It must have been assault training day yesterday at Benton, with two players picking up injuries that will keep them out out for the rest of the season.
Steven Taylor – big chance to show Pardew what he can do
Mike Williamson somehow managed to break his arm, and the only thing we were told about Ben Arfa was that he had a little set-back, but whatever that was it that will keep him out for over two weeks, and therefore past the end of the season.
It does give Steven Taylor a chance to again show what he can do for Newcastle, and we’ve been surprised the 25 year-old has not been able to regain a first team place this year, especially given his prior career at the club.
This is what manager Alan Pardew said about Steven today:
“He had a fantastic younger part of his career,” “Then he’s hit a bit of a leveling off when he’s not gone either forward or backward, and that’s dangerous for a young player.”
“He needs to get back moving his career in the right direction. He’s a young center-half with tremendous qualities and he needs to just have the mentality to use those.”
“He’s got the technical ability to be an England player, but you’ve got to be fit every week and have the mentality to work every day. His fitness and injuries have been a big issue and probably one of the reasons why he’s flattened out.”
“He’s in his natural position. He was a bit unfortunate when he came back, he ended up playing in a couple of positions that weren’t his favored ones. I wanted to see what he offered at right back, but this is his favored position.”
“We’ve changed his training program and his diet a little bit. He was getting big, muscular on top and we’ve tried to slim him down a little bit and he looks better for it, he looks quicker.”
We’ve wondered for a while how Newcastle are picking up all these injuries in training, and in the interviews with the local press yesterday, it seems that Alan Pardew was a little irritable on that particular topic, which is hardly surprising.
It also seems that there’s little chance of seeing Dan Gosling back this season, so Newcastle have suffered injuries to Leon Best, Steven Ireland, Danny Guthrie, Shola Ameobi, Mike Williamson and Ben Arfa in training this year alone – and there’s probably more than that on the list.
Best, Ireland, Williamson and Ben Arfa, and also maybe Danny Guthrie, are out for the season.
But at least this is a chance for Steven Taylor to get back into the swing of things at the club, and ever since he signed his new long term contract, shortly after Alan Pardew arrived, he hasn’t been able to hold down a first team place in the side.
Steven has started only two games this year, and has appeared only 11 times this season, and so far has 184 overall appearances for Newcastle with 10 goals.
We have to hope Taylor can give a solid appearance at the back for Newcastle tomorrow against Birmingham City, who are a side we should still be able to beat, even with all the injuries the lads have been picking up.
A win tomorrow will lift the spirits of both fans and players at Newcastle, and a win is what we all need.
Howay The Lads!!