The Newcastle United fans here in the Transfer Tavern really are hoping for some new arrivals over the course of the next few weeks. Indeed, many of our resident Geordies believe their Premier League survival largely relies on reinforcements arriving.
However, few would doubt the fact that Rafa Benitez is doing a grand job with the tools available on Tyneside, despite a difficult time of things leading up to the frantic festive period.
One of the key areas in which much of the debate amongst our punters clad in black and white who prop up our bar has surrounded the goalkeeping situation in play on Tyneside. Benitez has swapped between Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow for much of the campaign, with neither having their best season for the Magpies thus far.
Still, Elliot put in a fairly impressive performance against Manchester City and kept the Toon Army in the game for a large part of that encounter, while Darlow pulled off some borderline world class saves to keep a clean sheet as Newcastle picked up a vital three points away at Stoke City on New Year’s Day.
With that in mind, we recently asked our punters who they were backing between the two between now and the end of the season, assuming no other shot-stopper arrives in the January window.
Interestingly enough, Darlow came out just on top as the former Nottingham Forest man picked up 51% of the vote, just edging out Rob Elliot. While he’s been shaky at times, Darlow’s performance against the Potters seems to have restored confidence in him amongst the St. James’ Park faithful.