I think as Newcastle United fans, we all needed a hug at full-time yesterday. Thankfully, Amanda Staveley was on hand to give Loris Karius just that after a solid debut.
Karius earned his reward from Amanda Staveley
As reported in The Daily Mail, yesterday Loris Karius had a baptism of fire making his first competitive appearance for Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley, which may even turn out to be his only appearance for the Magpies.
He wasn’t able to help his team lift the trophy but he earned himself a consolation prize: ‘Come full-time, there was a big hug from co-owner Amanda Staveley,’ the Daily Mail report states.
‘It was both consolation for the team’s loss but also thanks for a performance that many thought beyond him.’
A lot of the build-up to the game in the past week was on Karius who, as a result of Nick Pope‘s red card against Liverpool, suddenly found himself next in line for a start thanks to Martin Dubravka‘s earlier loan spell rendering him unavailable for selection and Karl Darlow having left on loan in January.
Karius is infamous in footballing circles following his last appearance for an English club five years ago, costing Liverpool their shot at lifting the Champions League trophy after a couple of absolute howlers in the final against Real Madrid. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that Karius was playing with a concussion following an elbow from Sergio Ramos. That fact didn’t save his career though and Karius went on to play for Besiktas in Turkey, however, his last game for them was two years ago, meaning he had a lot of rust to shake off at Wembley.
While there are those who will insist that Pope would have saved both of the efforts which beat Karius yesterday, I don’t think anybody can say that he played badly. He looked alert throughout, made some great saves and even his distribution was good. If anything, I’d say his defence let him down yesterday, Sven Botman having a rare off-day and Fabian Schar playing on after an early blow to the head – something Karius can empathise with I’m sure.
Guaranteed to be a pub quiz question in the future
It’s a shame then, that despite his good display and how confidently he stepped up to the plate in such a huge game, that it will likely be the last time we’ll see the German pull on the shirt with his contract due to expire at the end of the season and unlikely to be renewed.
Loris Karius can hold his head up high knowing that he did his best when called upon but unfortunately, his only prize on the big day was a big hug from Newcastle’s co-owner, Amanda Staveley as thank you for his brave efforts, and the knowledge than in several years his name will be the answer to many a pub quiz question.