Monday, 27 December 2010
One of our own
Interestingly, Pardew seems to be starting to have an effect at SJP. The logical place to start was with the players (ignoring the decision to take on Steve Stone as assistant coach - personally I think he's been taken on as a translator for Pardew... but, doubt he'll have quite a glittering career as Jose Mourinho) Staying put signs put over the names of both Carroll and Barton, as well as the news that Steven Taylor has just signed at new 5 and a half year contract (hummm... that period of time sounds familiar, doesn't it....). Needless, to say there is no news on how much the contact is worth - but, part of me is really pleased that Taylor wants to stay on Tyneside, rather than moving to pastures new. He's spent much of the last five years being the chest-thumping, warrior.
At times looking like the natural successor to John Terry - all passion, heart and sweat for the cause. A real captain in the making and heart-on-sleeve soul of the club. However, at other times he's looked like the successor to Titus Bramble - slow, ponderous and poor decision making. Also, he's had a a couple of years when he's suffered a lot with injuries - a persistent shoulder injury, along with aggravating Andy Carroll leading to getting his jaw broken, has meant that he's been a bit part player for the past couple of seasons.
I guess he's typical of the ying and yang of many players, some good points and some bad. He's never been afraid to put his head in, either to stop a goal, or to score a few as well. He's given us some fantastic comedy moments - such as the below
He's also been advised poorly, in my view... Paul Stretford ( Rooney's agent) has managed to contradict that NUFC-loving image by driving such a hard bargain during the contract negotiations for his client that Taylor has effectively spent the last 6 months on the transfer list. I, for one don't recall reading about a rush of clubs bidding for him. No doubt Taylor has an increase on the weekly wage - but it has damaged his standing amongst the fans. I wonder what price there really is on that type of public image?
But, ultimately he is one of ours... I'm pleased he is staying, but feel that he has much to prove over the rest of this season. I don't think that he's going to be the next captain of England (or even Newcastle United) but I'll be pleased if he really does stay for the term of this contract. However, I'm not convinced that he will. In the same way that I doubt that Pardew will see out his contract either.