Former Newcastle great Bobby Moncur is just one of the people who think Newcastle don’t particularly need another center-back to be signed over the summer, since a fit Steven Taylor, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson can fight it out for the two central defense positions next season.
Steven Taylor – working hard to be super fit for pre-season
But usually in top sides, they have four strikers fighting it out for at most two positions and up front, and similarly four central defenders fighting it out for the two center-back positions.
Newcastle do have a couple of decent youngsters coming through in defense, in 17 year-old Remie Streete and Newcastle-born Paul Dummett, who turns 21 in September, not to mention young James Tavernier, who can also play center-back.
But we are still a little exposed, should one or two of the three top center-backs be injured or suspended during the season, which of course is exactly what happened last year.
Steven Taylor was in terrific form for Newcastle last season, until he injured his Achilles at the end of the Chelsea game in early December, and we are hoping he will come back as right as rain next month in pre-season.
Certainly Steven is busy working hard on his fitness at the moment, to be ready for when the pre-season starts in less than two weeks time, and he had this to say on the Newcastle web-site yesterday:
“Fitness-wise, I’ve just been maintaining my work rate and sticking to the program that Derek Wright, Dave Henderson and Michael Harding, the Newcastle United physios have set for me.”
“I’m feeling good at the moment, and I’ve just got to keep on going. I’m going away with Derek for five days so we can work on my fitness in the heat, and I’ve no doubt he’ll run me into the ground.”
“We’re into the final stages now and I’ll be happy once all this running is finished. He trains me like he’s Rocky Balboa’s trainer and only lets me stop once I’ve collapsed on the floor!”
“But seriously, Derek and the rest of the team have been brilliant with me so far this summer and I owe them an awful lot.” “In footballing terms, we’re into added-on time with the injury now, and I just have to keep going.”
“It’s sometimes like a 93rd minute run back from a corner, but you know you have to do it.” “Hopefully, come pre-season, I’m going to be a little bit ahead of the rest of the lads fitness-wise.”
“I won’t push myself too hard the first week back, but I will be like an excited kid in a sweet shop because I’ve missed playing so much.”
Newcastle need Steven Taylor in top form again next season, and if he can play as well as he did last season he’ll be a starter, and that would be independent of who Newcastle bring in during the summer.
Two of the Magpies’ initial targets – Douglas of FC Twente and Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen – will not be arriving on Tyneside, and we have no idea who may be at the top of the list of center-back targets for Newcastle, at the moment.
Any ideas on that, and do you think we need another top center-back coming in?
We do – for certain.