There’s no doubt that since Steven Taylor returned to the first team starting eleven two games ago, the Newcastle defense has looked a lot more solid than it’s been since Steven picked up a hamstring injury at Reading at the end of September, and was out of the side for over three months.
Taylor and Debuchy after Newcastle’s win against Chelsea
And that’s been Steven’s problem since he picked up an his first serious injury in January of 2010, our promotion season, in a home game against West Brom.
And since then he’s been out of the side for long periods with serious injuries and Steven has only played 225 with 13 goals, even though he made his debut for Newcastle when Bobby Robson was manager almost nine years ago – in March of 2004 – when he came on as a substitute for Andy O’Brien in the UEFA Cup Fourth Round tie against RCD Mallorca.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is well aware of Steven’s injury problems, and the manager is trying to find some way of keeping the local lad fit:
“He’s an outstanding player. The only down-side has been the injuries, that’s where you have to slightly have a disappointment with him, that he’s just not played enough games in his career here.”
“I am very, very conscious, with him and with my staff, that we protect him and try to give him a different regime where hopefully we can keep him fit – because when he is fit, there are not many better.”
“It was interesting to hear him say that it was probably the best feeling he has ever had in a black and white shirt.” “He had the last kick of the Premier League three years ago and he smashed it up the pitch in frustration because the whistle had gone.”
“We showed that before the game as a little bit of extra motivation.”
Steven Taylor is an important player for Newcastle, because although he was born down south in Greenwich, he was brought up in Whitley Bay ever since he was a few months old, and he is one of the few Newcastle players to have graduated from Newcastle’s Youth Academy.
Steven also epitomizes what it’s like being a Geordie and playing for Newcastle United, as we’ve seen only too clearly in the last two games.
We’ll just have to hope that Alan Pardew and the coaches and medics at Newcastle can come up with giving Steven some exercise regimen, that can keep him fit and have him playing a lot more games for Newcastle in the future.
And if we can do that there’s no reason why this lad shouldn’t be challenging for an England place – given the status of other English center-backs these days – Steven is as good as any of them.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org