It seems that the departure of some of the big personalities and talkers in the Newcastle dressing room have allowed others to come out of their shells.
Steven Taylor – the masked man at the heart of the Newcastle defense
Certainly my son Neil keeps saying it was probably a big relief to many of the Newcastle players when Joey Barton left, as he was just so completely outspoken and had an opinion on everything.
Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton have all left Newcastle this year, and we thank them for what they did over the last two seasons, in helping to get get Newcastle out of the Championship at the very first attempt, and having a first solid season back in the big time.
Steven has also talked about the new professional bunch that arrived in the summer as being a breath of fresh air in the dressing room.
This is what local lad Steven Taylor had to say:
“Players have had to come out of their shell and it really shows their character, you’ve got to stand and be counted out there,”
“In the dressing room now, we have great banter with the lads. The new French boys who’ve come in have mingled in straight away. I think that’s very important.”
“The Kevin Nolans, Andy Carrolls, Joey Bartons, Jose Enriques – they were fantastic players for us and did so well, credit to them for staying with us when we got relegated.”
“Obviously they’ve moved on now, it’s a new era and this place is going forward now.” “The crunch thing for me was America. We had 10 flights in 10 days and it could have been easy for a few guys to start moaning about that.”
“But credit to them, everybody stuck together and it’s got us to where we are now.” “Everyone knows Newcastle have a small squad but we’ve got quality there and the one things people can’t buy – the team spirit.”
“That’s what’s doing well for us at the moment. We’ve got to keep doing that.” “You’re bringing in top talent, the French boys have come in and been a breath of fresh air.”
“Ben Arfa’s a quality player, for instance, he’s a special talent and we’ve got a great buy there. He’s getting his fitness back now and looking sharp and getting back to where he was.”
“The foreign lads know what it means. When they’re out shopping, in restaurants, everybody tells them what it means to the football club. It’s drilled into them.”
“This is a massive football club and at the moment it’s moving forward.”
Of course Steven has been a Newcastle fan since he was born, and he was brought up in Whitley Bay of Geordie parents, and nothing would please him more than if Newcastle were to become a great team again.
Certainly the first 11 games of the season would suggest that Newcastle are heading in the right direction, and we’ll have to wait until next May to see just how good this new Newcastle team are.
Any guesses as to where we’ll finish in the league?