Steven Taylor has heaped praise on the dastardly duo that are in charge at our beloved NUFC at the moment.
The Greenwich born defender insists that owner Mike Ashley and Chairman Derek Llambias deserve some of the credit for our superb start to the season – a start which has seen us progress to the last 16 of the Carling Cup and soar to the heady heights of 4th in the league table.
Steven Taylor has been in great form for us this season after almost a year of disruption through injury. He’s been an ever present in a what is the meanest defence in the league at the moment which has heralded calls for Taylor to be involved with England in recent weeks.
However Taylor remains focussed solely on Newcastle at the moment and he admits that the settling of a long running dispute over bonus payments to the players could be paying dividends. I wrote about the bonus issue here back on August 12th when Alan Pardew revealed that it had been sorted. It seems as though the players are happy with this development.
“We will definitely benefit from stability,” Taylor, now 25, told talkSPORT. “Last season the chairman and the players couldn’t come to an agreement about bonuses. We had a bit of a divide and that doesn’t help.”
He continued: “At the start of this season we sat down with the gaffer and I think it’s important that you have the chairman on your side. He’s been great with us. He sat us down and gave the lads their bonuses for this season straight away.”
“He has just kept himself to himself, hasn’t bothered the players — has let us concentrate on the pitch and let the gaffer do his job. That’s what you want and it’s been good for us this season.”
There does seem to be a certain level level of stability regarding Newcastle United at the moment. I’m always cautious when I use the words “stability” and “Newcastle” in the same sentence but I’ll enjoy it whilst it lasts. No doubt something will come along to ruin it all but that can be dealt with if or when it happens.
I’m unsure what the bonus payment is. On the surface of it I would tend to believe that money is involved but seeing how Knackas and Crackas work I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bottle of Cherryade and a packet of Space Invaders on offer. Equally I wouldn’t be surprised if that is why Taylor is praising the Owner and Chairman. He loves a bit of Cherryade does Stevie.
I’ll not delve too deeply into it in all honesty. I don’t like being cynical but sometimes I just can’t help it. What really matters is what we are doing on the pitch right now, and at the moment there can be few complaints about that. Sure the squad is thin in some areas, but in other it is bristling with talent to the point where we can’t actually fit them all in! Competition for places is tough, says Taylor, and the players know that if they play well they will keep their place in the team.
“We will not get ahead of ourselves. Yes, we’ve had a great start but we’ve just got to go ahead and continue it now — the lads will look at the next game and that’s Wolves.”
“We’ve got players coming back from injuries — Hatem Ben Arfa and Davide Santon — which can only boost the squad and the competition the gaffer has. It means he can say, ‘‘Look, if you’re playing well you stay in the side’. That’s what the lads have done and the players have repaid him.”
So competition for places, players happy with bonus payments, determination, last 16 of the League Cup, stability, 4th in the league. Where will the decent feeling end?
On a serious note I’m happy that the players are happy. They may earn obscene amounts of money and they may have lost any touch with the real world, but that is the world they operate in so it’s important that they feel incentivised enough to do well. Personally speaking, tens of thousands of pounds a week would be enough to motivate me, but then again, like I said, different worlds.
It’s important to have the players feel rewarded for their efforts, and it’s important that they are happy with what they will get should they achieve their targets. From what Taylor says it seems as though that is the case.
Now they just have to go out and earn it!