Kinnear Cannot Justify Breaking Up Back Four

When we lost Steven Taylor to a groin strain back in early November, it was a big blow for Newcastle, and we subsequently lost at Fulham and could only draw at home to Wigan Athletic, and that was 5 points lost that we needed desperately.

Steven Taylor – a good young up and coming player

But since those two games, the defense has started to perform well, and we pointed out yesterday Steven will need to fight to regain his starting position, from the very impressive young Frenchman Seb Bassong, who’s the same age as Steven, at just 22.

Steven will be a little frustrated at this, but he’s also matured a lot in the last couple of years and he knows this is a team game, and Joe Kinnear has told Steven he will need to be patient.

Joe has often expressed his delight at the way Sébastien Bassong has been playing since he was brought into the side as a center-back against Wigan Athletic, after Brazilian Claudio Cacapa gave his disastrous performance at Fulham.

And Bassong looks so much better at center-back, his favored position, than he did when operating at left-back, although he was more than decent at full-back too.

Joe said today:

“It is unfortunate Steven Taylor lost his place in the side because of injury. He was playing well at the time, but I don’t have favorites in football and he has to wait for his chance to get back into the side like everyone else.”

“He knows that because he understands football, he’s a good lad and I know, if and when he is called upon, he won’t let anybody down.” “He’s a fantastic player to have on the bench because he can play in any position across the back four.”

“He has done very well for me since I came here, but Sebastien Bassong has been superb in our last two games and there is no way he deserves to lose his place in the side just because Tayls is fit again.”

“I could not justify breaking up a back four which went to Chelsea and Middlesbrough and kept clean sheets. The defense has been a real plus for us recently and Bassong has been a big part of that because he has a good partnership with Fabricio Coloccini.”

Good honest words from Joe, and it’s good if he doesn’t have favorites like some of our former managers, like Big Sam as one example, who continued to play Alan Smith last season, when Alan put in some hopeless performances, and was almost asking to be dropped.

22 year-old Sebastien Bassong – two great games recently – a top buy?

Steven Taylor also has his critics at the club, and some readers on our site are still to be convinced that Taylor is the player he is talked up to be. He’s young and is still making mistakes, but we think Steven doesn’t get all the credit he deserves for being so committed to Newcastle United.

And we’re sure he will be back in the starting line-up shortly, but at the moment that may need to be at left-back, which he’s played one or two times before for the club.

What do you think about this?

Please let us know – comments are always very welcome on our stories.

19 comments so far

  • dougnufc

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #1

    Some of these signings in January will boost our squad by miles:


  • 51times

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #2

    I don’t think Defour will be sold in January.

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #3


    i agree i have only seen them on fm 09 but theyre great

  • dougnufc

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #4

    Defour and Witsel are beast on FM09

  • lesh

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #5

    Joe appears to talk sense there and to go away twice and not concede any goals vindicates his thoughts.

    Speaking of loyalty, I trust that his faith in MO pays off this weekend. Beats me why he doesn’t go for MO, Oba and Viduka – it seemed to work last season and the way Stoke play, that lineup my just do the trick!

  • I Made 1000

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #6

    dont break up the back 4 which has keeped 2 cleans sheets in a row…keep giving them a chance

  • The Alchemist

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #7

    C’mon guys just cause some one is good on a game doesn’t mean they are gonna save us from relegation….
    Glad that taylor isn’t straight back in, bassong is much more cool and composed and we are now starting o see the best out of Colo. Lets hope this competition causes him to step his game up

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #8

    It was never a big blow, it was a positive.

    Emanuelson cant defend for his life, why get Liedson and we wont get Defour.

    Mehmet Topal and a LB please.

  • Thelongshanks

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Everton have the rights to use football manager as a scouting system it must be some use.aslo the creators of fm are toffee fans!

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #10

    tom toon

    why wont we get defour

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #11

    Better teams want him and his price tag, simple as that.

  • AO

    Dec 5, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #12

    tomtoon- Yes i agree. I just watched some clips on youtube and i can see from his highlight package that topal is a good player. Good scouting tom.

  • Ageordiedoonsooth

    Dec 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #13

    Tom_Tom you’re a tube (& that’s being polite)

  • HeronMag

    Dec 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #14

    Anyone else got the feeling that Steve Taylor is going to be one of these players that people say ‘has got potential’ even when he’s 29?

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #15

    Topal doesn’t look very good on youtube.

  • Ex-pat MAG

    Dec 5, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #16

    What the hell, did AO just compliment Tom_Toon??????????????????????????

  • nightfall

    Dec 5, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #17

    i know sisic had it in him, just never saw him doing that for the national side…and we can’t watch greek league here in slo, well…we can only watch 3 matches/week for EPL, and milan, inter from serie A and real or barca from spanish league…that’s all we can watch here…that’s all our TV stations transmit/have rights to transmit 🙂

  • AndyNUFC

    Dec 5, 2008 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #18

    “He was playing well at the time, but I don’t have favorites in football”
    Duff, Owen.

  • Nick

    Dec 5, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #19

    ” I don’t have favourites” !!!!!!
    Rubbish, he didn’t have the bottle to take off Owen instead of Martins and Duff gets in ahead of N’Zogbia..

    Taylor has and always will be a liability. that stupid grin he does every time he makes another costly error does my head in.


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