Rob Elliot believes that Newcastle United’s squad is full of ‘real leaders’ and Rafa Benitez is spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a Captain.
Having replaced Karl Darlow for the Preston match, Elliot then followed that up with a clean sheet when wearing the captain’s armband at Cardiff.
The goalkeeper saying that ‘7 or 8’ of the current Newcastle squad would make great captains.
Rob Elliot also thinks that with Burnley being the only other club in the last six years to get automatic promotion straight after being relegated, Newcastle deserve a lot more credit for their achievement than some people are giving them.
Those who think Newcastle should have made an easier job of it, are being disrespectful to both NUFC and the Championship according to the Irish international.
Looking ahead, Rob Elliot points to the competition to be number one goalkeeper at Newcastle, saying that if you do get the shirt then you know you are ‘keeping some top keepers out of the team’.
Amongst the many decisions Rafa Benitez has to make this summer, is what to do about the goalkeeping position.
A year ago he felt a new number one was needed for the Championship but Matz Sels can’t even get on the bench now.
It’s a tricky one – are Newcastle spoilt for choice with a number of very good goalkeepers on the books, including Tim Krul out on loan.
Or is the reality that we have a few half-decent ones who are much of a muchness and a step up in quality is needed for the Premier League?
Rob Elliot talking to NUFC TV:
“I’m looking forward to the game (Barnsley) and hopefully finish with a win, then see what happens from there.
“Just glad to get back to the Premier League, it is testament to how well the lads have done – the last week of the season we still have a chance of winning the league – so much pressure of us.
“Only Burnley have done it (automatic promotion first season after relegation) in the last six years and they pretty much kept all of their squad together. Whereas we have had to change the squad completely and bring in a lot of young players.
“A lot of people underestimate the age of our squad, I’m one of the oldest players, 31, a lot of young players.
“I know we have had a lot of negativity about, saying we should have won it easily, but I think that is disrespectful to the Championship and disrespectful to Newcastle – we have overcome a lot in the last year.
“I didn’t foresee coming back into the team, Karl (Darlow) has had such a brilliant season, probably the best keeper in the league in my opinion – but obviously the manager does like to change squads around, so I have played the last couple of games.
“Unbelievable amount of competition in the goalkeeping department: Tim out on loan, Karl, Matz, young Freddie, Woolston, so if you play as a goalkeeper in this team you are doing well, as you are keeping some top keepers out of the team.
“Getting to Captain Newcastle (at Cardiff) is probably one of the highlights of my career.
“You could choose from 7 or 8 to be Newcastle Captain because we have real leaders in the squad.
“I don’t always look at clean sheets because they don’t always reflect how well you play but it was great to get one at Cardiff.”