February 23 News The Athletic UK Newcastle reporter Chris Waugh wrote a column titled——How
Newcastle ended up with Loris Karius in goal for their biggest game this century
Interestingly, Newcastle’s internal assessment after Karius joined believed that Dallow and Karius were of similar level as goalkeepers, but in the end Dallow was rented out while Karius stayed.
Whether this was simply an attempt to positively restore Karius’ confidence from those famous blunders with upbeat rhetoric is debatable, but Howe has been full of praise for Karius both in public and in private
Although he did not announce that Karius will start at Wembley, the media generally believes that Karius is about to usher in this moment.
After Newcastle’s loss to Liverpool, Howe called Karius – who was training at Benton that morning and was not in the matchday squad – to contact him and see if he was going to be in the next big game.
Be in the right frame of mind for the week.
Howe found Karius to be a relaxed person in private, and he was as prepared as he could be.
As for Gillespie, he left the Newcastle academy at the age of 16 and went on to make over 250 EFL and Scottish league appearances for Carlisle United, Walsall and Motherwell.
The 30-year-old, who has never played under Howe, was left out of the 25-man squad less than a day after Darrow was injured in September.
Gillespie was named third goalkeeper, but Howe told him in a friendly face-to-face meeting that he would be replaced by Karius.
If it had been a week earlier, he would have been sent out on loan.
However, what is even more ironic is that if Dubravka hadn’t been loaned to Manchester United, he would be more likely to start in the League Cup.
And if he hadn’t asked to come back, he would have been more likely to have won a medal at United.
The key question, then, is how do Newcastle get a keeper – one starting for the first time since his two-year anniversary – ready for a cup final in eight days?
The actual number of training sessions is much less.
Newcastle have scheduled rest days on Sunday and Monday, so Karius and Gillespie’s first training session with team-mates as first and second goalkeepers did not start until Tuesday.
Instead, Karius was in Milan earlier this week with his girlfriend, Italian TV presenter Diletta Leotta.
Howe didn’t ask to cancel the planned trip because the mantra behind the scenes has been to treat it like a normal week.
Off the pitch, Karius is known as a laid-back and easy-going individual.
One of his former Mainz coaches described him as “a cold character”.
Karius has an interest in fashion, is known for his good looks, plays with Justin Bieber in Miami, and loves to race motocross.
He is well-liked by his team-mates – despite not playing, the German often stands out in post-victory pictures – and while he is said to be socially reluctant, many at the club speak of his positive behaviour.
The demeanor is calming.
More importantly, during the training period, he was very focused and as a substitute goalkeeper, he was very active in helping other goalkeepers maintain their standards. This attitude left a deep impression on the staff.
Howe will not accept players who lack commitment in training, and Karius’ attitude has never been questioned.
Eddie Howe hopes that Karius will become familiar with his defensive teammates as soon as possible. Although he is no stranger to the four-back system, he still has insufficient running-in with Newcastle’s starting lineup.
As Howe himself said, Pope “has been our rock, he’s been great” and “now it’s time for others to stand up.”
Is Karius ready?
No one at Newcastle can say this for sure, but everyone hopes that Karius, who has been on a roller coaster, can make this League Cup final a day of salvation for himself and the team.