Steven Taylor was coming through the ranks at Newcastle when Alan Irvine was the Newcastle Academy Director at Newcastle (2001-2005), and Irvine was instrumental in ensuring Steven made it into the first team by the time he was 18 years old in 2004.
Steven Taylor – Alan Irvine coached him when a teenager
The 56-year-old took over form the sacked Pepe Mel in the summer, and has West Brom in 11th pace on 13 points form 10 games – one place above Newcastle in the league table.
John Carver was the assistant manager to Bobby Robson at the time, and the Reserve team coach was Tommy Craig, who is now manager at St Mirren.
Steven Taylor has talked about the impact Alan Irvine had on him at Newcastle:
“I have massive respect for Alan Irvine, because he is one of the best coaches I have ever had.” “He coached me as a young kid coming through at Under-17 level.”
“He has done well at West Brom and got them well-organised.” “He has just given them a new lift, and they’re playing with confidence, so it will be a difficult game.”
“We know it’s going to be a completely different game to the Liverpool one, and we’re looking forward to it.” “He (Irvine) had massive respect from everyone when he was here as the academy director.”
“I haven’t seen anything really close to Alan Irvine and Tommy Craig.” “They had that aura about them, and I think we went through a whole season and got beaten once.”
“We got to the play-off final against Man United at St James’s Park.” “He had that respect and everyone was nervous and scared around him, because of that aura, and that Scottish, angry face.”
“If you go 2-0 down, he is laying right into you.” “I think he has waited for his chance and he did well as assistant manager to David Moyes at Everton.”
“I’m absolutely delighted for him and he has done so well, but I hope he has a hiccup against us.”
Steven has played 251 times with 14 goals for Newcastle over the last ten years, but he has never really fulfilled the massive potential he showed when he was the England U21 captain and played 29 times for the U 21 side, when James Milner was in that same England team.
Newcastle should have a decent enough chance of winning on Sunday, and West Brom have played five league games at home this season, they won 4-0 against Burnley – drew against Sunderland, Manchester United and Crystal Place – and lost 2-0 to Everton.
So 6 points from 5 games, and they have done better away from home than at the Hawthorns this season – so far.
We should have the Alan Pardew press conference today, and we are wondering if players like Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse will be fit enough to play on Sunday.
But even if they are not fit, Newcastle will be able to field a strong side on Sunday – and hopefully be able to get (yet) another win.
You can follow us on our three social media sites below: