Written by Ryan Wolfe
Here is a man, a Dutch international, who is given no real respect. I don’t hear TV pundits, experts or even other goalkeepers talk about him. When people talk about the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, very rarely have I heard his name come up. And I just cannot understand why.
It occurred to me this weekend, when watching over a performance reel of Tim Krul’s best saves in recent campaigns, that the Dutch stopper, despite having been a constant performer for Newcastle over the past few years, has never earned the respect that I feel rightly deserves.
One match in particular sticks most readily in the mind: Tottenham away last year. To refresh some of the tarnished memories, Tottenham had 14 shots on target that day – and didn’t score… the most without joy by any side in a Premier League game since 2006-07.
This season as well, he has been an integral cog in our resurgence. To describe him as solid at the back would be an understatement, and provides excellent leadership in marshalling the back four. He doesn’t lose his cool nor does he blame the team when mistakes are made. Seriously, when your goalkeeper helps you in games, confidence does grow within the team itself. You feel safe and secure with them being between the posts.
On the international stage, he has experienced a mixed bag. For those who do not remember, his performance in the World Cup against Costa Rica was exquisite. He was, in somewhat debateable fashion, second choice to Jasper Cillissen. When called upon for the penalty shout out, Tim Krul showed his class and ability. And yet, he still remains second in the pecking order.
I can still remember when he first arrived at Newcastle as a young up and coming goalkeeper from ADO Den Haag in 2006. At that point Shay Given was the number one choice so the transfer naturally went unnoticed. And then poof, in 2010 Given was sold to Man City for what I deem as a derisory transfer fee of £5.9 million and things changed. An aging journey-man Steven Harper took over and produced a number of fine displays but after suffering an injury early on in the 10/11 season, Tim Krul was given the Number 1 shirt. Since then, he has never looked back.
He is top class through and through. We beat Liverpool with a clean sheet and although the goal would not have counted, the save he made on Coutinho was absolute class. Week in and week out this man lives, dies and breathes Newcastle United. Although he may never be given the credit or have the awards, Tim Krul should be in conversation next to the likes of Howard, De Gea, Cortouis, and Hart.
No matter who we play, with Tim Krul in goal I always feel we have a chance. He has been an absolute rock for us over the past few years, and I feel that if we were to lose him to the supposed foreign interest in either January or the Summer months, then we could be losing an irreplaceable asset.