AZ Alkmaar and Tim Krul looked odds-on favourites to win their Europa League play-off.

Sunday saw the second leg of the final play-off as Utrecht hosted AZ, with the visitors three goals up from the first match.

However, goals in the 12th, 28th and 82nd minutes ended up with the winner being decided on penalties.

Tim Krul actually saved a penalty in the final seconds of normal time but the AZ supporters were still not impressed with the keeper on loan from Newcastle. Krul clearly at fault for the second goal when he couldn’t hold a weak shot, then the crucial third goal in the 82nd minute also saw a poor effort from the Dutch international.

The penalty shootout was won by Utrecht 4-3, with the home keeper saving two and one of Utrecht’s five penalties going high over the bar. Justice was served really as Utrecht had finished 13 points ahead of AZ in the normal league season.

The Dutch media and AZ fans have given Tim Krul a fair amount of stick when he arrived on a loan agreement where he had been guaranteed first team football, the NUFC keeper having not even made the bench when at Ajax in the first six months of the season.

One of the stars of Newcastle’s fifth place finish in the 2011/12 season, along with the likes of Cisse, Coloccini, Cabaye, Tiote and others, he has never matched that consistent quality he showed in that season.

With one year left on his contract at Newcastle, it looks as though he will almost certainly be sold and allowed to try and rebuild his career elsewhere.

This season out on loan in the weak Dutch league was his opportunity to prove to Rafa Benitez that he was both back to full fitness and top form.

With only four clean sheets in 22 matches for AZ Alkmaar and a hefty 43 goals conceded, there has been nothing to suggest that Tim Krul will be the answer in the Premier League next season.

With the likes of Darlow and Elliot looking at least as good as Krul, there is surely no space in next season’s squad at St James Park, plus Rafa Benitez could do with as much as possible added to his transfer budget, plus getting one of the club’s top earners off the books.

A bit of a sad low-key end to his time at Newcastle but no room for sentiment if Rafa Beitez is to take this football club on the next step of its recovery.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Simon Ritter

    At his best, the finest keeper I have seen playing for Newcastle United (and I go back to Iam McFaul in the early Seventies). The 1-0 win at Spurs in November 2013 a particular highlight. Also, Peterborough away in the League Cup when a 2-0 defeat would have been seven or eight but for his brilliance. Sadly for Krul and for us, his form declined alarmingly in what is likely to prove his final season at SJP. A reluctance to command his penalty area became a costly weakness. Let’s hope he can be given a fitting send-off to honour his years of service.

    • Martin

      Can’t agree with that that. Krul had some great games but his consistency never came close to Shay Given. Shay’s shot stopping was phenomenal.

      • Gallowgate Dave

        Aye agreed, I like Krul as a bloke and as a keeper but he’s nowhere near Given’s class. It’s a shame he hasn’t kicked on or even maintained his previous form, maybe injuries are to blame, his distribution has always been woeful but I’ve been surprised at these reports of his poor form. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it’s looking like a poor decision now to get rid of Fraser Forster.

  • Tony Rose

    Martin Thomas.

  • roblee7

    end of the day his distribution has always been poor and I think that alone will be the reason rafa will not keep him. bit of a shame but i will always struggle to understand why he ran up to Defoe to congratulate him for scoring a belter against us at half time

  • Cuh736

    I’ve seen the goals, saw the shootout too. My problem was with Krul committing so early for the dives. He was way off his line before the spot kicks were taken.

    AZ lost the game because they came to defend a 3-0 lead and played poorly defensively.

    Any keeper could have conceded the 1st goal – rebound off the post, striker first to it. Poor defending

    He was totally unsighted by the defense for the second, and no defender could clear the ball when he eventually spilled it. His error but defense still to blame for offering a striker a knock down just outside the 6 yard box. That should have gone down as an assist.

    3rd goal, you must be mental to say he made a poor effort. Full stretch dive, ball rebounds off the bar, tap in again for the opponent.