It was a personal milestone for Tim Krul but not one he will want to linger on.
Saturday night saw the Newcastle goalkeeper make his first senior club appearance in 16 months, as AZ Alkmaar travelled to PSV.
October 3 2015 saw Newcastle take the lead at the Etihad, only for Manchester City to smash six past Tim Krul, including five in 23 minutes from Sergio Aguero.
On that basis, Saturday was a small improvement but the on-loan keeper still had to pick the ball out of the back of his net four times, making it 10 conceded in Krul’s last three hours of club football.
Two of the PSV goals came in the first 16 minutes before he had even made a save, though to be fair to Tim Krul he was given very little protection, the goalkeeper saying that AZ gifted three of the four goals.
Krul said he had ‘mixed feelings’ after the match, pleased to be back playing obviously but gutted at the 4-2 scoreline.
Former Newcastle loan player Luuk de Jong scored the fourth goal past Tim Krul and Siem de Jong was given the last six minutes off the bench after the game was already won at 4-1 – AZ getting their second goal only a minute after the Newcastle midfielder’s introduction.
Tim Krul speaking to NOS:
“I have mixed feelings to be honest.
“Pleased to be back playing pain free after one year but I am disappointed that we did not get a result.
“We gave three goals away and we know that PSV will take their chances – we weren’t sharp enough.
“We have a fantastic group with a lot of talent and we have to learn quickly and look ahead to our next game.
“I had hoped to be important for AZ tonight but I’m confident I can be in the coming weeks – it will take a few games for me to find my rhythm again.”
Tim Krul spent a frustrating time at Ajax, his loan period not seeing a single first team appearance in the six months he was in the Dutch capital.
A deadline day farce saw the Newcastle keeper give up on a move to Premier League side Watford as they endlessly deliberated over his medical, insisting on further and further tests.
Krul eventually giving up on them and grabbed an Easyjet flight back to Holland and signed for AZ Alkmaar until the end of the season on loan.
Tim Krul was assured first team involvement and only four days after signing he made his first start for AZ on Saturday night.