Steven Taylor has had a very bad time of it with injuries since January of 2010, when in our promotion season he picked up a serious injury to his knee playing at St. James’ Park against West Brom.
Steven Taylor – fit again and in fine form
The local lad was out for the rest of the season, and then when he came back in pre-season, he picked up a shoulder injury in his first game back, in the friendly at Carlisle United.
Then last season Steven ruptured his Achilles against Chelsea in early December and was out for the rest of the season, and then in late September of last year he picked up a hamstring injury at Reading and was out for three months before returning to the side a few weeks ago.
Those injuries have set Steven back over the last three years, but when he does play for his local club, he shows just what a complete center-back he is – who is willing to risk life and limb to block shots on goal.
He did it against Metalist with his chest last Thursday night, and in the dramatic final minutes of the win against Chelsea, Steven blocked a terrific shot from Frank Lampard with his privates – as we said he’ll block shots with anything.
This is what Steven had to say in the Shields Gazette today:
“I feel good and fresh.” “It’s just what I wanted – getting out there and playing games.” “It’s given me confidence. I’m feeling good and training hard. We just want to get more wins now.”
“There are a lot of games, which is great for me. I just want to keep going to the end of the season.” “We’ll have a strong team out against Metalist, and we’ll give it a good go.”
“We want to go as far as we can in this competition.” “Colo and I have got a great understanding together – he’s a great player.” “We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I think that showed in the first leg.”
“The gaffer, John Carver and Steve Stone work on it a lot. They’re always trying to surround us with attackers.” “We’ve got to cope with that, and I think that showed.” “The more times we play together, the better understanding we can get as a defense.”
“And I thought Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was fantastic on his debut.”
Steven has formed an excellent partnership once again with Fabricio Coloccini, who almost left the club last month to return to Argentina for personal family reasons – and it’s very likely both will line up against Metalist Kharkiv in the Ukraine tomorrow night.
And they both may have to start again against Southampton on Sunday afternoon, in a game we must try to win – to get away from the relegation zone in the Premier League – once and for all.
The challenge for Alan Pardew and his staff is how to ensure they can keep Steven fit and playing game in and game out for Newcastle – because he makes a huge difference at the back for Newcastle United – there’s just no doubt about that.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org