Newcastle United: How Will They Fare If Tim Krul Leaves?
Many think Krul is the biggest reason that the Magpies have achieved sixth in the league table through 22 matches. After all, his eight clean sheets is second-best in the league and his durability—the Netherlands international has played every minute so far—is valuable beyond measure.
But Krul is not the biggest reason Newcastle is five goals away from overtaking Arsenal for a chance to play in next year's Champions League. In my opinion, the 23-year-old has been a liability this year and looks better than he truly is thanks to a stellar defensive back line for the Magpies.
For instance, take the fact that Krul has only faced 92 shots on goal. That's just four per match—in the middle of the table, as far as goalkeepers are concerned.
Or the fact that he's allowing 1.36 goals per match. Again, sitting right in the middle of the table.
In my opinion, Krul is not a superstar talent. He's good, I'll give him that, but he's a young kid trying to find his place in one of the highest levels of soccer in the world. He's inconsistent in front of goal, giving as many good performances as bad ones and it's only a matter of flipping a coin to predict how Krul will perform for Newcastle.
Case in point—last Saturday against Fulham.
Sure, the first goal was a penalty kick and can hardly be blamed on him, but the young 'keeper whiffed on the second goal in the 60th minute, was slow to act on the third in the 65th and then recklessly ran into Fulham's Andrew Johnson in the 67th to force the second penalty kick. The fifth (and final) goal for Fulham was the result of some of the poorest marking I've ever seen from a defender in the Premier League.
Three goals were the result of Krul's sloppy play. The man is unpredictable. You never know what you're going to get when he walks out onto the pitch.
Is he the Dutch phenom who can blank Manchester United and Arsenal?
Or is he the kid who gives up hat-tricks to Americans and allows four goals to a newly-promoted Norwich City team?
If the north London team wants him, Newcastle fans should rejoice as he'll probably fetch a few million pounds. That's money that can be spent to make sure that Demba Ba—the real reason Newcastle has a legitimate shot at next year's Champions League—stays at St. James Park.
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