeper was injured, that Elliot got his chance when Krul picked up his injury when away with Holland.
Darlow played in the League Cup earlier this season as the change keeper for Krul and did ok, though a lot of the fan hysteria was down to one nervy looking display at West Brom when he let in a soft goal back in December.
A lot of comparisons were made with December 2014 when Jak Alnwick was forced into action due to injury and played eight matches.
However, Alnwick was only 21 at the time and hadn’t played a single match in the top four divisions, only having turned out nine times for Gateshead at the time.
In contrast, Karl Darlow is 25, was bought for around £4m to be Newcastle’s second keeper and before this season, had been first choice in the Championship for Nottingham Forest for three years.
Harry Redknapp says Rafa Benitez wouldn’t have slept easy worrying about his ‘inexperienced youngster in goal’ but I think it would have been one of the positions Rafa would have been least worried about.
Darlow has been excellent and after having faced Liverpool and Manchester City, I don’t think he would have found Palace any more daunting than those pair – especially with every single match he’s played in the last month having been a crucial game in the relegation fight.
This is Harry Redknapp’s team of the weekend:
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)
Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United)
Wes Morgan (Leicester)
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United)
Christian Fuchs (Leicester)
Andros Townsend (Newcastle United)
Jack Cork (Swansea)
Mark Noble (West Ham)
Sadio Mane (Southampton)
Anthony Martial (Man Utd)
Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)