It was really good to see Steven Taylor back in a Newcastle United shirt last night for the first time since early December, when he injured his Achilles in the home game against Chelsea, and that serious injury put him out for the rest of the season – unfortunately for Steven and for Newcastle.
Steven Taylor – in action last night in his first game back after eight months
And it’s always hard to come back after you have severed that Achilles tendon, as Steven did, and the local lad’s been through lots and lots of rehabilitation over the last several months, and was in Portugal earlier this summer doing physio work on the tendon.
And he was back in Portugal last night and played well in the first half, before he was replaced by Newcastle youngster Paul Dummett for the second half.
And to put the icing on the cake, Steven scored Newcastle’s goal after 25 minutes, when he rifled the ball in from about six yards out, and the lad who started his career as a center forward celebrated big time.
Unfortunately Steven’s goal was not the winner last night, as Kostas Mitroglou scored 11 minutes from time, after Olympiacos had been reduced to 10 men, and the resulting penalty shoot-out (5 penalties for each side) ended up 4-4, with Papiss Cisse missing Newcastle’s first penalty and Tim Krul saving Olympiacos’ last penalty.
Alan Pardew was pleased to see Steven back, and glad to see him scoring again, as Alan had this to say to the Shields Gazette today:
“It put a smile on his face.” “You want confidence when you’re coming back from long-term injury.
“It’s not easy, and to get a goal will give him a lift.” “They’re all big players, but Steven was very important to us in the first half of last season.
“He wasn’t available for the second half of the season. The big thing for Steven is very simple – he’s got to stay fit.”
The Newcastle medics are going to bring back Steven very slowly this summer, and we’d be surprised if we see him play tonight against FC Braga, when Newcastle are expected to have some of their stars back, like Fabricio Coloccini, Chieck Tiote, Demba Ba, Jonas Gutierrez and others.
But Yolan Cabaye may not get on tonight, and Ben Arfa will definitely not play in this game, as he is back in Newcastle, having reported back to training yesterday.
It would be nice for Newcastle to get a win tonight.