Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A kept man

"If a Martian landed and I had to explain what this club was all about, I’d say ‘jump on the rollercoaster and enjoy the ride'." Just one of a number of choice quotes in this Times interview with our new first-choice 'keeper Steve Harper.

Harper, who compares himself to "a low-mileage car - no previous owner, plenty of petrol left in the tank" (a little rustiness too?), claims he's been patient in waiting for his opportunity but never comfortable or satisfied with his role as Shay Given's understudy: "Ask any of the managers who have been here in my time — and there’s been about 100 — and they’ll all tell you that I’ve always knocked on the door and asked to play, but I haven’t done it publicly, I haven’t slagged anybody off or started fights in training". Hmm, I wonder who he could be talking about...

Given the length of time he's been with the club, it's unsurprising he's under no illusions about the deep-rootedness of our problems, acknowledging the existence of "a built-in self-destruct button" which is in need of "eradicating". The fact that "I wake up every morning and tell myself, ‘when this place is right, it’ll take off’" sounds to me like a faintly desperate attempt to convince himself that things will right themselves sooner rather than later. With Given now plying his trade for Arab Plaything FC (and still unable to prevent his new side from losing winnable games away from home), Harper is a key figure in our fight to survive and set things straight at least temporarily, and so it's vital he's at the top of his game and proves how fortunate we've been to have him in reserve all this time.

Among the other interesting titbits in the article is the revelation that Spurs bid £500,000 for him during the transfer window (presumably prior to signing Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea) and the fact that his cousin Barry "has ‘NUFC’ tattooed inside his bottom lip"...


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