Ryan Taylor has been little short of a revelation this season for Newcastle.
A good action shot of Ryan Taylor
The Liverpudlian has so far played in both full-back positions, out on the right wing and last Sunday he filled in for Yohan Cabaye in central midfield, when the French International had to leave the field with an injured ankle.
Yohan will not make the game this afternoon at Fulham, and we have a sneaking suspicion that Alan may start the same side that played the last 65 minutes of the game last week against QPR, with Ben Arfa starting on the right wing.
There has been a lot of talk about Europe in the last week or so, following Newcatsle’s three wins in a row against Manchester United, Blackburn in the FA Cup, and QPR last Sunday.
But Ryan Taylor is not getting carried away and he’ll be happy to reach 40 points, which has been the points needed to stay in the Premier League for all but one season.
That’s when West Ham got 42 points under manager Glen Roeder in 2003, and were still relegated, being 2 points behind Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers in 4th bottom place.
Ryan says he’s looking for survival first and foremost:
“We are looking for survival first. Who knows what else we can achieve? In the FA Cup we are in a great position, and hopefully we can get European football for next season.”
“We are not a bunch of lads who are going to start saying, ‘we are going to get into Europe’ but who knows, a cup final could be in the offing.”
“It is not a case of looking down the table but it is nice to get to that 40-point mark which will leave you safe.”
“When you get to that mark you can concentrate on looking up the table and kick on from there.”
For the record Ryan has played 22 times this season with 3 great goals, and he has 76 total appearances for Newcastle with 9 great goals, since signing on a four and half year contract back in January of 2009.
It’s not all that clear as to who qualifies for the Europa Cup these days.
The top four go into the European Champions League and fifth place gets an automatic Europa League spot.
But then it gets a bit murky and it depends on who wins the Carling Cup and FA Cup as to whether 6th and 7th place in the league get a Europa Cup position.
If the Cup winners have already qualified for Europe then lower placed teams then gain entry into the Europa Cup.
We suppose finishing in 5th place will take away any doubts at all, and if the lads can finish in that high position we’ll be in the Europa Cup next season.
But there’s also the FA Cup, and if Newcastle can win that for the first time since we thrashed Manchester City 3-1 back in 1955, we’ll also automatically qualify for the Europa Cup.
If Newcastle do qualify for Europe next season, then look for even more players coming in during the summer, because we’ll need a bigger squad for all the extra games the team will be playing.
Howay The Lads!!