Steven Taylor has been injured since the England Under-21 team were narrowly beaten in the semi-final of the European Under-21 championships by holders and eventual champions Holland.
Of course that didn’t stop Steven from scoring a penalty in that shoot-out when he was not allowed to skip his turn by the Dutch coach.
It looks like Sam Allardyce has quickly worked out what Steven is like – and may be a tiny bit grateful that Steven was injured â€“ so he was forced to take time off from the game.
This is what Sam told the Evening Chronicle today about Steven:
â€œSteven is doing OK. He actually needed the rest.“
â€œWhen I say that, I mean he didnâ€™t need to be playing games.â€
â€œHe would have been champing at the bit to start playing right now.â€
â€œBut his ankle injury made sure he got the right amount of rest.â€
Big Sam has already done a lot behind the scenes to make the changes needed at the club to ensure injuries are kept to an absolute minimum. Nobody needs reminding of how horrific the injury toll has been at Newcastle over the last two seasons.
Sam has already amassed over 20 members on his coaching and medical team â€“ as part of his overall back-room staff. We’ll look for a big improvement in our injury record this season – even though we have rather unfortunately lost Joey Barton to a broken foot on Saturday. But there’s nothing much you can do about those freak injuries.
Sam seems pleased he has most of the people now in place on his staff and went on:
â€œI have to sit back and keep my mouth shut now because I am old-fashioned.â€â€œWhat managers used to say is not the way forward now.â€
â€œI know that is the case because of the huge success we had at Bolton, not just getting results, but in terms of keeping players fit.â€
â€œThat is an important part of the future of Newcastle United.â€
â€œAnd it is important that the players take it on board as it will benefit us in the end.â€
Steven may be able to make a short appearance against Celtic on Thursday evening but we would doubt that he’ll be risked. We still don’t know who will be captain for the coming season but no doubt Steven is one of the front runners. He may be a year or two too young for the job – but that’s up to Sam to decide and if Steven does get the nod – there’s not too many fans who will disagree with the choice.
Steven is going to be a key player for Newcastle next season – no doubt about that – since we must tighten the defense. But it’s hard to doubt Steven’s courage, determination, tenacity and 100% effort for the Newcastle cause – he epitomizes what Newcastle players should stand for.