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Meeting Rob Elliot

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We don't know what to expect from the new keeper, and that's a bit scary.

Proof that Elliot has played (for Charlton Athletic)
Proof that Elliot has played (for Charlton Athletic)
Laurence Griffiths

Trying to find out information on Rob Elliot is somewhat disconcerting. A Google search comes up with "Rob Elliot Furniture" on page one. Sure, there are links to Rob Elliot's player profiles, but when you want to know more about the guy who is going to be in net for Newcstle the next five weeks, a furniture store isn't what you want to see on the first page of search results.

Why are we taking a look at Rob Elliot?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Tim Krul will miss next 5 weeks due to ankle injury picked up in Kharkiv last night. Rob Elliot plays v Southampton.(Via @<a href="https://twitter.com/simonpryde">simonpryde</a>) <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23NUFC">#NUFC</a></p>&mdash; Chris Conway (@Chris_Conway) <a href="https://twitter.com/Chris_Conway/status/304980512869593088">February 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Perhaps it was a tip off that Krul was seriously injured when he passed the ball to Coloccini on a goal kick instead of taking it himself. He was carded for his efforts, but in retrospect that gives an indication as to how badly Krul was injured.

And so it falls to Rob Elliot to help stem the tide. He's played twice this season. Once was a 0-0 draw with Maritomo in the Europa League. Going by this match report, Elliot wasn't tested much. He also played the first half of NUFC's 3-0 win over Bordeaux before being subbed off for Steve Harper. He took the loss when Bordeaux returned the favor, giving Newcastle a 2-0 loss, though Elliot felt he played well in that match. Elliot was also in net for the 2-1 loss to Manchester United in the 3rd round of the Capital One Cup. Prior to that, his only other appearance for Newcastle was a 4-3 win over Nottingham Forest in the 2011-12 Carling Cup.

It is hard to get a read on Elliot because since joining Newcastle, he has played very little. He has never played a Premiere League match. The situations he's played in have been fairly low-pressure. According to his Wikiedia page, Elliot stated his desire to be the first choice keeper for Newcastle. He'll get that wish on Sunday when Southampton comes calling.

For the five weeks that Krul is out, Newcastle sees Southampton and Stoke City at home in league play. They face road tests against Swansea, Wigan, and Manchester City. Mixed into that is the two legs against Anzi Makhachkala in Europa play. The schedule is packed. Perhaps Harper will get the call in a match to help take some of the load off of Elliot. Whoever is in net in the next five weeks has big shoes to fill, and must be up to the task if Newcastle are to stay in the Premiere League and continue their European play.