Steven Taylor: “You can’t buy team spirit”

Thumbs up for team spirit
Last night Mark Pougatch on 5Live Sport dedicated an hour of the show to focus on Newcastle United’s unbeaten start to the season. The show featured Newcastle’s Steven Taylor, Mick Lowes and BBC Football correspondent Ian Dennis.

The programme made for interesting listening covering all aspects from our transfer dealing in the summer to references about Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers. I want to focus mainly on what Steven Taylor had to say throughout the programme to help us all understand what has led to this fantastic start to the season.

The heartbeat of our defence was asked what was it like to be part of a team that had started so well. He replied: “Very enjoyable, it has surprised us as a lot of people who thought that we would be in a relegation battle.”

The conversation moved on to the topic of Chris Hughton and said: “The players loved him, it was disappointing in the way that he was sacked but you have to move on. We are a lot more settled now.”

I think the fact that Taylor has said that they are a lot more settled obviously relates to the way that Pardew has taken control of the club. Taylor then moved on to give an insight into the way that Pardew prepares his team for matches.

“We play on Friday before a game and then he brings us into a meeting and writes the team on the whiteboard. He doesn’t just give us the information, he is constantly asking the players for information about how we can play against a team. He is constantly drilling into the back four and the goalie to make sure that we are strong. He is a perfectionist and a stats man.”

The subject then moved on to address the selling of big characters in the dressing room such as Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan. Steven had this to say:

“With the likes of your Joey Barton’s and Kevin Nolan’s gone players had to come out of the shell and step up in the dressing room. The French boys have mingled in straightaway, we have fantastic players in a new era. The paintballing trip was one that was rather funny, Chiek Tiote was screaming like a girl when he got hit but in normal training session he trains how he plays.”

The issue of the French players was further raised and Taylor added this:

“Cabaye showed on Monday night against Stoke that he can handle the Premier League and is not afraid to put a shift in for the club. Hatem Ben Arfa is a quality player who is getting his fitness back and looking very sharp.”

“We are a small squad, with lots of quality in there and you can’t buy team spirit which is really working for us. We want to keep enjoying football, Man City have been on a fantastic run but we are all really looking forward to it.”

“The bonus scheme that the manager has pushed for the players and the staff shows that Pardew is running this club. The owner is letting him get on with the job and being the manager. Whereas before when the owner came to the ground there was also that bit of a divide between a few of them. He’s now letting the gaffer do his job.”

Taylor was asked what it was personally like for him and about the press being generated at the moment; “I’m living the dream, it’s the best feeling ever. We are a footballing city, it is up too us to keep the smiles going. So they should be taking notice for us, this is a big football club.”

It was great to hear from Steven Taylor on this show and it gave an insight into what makes the formula that is our unbeaten run. It’s programmes like this that are able to gain more positive press about the club and hopefully it will continue.

There were some other points that I felt were really key that I want to add to this article and this involves a certain scout who goes by the name of Carr: Graham Carr!

Ian Dennis stated: “He is one of the key ingredients in the club, he is always looking for replacements in case anybody is sold. He is prepared for what may happen always planning for the future and this continuity will make the club self-sustainable.”

The one bit that I want to leave you with is back to the heyday of the Entertainers in the 1994-95 season. Now I don’t remember this season as I would have been a small baby but I know the history of it. This was the season when we finished 2nd in the league and here are some surprising facts about that season, in the first 11 games of that season we conceded 8 goals and this season? You know the answer to that.

I’ll end with that nice little fact to cheer us up a bit!

About ZoΓ« Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

59 thoughts on “Steven Taylor: “You can’t buy team spirit”

  1. I listened to it last night too. I was expecting the usual London Media bias but have to admit it was a fair and balanced programme. Just as well it wan’t planned for tonight after the announcement about “Fat Boy Bowl”


  2. UTD111 touches on a good point. I feel sorry for Zoe who transcribed a lot of this last night only to have it pissed on by the stadium name change as that is what people will want to talk about now more than anything πŸ™


  3. Seriously pissed off with the move of re-naming a stadium that has been used for so long years. πŸ‘Ώ

    I wouldn’t mind ashely re-naming the stadium,IF a new stadium is in pip-line.

    But which idiotic owner would rename a current stadium. πŸ˜•

    Just imagine,Man Utd not being Old trafford,and instead become some KFC Arena. πŸ™„


  4. I feel the need to antagonise people with an article looking at the positives of a name change πŸ˜†

    Unfortunately though I need to believe everything I write or else it just doesn’t feel right πŸ™


  5. Aye the name change will get dragged into a few more threads yet.

    Good read again Zoe, team spirit is the only thing not for sale though πŸ˜‰


  6. Sorry to go back to the SJP argument, but I’ve not had time to get on here before. Here’s a thought that I’m not sure anyone will have brought up…including Lame-arse’s lawyers:

    They can’t rename the ground. They don’t own it. They can call the STADIUM what they like, but the chunk of land is St James’s Park, is owned by the Council and for that reason, unlike other grounds, nobody has to refer to it otherwise, including pundits.

    Screw ’em. It’s a false economy and a load of spin. The shirt sponsorship is most of that Β£8m anyway and most potential takers for the name will stay away because they don’t want to be the pariah who ‘kills’ the SJP name.

    I suspect they know this very well and what the up-shot will be: free advertising for Sports Direct.

    Honestly, these guys can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with absolute certainty.



  7. Toonsy….problem is football is emotional and your heart will never agree with it. I didn’t sleep at all last night purely because of it, crazy eh?….. plus I think all the pros and cons are being vented anyway.


  8. this story is just what we needed on a day like today… cheers zoe! πŸ™‚

    Lets everyone keep our feet on the ground and remember it’s about the football and nothing else 😎



  9. Yeah Toonsy, I feel sorry for Zoe too. If people want to talk about all that stadium re-naming stuff, why don’t they just go back to the previous blog?

    She’s put a lot of time and effort into this one, so they shouldn’t piss on it, as you so eloquently put it πŸ˜‰


  10. If we won our next three matches maybe then the shitstorm would subside, other than that it looks like we’ll be in for a bumpy ride once again. The main problem I see is that if we lose all three-which everyone has to admit is a very possible outcome, then all the downers will be out and the constant slamming of the club will be back to full throttle. The name change will be blamed for creating a bad atmosphere and in turn ruining the morale of the squad. Ironically those claims may do simply that.

    Its fine to hate ashley but not at the expense of the team, and despite what many say when they say they’ll still get 100% behind the team, they seem to spend more time moaning than supporting.


  11. Yep – great to see a positive article in the middle of a load of blokes pissing their pants over nothing new really. Its still SJP – always will be – just on TV it will be called something else. It’ll never change for the fans.

    Imagine for example Arsenal – Champs League 20mn, Ground Rights 10mn – over 10 years that’s 300mn swing. You have to do what you can to get to the CL without busting the bank.

    The name change is the easiest and most profitable thing to do. Fans can’t demand that money is spent but not give a little (emotionally) when they expect others to pick up the cost.


  12. This is purely all about the Sports Direct branding…

    If not, why not just keep calling it St James Park until a sponsor comes in with an offer.

    They won’t, and it will remain Sports Direct.
    There is a good reason why the Sports direct branding has been pasted all over the ground.

    Are they going to change all the signage again with a new sponsor…. No..

    Do they even intend to find a sponsor… I doubt it…


  13. JJ – you’re witnessing why they can’t just wait. SD will take the rap for the change – a new sponsor would be received favourably by the fans.

    With the negativity attached to a first change – itd be impossible to sell for 8-10mn – Its entirely possible that they’re in talks and that this change now was a pre-requisite of any deal.

    Having said that – its entirely possible that it won’t be sold and this is simply management spin. Only time will show us which is which.


  14. Nice little write up Zoe. I listened to the programme and it was a pleasant surprise with positive comments from all directions especially Wor Al. Steven Taylor comes across well too. It was interesting what he said about AP consulting the players on how to play each game. That’s something I didn’t imagine. The positivity was clouded a little at the end when Dennis said that NUFC was a soap opera and the next episode was just around the corner!


  15. Agree with you JJ. All this amounts to is loads of free SD advertising, SD on the shirts next season and even them slowly going back to referring to SJP.


  16. The stadium formerly known as SportsDIrect Arena, The Waitrose Arena, Poundland stadium etc etc – name will change every 2/3 seasons anyway much like our shirt sponsorship changes
    Will always be known as SJP to the fans, personally not that bothered – if it brings money in that will be spent on squad, fair play – as long as it’s spent improving the squad

    If we beat Man City next week the SJP renaming will be the last thing I’ll be thinking of ( I’ll be far to p!ssed πŸ˜‰ )


  17. Zoe – haven’t had a chance to listen to the show, was Shearer on there – thought I read somewhere that he was going to be


  18. Interesting that old shepherd always appears to make the situation worse as usual. Loves jumping on the band wagon! πŸ˜€

    It will always be SJP we dont need to panic we can just pretend the new name doesnt exist πŸ˜€


  19. Why not a compromise in the name…………. maybe along the lines of the ‘Forward Thinking Fans Arena at St James Park’ ?
    πŸ˜‰ πŸ™„


  20. Apparently one of the stipulations in Guthrie’s new contract is that he has to change his name to …..Donnay guthrie πŸ˜†


  21. ‘I feel sorry for Zoe who transcribed a lot of this last night only to have it pissed on by the stadium name change as that is what people will want to talk about now more than anything :(‘ Toonsy love this comment aha, stupid club runing something good.

    Thanks for all the positive comments, nice to break something like this on a badish day

    STEVEP Yeah he had phoned in earlier in the day, he praised us but I still felt there was a bit of resentment in his voice that he never got the job.

    From what Steven Taylor was saying he sounded very much like a captain, which he may gain one day.


  22. Toonsy: Also hope the photo is big enough for the other article

    p.s This is also my 50th article for the blog too πŸ˜€


  23. My_Metro Tyne and Wear Metro
    #nefollowers Lots of you asking about St James Park and we want to make clear we are not renaming St James Metro station. πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  24. well it looks like theres only stardust and a few others that are falling in line with fatty πŸ‘Ώ but iam sure troy will give stardust a dig if he calls it anything else other than sjp πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  25. Spot on jeff indeed i agree with him totally
    “every true newcastle fan will abhor this change ”
    but thats what baffles me infact really baffles me they dont , they come on in there droves saying what a great financial decition it is 8 to 10 mill to spend on a player and put the club on a sound financial footing ,the last money they promised for players has vanished hello , what planet are they on it will never go into the team !
    It would be nice if it did but it wont so why keep kiddin yourselves .
    How many lies and broken promises will it take ?


  26. Stardust, what is the matter with you? are you unable to handle a difference of opinion without resorting to being abusive? how boring would it be if we all thought the same, give it a rest will you.
    And for the record, i dont agree with the name change but the fans will continue to call it St James and thats what it will be known as, pointless arguing, its his club.


  27. Dunno about you’s lot but I’m looking forward to sitting in my Sports Direct seat in the Sports Direct Arena with my Sports Direct Mum for the Chelsea game πŸ˜‰


  28. With a Sports Direct flag? πŸ˜€

    Anyone else just get an e-mail from the club? About the 120 year anniversary merchandise? Cracking timing πŸ˜†


  29. Good to see a positive article while we suffer through this renaming nonsense. Saylor sounds very positive and his play so far reflects it. He has been very good. A few bad tackles in the box but he is learning and improving all the time as many of our young players are. The naming of the stadium will annoy many but to all of us who have supported the club over the years the name will always be St. James Park. But after this nonsense I expect to see money spent on players. We still have the smallest net spend of any club in the Prem. In fact we have a very large negative net spend ie. the owner has made a huge profit from player sales over the last few years whether he will admit it or not.


  30. theres a hole ill put my finger in it ,
    OUCH i got bitten
    ill put it in again
    i wonder …….
    1 last try it might not happen again
    surerly not again
    keep trying you never know eh !!!!!!!


  31. I listened to this yesterday and was feeling really positive about the club then you know what happened. 😑
    Anyway good article zoe, I agree with toonsy in that its a shame this has been pushed aside by this horror story.


  32. Keith @45 I think we will see some spending either on Maiga or another striker and eventually Colo will be replaced because they are not going to agree on a new contract for him. They want him to take a huge pay reduction which he is not going to do given his level of play over the last 3 years. The owner is still a very slippery character despite the team doing well and will often disappoint us as he has many times in the past. This doesn’t take away from the fact that I have enjoyed watching the team play more this year than I have since the Sir Bobby days and nothing Ashley does will prevent me from supporting Newcastle United at St. James Park.


  33. Johnno…Collo’s been offered Sports Direct vouchers to the value of Β£100 a week, Collo is currently considering the offer πŸ˜›


  34. geordie2 ,
    me neither its good to watch and long may it last… but thats just it it wont .
    Maiga may come in but some will leave he wont spend a bean.
    And thats my point the last 16 games have been fun but if we continue to sell our asbablished players and bring in young lads the clubs future is far from secure as we will run out of assets sooner rather than later.
    Ill always support the toon home and away its my love but what boils my piss is people saying “hes saved the club” and “they will spend this time” and “it benefits the team” its deluded and not true i just cant get my head around it he dident take over the toon 16 games ago it was 3 years ago does anyone remember !


  35. GeordieTwo
    Collo has supposedly been offered MORE money as well as three year extention. So its up to him now.


  36. Zoe as usual spot on article, and one I was looking forward to when I heard you talking about it yesterday, as Saylor is one of my favs.
    But I don’t know about others but I just cant get excited about the Toon atm, as I have said before the last month or so was the most excited I have been about the club in yrs.
    But as usual Jabba the bastad has to fuk everything up yet again.
    I still can’t believe that people believe that Jabba is going to get money for the naming rights of some Sponsors, when the main reason to buy the club in the 1st place, was for the global branding it would provide for SD.
    I really cant see how others cant see that ? We now have a ground named SD we have tacky SD signs all over the fuking place, next on the list is SD on the shirts, and while they are I will never buy one my wee lad will just have to do without.


  37. witters says:
    November 10, 2011 at 17:28
    Johnno…Collo’s been offered Sports Direct vouchers to the value of Β£100 a week, Collo is currently considering the offer

    Quality πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


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