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Thread: Top 10 keepers - done by Lee Ryder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Top 10 keepers - done by Lee Ryder

    1. Shay Given
    Other generations of fans may disagree on this one but for me, the Irishman was one of the best goalies in the world during his peak.

    The Republic of Ireland international was a snip at just 1.5million from Blackburn Rovers after a successful loan spell at Sunderland.

    Fans on the Fulwell End didn't know it then but Toon scouts were filing positive reports back to Kenny Dalglish ahead of an exciting move to St James' Park.

    After arriving on Tyneside he quickly beat Pavel Srnicek, Shaka Hislop and Steve Harper to the number 1 spot and pulled off save after save.

    Twelve years of service would follow with Given between the posts during forays to the Champions League and cup finals alike.

    Given was not only just a great shot-stopper but he would command his box and kept out some of the best strikers in the world.

    Never afraid to speak his mind, Given once told me an interview that United had defended like a "pub team" after a home defeat against Fulham.

    He was the first to warn that Mike Ashley's United were in relegation trouble in 2008 and it was no surprise when he eventually left the club he joined to sign for Manchester City citing a lack of ambition on Tyneside.

    He starred for Aston Villa, Stoke City and Middlesbrough later in his career but his best years were at Newcastle.

    Looking back on his career at United he once said: "At one point I did think I would be there for life.

    "I had great times and I have great memories.

    "I've always been very grateful for the support that I had when I was at the club."

    2. Pavel Srnicek

    The Czech stopper won hearts and minds on Tyneside and the city plunged into mourning when he was taken from us at the age of just 47.

    After signing for United in 1990, he didn't speak English but fans were soon chanting "Pavel is a Geordie" from the Gallowgate End.

    Pav fought off stiff competition to make the number 1 spot his during the Entertainers era and while Kevin Keegan would often switch keepers, it will be the warm and friendly Srnicek that will probably be remembered most as the man between the posts during the halcyon days of 1990s.

    The man signed from Banik Ostrava used to give fans jitters when racing out of his box to weave past centre-forwards but he rarely let United down.

    After stints at Sheff Wed, Portsmouth and West Ham, and a spell in Italy, he returned to Newcastle in 2006.

    If he hadn't got the farewell he deserved in the 1990s, he got it under Glenn Roeder when making an appearance as sub in the 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur as he enjoyed a standing ovation.

    It was no surprise that St Andrews Church in Newcastle was a packed house of A-list Newcastle United personalities in January 2016 when Alan Shearer, Lee Clark, John Beresford, Sir John Hall, Scott Sellars and even Sunderland legend Jimmy Montgomery all turned out to pay their respects.

    3. Tim Krul
    The Dutchman was deemed as one of the best in Europe when he picked up a knee injury at United in 2015.

    He didn't know it then but it would effectively be the beginning of the end of his career at St James' Park.

    But the Dutch international - who once made 14 saves in one game at Spurs to net a Premier League record - had a great run at Newcastle.

    After making a stunning debut in a 1-0 win over Palermo and a starring role in Newcastle's top-five season in 2012, the Dutchman was linked with Barcelona and AC Milan.

    However a knee injury sustained playing for Holland meant Krul never forced his way back into the team as Rafa Benitez released the Hague-born stopper in 2017.

    Failure to see eye to eye with Benitez resulted in moves to Brighton then Norwich.

    Despite Norwich's struggles this season he has been reconsidered for the Holland squad this season before the season was cut short by the virus pandemic.

    Krul loved his time at St James' and once said: "I had a bad injury and Rafa came in.

    "He wanted to get his own goalkeeper.

    "I probably would have still been at Newcastle now had it not been for that.

    "I have never shied away from the fact I love the place and I always will."

    4. Martin Dubravka

    Newcastle United initially signed Dubravka on loan from Sparta Prague before quickly making the deal into a permanent transfer.

    The Slovakian's impressive early displays against Man United and Arsenal showed that the club had unearthed a gem.

    As recently as 2017, Dubravka was plying his trade for Slovan Liberec before being spotted by Newcastle playing in the Czech League.

    After helping Newcastle to a 10th place finish in 2018, Dubravka followed up with the North-East player of the year award in 2019.

    Newcastle tied him down to a long-term deal in 2020 and it's easy to see why after a string of man of the match performances in his 68 appearances for the club.

    5. Ronnie Simpson
    The Glaswegian was only 5ft 10in but deemed an incredible shot-stopper for Newcastle.

    After joining United in 1951 he won two FA Cup winners medals in finals against Man City and Arsenal, keeping a clean sheet against the Gunners in 1952 in front of the Twin Towers.

    After 300 appearances for Newcastle he headed back to Scotland playing for Hibernian then Celtic, winning a European Cup winners medal with the Scottish giants to cap a fantastic career.

    6. Willie McFaul

    The former Northern Ireland stopper was the man between the posts when Newcastle last won a trophy in the shape of the 1969 Fairs Cup final.

    He had a great understanding with legendary skipper Bobby Moncur just in front of him at United.

    Signed from Linfield, McFaul made 290 appearances for Newcastle and helped the team reach the FA Cup final in 1974

    Many experts in Northern Ireland say McFaul would have played many more times for his country had it not been for the brilliance of Pat Jennings.

    McFaul returned to the club later in his career as coach then manager, and even guided the team to eighth place in the top-flight.

    7. Mike Mahoney
    Fans of the 1970s used to chant: "Mike Mahoney super goalie" after his arrival from Torquay captured their imagination.

    Playing in a team of stars at St James' Park, including Supermac, Terry Hibbitt, Irving Nattrass, Alan Kennedy and Stuart Barrowclough, Mahoney helped the team to the League Cup final in 1976 and scooped player of the year.

    Having taken over from McFaul the Bristolian made 108 appearances and proved to be a real crowd favourite staying at United for three years.

    Mahoney said later in his life: "Supporters at any club make you or break you although the support at Newcastle was and still is fantastic.

    "I took over from Willie McFaul who was a popular figure but it makes a big difference when you know the crowd are behind you.

    "The crowd up there are very knowledgeable and know if you are having a good or bad game but having their support really helps a player."

    8. Jimmy Lawrence

    The Glaswegian served Newcastle for 18 years and made 496 appearances for the club.

    Service is one thing but he also won three league titles in 1905, 1907 and 1909 and the FA Cup in 1910, keeping a clean sheet in the final replay against Barnsley at Goodison Park.

    The keeper went on to manage South Shields and Preston North End later in his career.

    Nobody in Toon history has made more appearances than the Scot.

    9. Willie Wilson
    The man between the posts during Newcastle's last title win way back in 1927.

    They say at 5ft 10in he was still an imposing force between the posts and his strength helped compensate for a lack of height.

    The Edinburgh-born keeper's pre-game ritual was to enter the field second last.

    10. Steve Harper
    Harper is Newcastle's longest-serving player after serving between 1993 and 2013.

    He stuck around at the club with some fierce competition around him such as Srnicek, Given, Hislop and Tommy Wright.

    Making his Premier League debut against Wimbledon in 1998, the Easington-born stopper went on to play in the FA Cup final later that season, keeping Given out the team on merit.

    Sir Bobby Robson also preferred him over Given for a Champions League clash with Juventus on a night when he kept out some of the game's biggest names in 2002.

    Harper once said: "I hadn't played for a while ... you're walking along shaking hands and you're thinking 'That's Pavel Nedvěd and that's Del Piero' and there's the Champions League music blaring."

    Harper was one of the key men in the dressing room in 2009/10 when the club were relegated, keeping goal for the club's title win in the Championship and helping guide the team back to the top-flight.

    He played Europa League football in 2012/13 under Alan Pardew and has had stints as lead goalkeeping coach and now first team coach under Steve Bruce.

    Harper attracted a crowd of over 40,000 for his testimonial against AC Milan in 2013 when stars such as Paolo Maldini, Alan Shearer and Rob Lee turned out.


    I've obviously not seen a large chunk of them but their top 4 would of been my top 4.

    I might have put Krul ahead of Pav but it would of been by a whisker if I did.

    Dubravka could i suspect creep into 3rd but we'll have to see how it goes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    You know despite some of the great, sometimes impossible saves he made the thing I most remember about Pav was the huge grin on his face following one of those saves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    I love Pav...but I never thought he was a very good keeper personally...

    I'd have Given, Krul, Dubravka and Harper above him on talent...

  4. #4
    No place for Dave Hollins and Given No 1 what a load of tosh

    Given was found out as soon as he went to City. Terrible distribution and a Dracula at Corners he was terrified of crosses

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    But we're not talking about how they did at other clubs but how they did here.

    And I'd say that he certainly in my time (which i'm very aware is limited in comparison to the age of some) he would be the number 1.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Would definitely got rid of Mahoney and put Hollins in. Super goalie was only good for one season in the three he spent here. I think at the end even Stevie Hardwick was preferred. That might just be my memory playing tricks. But apart from 1976 Mahoney was very average indeed

  7. #7
    Is have Tim krul as number 1
    Pav. Wasn't a great keeper but I liked him
    Dubravka will be remembered as our best ever keeper of

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Loved Shay, loved Pav but I reckon Krul is my favourite overall.

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