Sam – Taylor Still Has Lots to Learn

Sam Allardyce has talked today about the deficiencies in one of his top young players, Steven Taylor.

Sam was unhappy at Steven’s poor performance in central defense against Manchester City when we gave up two poor goals especially the second, when the 21 year-old Taylor was clearly at fault.

Sam is talking openly about the challenge young Taylor faces to get back into the first team at Newcastle.


Steven Taylor – England Under-21 International still has lots to learn about the game

Sam talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“Steven has been disappointed – there’s no doubt about that,” “He loves football and he comes in and trains his hardest every morning. He isn’t showing his disappointment in training, that’s for sure, but he will be very frustrated at the moment.”

“It’s not about me dropping players, it’s about players dropping themselves because they played poorly at Manchester City. If you play that badly, you’re likely to lose your shirt. That’s not just Steven Taylor – that’s most of the back four on that day.”

“Players have got to realize that when I’ve got a full squad available, one poor performance can cost you your place in the team. It’s frustrating and disappointing for the players in question. But that’s the nature of the game these days.”

Allardyce was really annoyed at the defense after the Manchester City game and he dropped both Taylor and Rozehnal, the central defensive pair that day, for the next game at Everton.

Only Senegalese international Habib Beye survived Sam’s axe and now Caçapa and Abdoulaye Faye have formed a good partnership at the back and Newcastle have won both their last two games.

Caçapa has looked great particularly strong for Newcastle, and his European experience as Lyon captain is starting to pay dividends at Newcastle, and his goal on Monday night was great to see.

However, although the Brazilian has repleaced Taylor, Sam is hoping Cacapa’s experience will rub off on young Taylor, who we all know still has a lot to learn at the back.

Sam added:

“You have to be able to read the game well, it’s the biggest thing to learn as a young defender,” “You cannot just be relying on your physical qualities to get you out of trouble. You have to learn the game.”

“The perfect example for Steven, the player for him to watch would be Claudio.”

“Claudio’s not as quick as Steven and he’s not as young as Steven. But his brain puts him in positions that mean he can nip the danger in the bud before the forward has even got there. He makes it look so simple. But it’s a difficult thing to pick up, reading the game, and that’s what Steven must do.”

“I think basic repetitive training is the answer – particularly for defenders. No disrespect to previous Newcastle managers. But that hasn’t happened in the past here.”

This will be touch for young Taylor, having being lauded so much during the last 2 years for his ability and now falling out of favor with Big Sam.  Taylor faces a personal challenge here. It will certainly test the young man, but we think Steven is big enough to come through this – and he’ll be so much better because of it, if he heeds Big Sam’s words.  We think he will do just that because Sam’s got his football interests at heart, and Steven knows that.

One thing Steven can be sure about – Sam knows what he’s talking about – and we’re sure Steven knows that too.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • Bill f

    Oct 26, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #1

    That last comment by Sam is the crux of the matter as far as our team is concerned. The basis repetitive element appears to have been missing, its the same in any sport whether its martial arts or tennis 0r anything else. You have to do the basics properly and it looks like it aint been happening. I’m certain if Steve is prepared to learn from Cacapa and the others he will become a very good player. Shows the benefits of youth and experience.

  • valle

    Oct 26, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #2

    “I think basic repetitive training is the answer – particularly for defenders. No disrespect to previous Newcastle managers. But that hasn’t happened in the past here.”

    Sam knows what to do, and Taylor can learn allot by staying, thats for sure… furthermore he wouldnt be a starter at any of the big 4 which is our aim as i understood it from Sam so he might as well hang on.

  • ToonKing

    Oct 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #3

    Steven has plenty of time to learn, he can learn the trade from Caludio and the attitude from Joey. Watch Joey’s short interview on SkySports, the guys attitude is just perfect in every sense.

  • valle

    Oct 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #4

    “(In the Newcastle dressing room) if anyone speaks talking French or something the gaffer shouts ‘speak effin English, I don’t want any of that foreign s**t in my dressing room’.”

    Joey Barton about City’s dressing room where no-one understands each other… Apperently Big Sam wont stand for that 😉 . I must admit that im becomming a big fan of Big Sam very quickly.

  • Steeley

    Oct 26, 2007 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #5

    The Guardian quoted Sam as saying that Taylor had played “crap”…how come you removed that bit out of your ditty above Ed?

    At the end of the day, Taylor isnt as good as those in the positions at the moment, and to be honest, even if Cacapa or Faye got injured then Rozenhal would be called up first.

    At the end of th day he’s a young lad learning his game, and while he looks a great talent for the future, his game isnt rounded yet. Here’s hoping he doesnt make a mockery of himself by slapping in a Tx request….I wouldnt ever want him to abuse his status as a geordie by blackmailing the club into playing (paying?) him more just because he loves the club!

  • hadrian

    Oct 26, 2007 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #6

    hope he doesnt throw tantrum , but sams right .
    taylors father made a right balls up going public implying that taylor was the be all end all and expecting a superstars wage packet ,
    great prospect tho .

  • Bill f

    Oct 26, 2007 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #7

    I reckon the fact that Sam wasn’t prepared to jump through hoops to accomodate young Stevie has underlined the fact that he is in charge. I’m pretty certain that if Steve had persisted in his demands he would be on his way to another club. Still might be.

  • Luke

    Oct 26, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #8

    “the guys attitude is just perfect in every sense.”

    …court case pending, huh?

  • Hammy

    Oct 26, 2007 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #9

    My sympathy levels for Taylor are non existant…..after a half decent England Tournament… could see what was coming next contract wise….
    He made plenty of gaffs last season which most fans seem to have forgotten,
    I wouldn’t put him back in the team unless someone gets an injury or suffers some drastic loss of form.
    He’s only a kid defensively and a good centre half who looks after himself can play well into their 30’s, back to school for Steve methinks.

  • Brisbane Mag

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #10

    Against City, young Taylor made a mistake that nearly caused a goal; only rescued by his team mate; he laughed/grinned!

    Sorry, it’s not funny…….

    To be a top PL side, we can not accomodate mistakes and to laugh about it, is NOT acceptable.

    I like Taylor, but a mistake by a defender is normally a goal in PL and certainly not funny for Newcastle or the the fans who support Newcastle United.

    Essential he signs 5 year contract with Newcastle, but at the right price!

    Come on Steve, sign up for the boys……

  • leo

    Oct 26, 2007 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #11

    question time everyone, which former newcastle player would make one mistake during a game and it would end up being a goal to the opponents???

    thats mr 50pence piece head bramble himself. hope taylor doesnt go that way.

    it is great though that if a player has a bad game big sam willnot hesitate to drop them, and that they have to fight for their shirt back, its great for ethics and great for the team as a hole.

    i am soo pleased with the way big sam has managed our club soo far, long may it last

  • Bill f

    Oct 26, 2007 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #12

    The problem with Titus was that he was usually the last line of defence so any mistake often ended in a goal. Forwards can make as many mistakes as they like and are not crucified for it. Don’t forget he was carrying an injury for a long long time, he wasn’t the best player but he weren’t the worst either. I think Sam could have got better use from him.

  • Chris Bunton

    Oct 26, 2007 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Talylor had got a bit ahead of himself and started believing the hype. Last season he was the best defender we had in a terrible defence so thats nothing to shout about really. He was also made captain of the under 21s so maybe that also had him beliving he was better than he is. Sam is right, the best defenders read the game, just think of a fit Woodgate, thats what he was all about. However, if Taylor can take Sams advice and improve this part of his game to go with his other atributes, he will grow into one of the best defenders in the country, he could be a cross between Ferdinand and Terry.


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