We like to see competition for places at Newcastle, and the club has certainly had that this year.
Ryan Taylor – nearly always a substitute this year
And two of the players who cannot make the starting line-up these days are Ryan Taylor and Nicky Butt, but that’s not to say they haven’t made contributions for the Newcastle club.
The game these days is all about the squad, and it’s important because of injuries, lack of form and suspensions that Newcastle have a big enough squad to cope with these things that happen every season.
Manager Chris Hughton has done more than a decent job in using his squad well this season, and he talked about Butt and Taylor today:
“Unfortunately for Ryan he hasn’t played as many games as he would have liked of late but it’s important not to forget about the likes of him and Nicky Butt,”
“They’ve both made very, very big contributions. We’ve had real good competition for places and if I look through the squad there aren’t really too many that haven’t played a fairly significant part.”
“If I look at this particular moment the ones that haven’t figured so much recently are Ryan Taylor and Nicky Butt, but you’ve only got to look at the number of games they have played over a season to see their contribution.”
“With Nicky you’ve got a player who wants to play every game,” “He’s still very fit, you only have to look at the distances he covers in training and games.”
“It will always be frustrating for him when he’s not playing but he’s been great to have around the place. He’s a real solid character and a real solid personality.”
“Is he a future coach? I don’t know. It’s always got to be a personal decision whether you want it. I do know he knows the game.”
“This is a player brought up in a very good coaching school with very good players.” “He knows the game and he can see how a game unfolds. He has some good qualities to stay in the game.”
For the record, Ryan Taylor has 31 appearances this season, with 21 starts and 4 goals, and that’s a very good return from Ryan.
Nicky Butt has had a much more restricted season, appearing just 17 times with 12 starts and no goals, and we have to think this is Nicky’s last season in football.
Newcastle fans will understand that these lads have an impact at the club, and after all, only 11 players can start each game.