We’ve followed Steven Taylor ever since he was a 16 year-old back in 2002 during the reign of the very great Bobby Robson, and at that time the Geordie lad was heralded as a top up-and-coming player from Whitley Bay, a future Newcastle captain, and a future England center-back.
Steven Taylor – will play tomorrow night against Olympiacos
But most of that hasn’t happened yet, although Steven last season was in the best form of his career for Newcastle, and was certainly one of the standouts for the team before he was injured in early December against Chelsea, and that Achilles injury saw him sidelined for the rest of the season.
And with Steven having so many injuries since January of 2010, and remembering that in the summer of that year he injured his shoulder during his first game back at Carlisle United, Newcastle have held Steven back this summer – until now.
The news today is that Steven will get a 45-minute run-out tomorrow night against Olympiacos, in Newcastle’s first of two friendlies in the XII Trofeo Guadiana, and he will play against Olympiacos in Faro, Portugal.
Newcastle will then play FC Braga on Saturday night, with the mini tournament getting underway tonight when Olympiacos play FC Bragas.
Steven was with the squad that played in Germany and Austria over the last couple of weeks, to get him back into the fray, but Alan Pardew decided not to risk him in those games, the last two of which Newcastle performed very well, with some of our youngsters simply outstanding.
Steven has an excellent chance of reclaiming his center-back position for the start of the season, but will face competition from Mike Williamson and any new center-back we may get in before September rolls around.
Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa will also be in the party, but Australian Curtis Good unfortunately will not play in these two games, since his transfer from Melbourne Heart is not yet finalized.
It’s always a dodgy time when you come back to play after an extended absence, because you are prone to picking up other injuries, as your body gets used to the all-out competition again – there’s nothing quite like playing in a real game to test your fitness.
We’d be very happy to see Steven come through his 45 minutes fit and healthy – but a fit Steven Taylor will be a huge advantage to Newcastle next season – there’s no doubt about that.
What do you think?