Steve Harper – Local Hero?
There are still a few great one club men in the premier league, the likes of Jamie Carragher and Ryan Giggs are legends at their clubs and then you have our very own one club (permanent) man in Steven Harper.
Unfortunately for Harps, he won’t go down as a legend. In a week where Newcastle inducted the first members into their hall of fame it seemed fitting then Harper announced he would be ending his 20 year stint with the club.
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The fact that Harper has managed to play around only 200 games in that period is to be honest quite laughable. To explain what I mean I’ll give you an example of someone who is on 99 appearances, Mike Williamson, enough said.
Don’t get me wrong, Harper is a good keeper and was understudy for 10 years to arguably our best ever keeper in Shay Given. Harper has had his moments of glory; playing in a Cup Final, Champions League and of course numerous lower league FA Cup defeats.
Now I know there will be many people reading this that will says ‘well he showed great loyalty’ or ‘what a great servant he’s been’. Yes both you can argue are true but so is the fact he’s been handsomely paid for it.
I very much doubt there has been a number two paid as well as Harps has in the last 20 years. This brings me to my main point, in that you have to question not only his ambition, but professional pride. He after all was number one for little more than 2 years and most of that was through relegation and playing in the Championship.
Harper says he should probably have moved on in the early noughties and many have said he probably would have played for England. I wouldn’t dispute that but that doesn’t mean he would have been a great keeper. Harper’s had it too easy at Newcastle to ever leave.
Personally I’ve never been a fan of Harper’s lethargic style, I’m sure in our relegation season he must have thought we were winning most games.
Nevertheless, I appreciate Harper’s efforts but he will never be a local hero.
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