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Friday 23 March 2018

Newcastle's goalkeeping troubles

Karl Darlow is set to be Newcastle's goalkeeper for the remainder of the season
Karl Darlow is set to be Newcastle's goalkeeper for the remainder of the season

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is facing a goalkeeping crisis as he attempts to drag the club out of Barclays Premier League relegation trouble after Rob Elliot suffered a serious knee injury.

With number one Tim Krul already out for the season, Elliot's misfortune on international duty with the Republic of Ireland left Benitez with only Karl Darlow and teenager Freddie Woodman at his disposal.

It is not the first time in the club's recent history that a manager has had to cope with problems in the goalkeeping department, despite the sterling efforts of the likes of Shay Given, Steve Harper and Krul.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look back at some troubled times at St James' Park.


With Harper, then first-choice, and Shay Given both injured at the start of the 1999-2000 season, Ruud Gullit turned to £900,000 compatriot John Karelse, who let in four on debut at Southampton and three at home to Wimbledon the following weekend. Karelse, who was to make just one more appearance for the club, was replaced by loan signing Wright for what proved to be the Dutchman's final game at the helm, a 2-1 home defeat by Sunderland for which Alan Shearer was left sitting on the bench.


With Given once again injured, the then 38-year-old Srnicek re-joined the Magpies on a short-term contract as back-up to Harper, who promptly swapped places with the Republic of Ireland international in the treatment room. Srnicek's big moment came as a late substitute for Given in a 3-1 league victory over Tottenham two days before Christmas 2006, and he then started in a 2-1 Boxing Day defeat at Bolton.


With Krul and Elliot sidelined by ankle and thigh injuries respectively, then manager Alan Pardew turned to 21-year-old Alnwick, initially to good effect as he came off the bench to help secure a 2-1 league win over Chelsea. However, the youngster was to concede eight goals in his next two appearances as the Magpies slipped to four successive defeats, with then then 17-year-old Woodman providing the back-up.


In rather different circumstances, Beardsley - by popular acclaim one of the finest players ever to pull on the famous black and white shirt - found himself wearing the gloves instead, the third man to do so after specialist keeper Martin Thomas had initially been replaced by Ian Stewart in an 8-1 defeat at West Ham in April 1986. Hammers defender Alvin Martin scored a unique hat-trick, one goal against each of the three.

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