It's Time Taylor Showed Us He's As Good As He Thinks He Is

17 July 2011 12:52
For three years Steven Taylor's agent has told us Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal have been tracking his client. Isn't it time the player showed us he's good enough to be mentioned in that company? He wasn't good enough to shift Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson (until he broke his arm) last term, and who's to say he will do it this season? Steven Taylor: “It feels like a new start for me. “I just can’t wait to get out there (USA). I’m fit, I’m fine and I’m ready to put everything behind me. “Last year was the most frustrating year of my football life, undoubtedly. “My bad luck last season all started at Carlisle. Pre-season was going really, really well and then in my first game I popped my shoulder, and for me that was a nightmare start that took me eight months to bounce back from. “You need a pre-season, and I felt like I was playing catch-up from the start. I picked up other little injuries and it was absolutely awful. “But that has been put to bed, it’s history and I’m moving on. There’s nothing I can do to change it. “For me it’s about this year – it’s a massive year for myself. I need to stay fit and crack on. It’s about time. "Alan Pardew has been very encouraging to me. Very positive and always trying to help. “We’ve had some discussions - it’s all about being fit this year, working right with the medical guys and how we’re going to keep me fit over the summer. “I’m back and that focus hasn’t changed. I just want to stay fit and get on with it. “I think it’s a completely new team. You’ll see a different style and a different way of playing. “The style and the way we’re playing, definitely you’ll see a new team. Maybe a more exciting one. “They’ve excited me. The new players look fantastic – their technique is phenomenal. “Seeing Ben Arfa in training, wow. The quality he has got is amazing. It’s what this club needs. He’ll excite the fans. “I saw Demba Ba last year, I saw some of the goals and I think he’ll be a powerhouse for us. That’s what we need to replace Andy Carroll. “The other lads look fantastic – Cabaye looks like a top quality player. You don’t get in the France team for nothing and he looks like he can pick a pass. “Sylvain – or Sly, as I think he wants to be called – he’s sharp and very, very quick.” “Next year we’ll be just as strong as a unit. “The manager has laid down some rules. He wants to keep us tight as a unit - everyone from the medical staff to the players themselves. “We’ve been set targets and we want to maintain the highest standards. It makes you feel good to have that professionalism and unity. “The gaffer has said it’s important to stay together – for everyone to be on time, for everyone to eat together, to get the new lads together. “I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time with those goals last season. “I’ve not put in for (the vacant) No 9! I tried to put in for No 5, but I think I’ll be No 27. That’s mine. “The captaincy? I never thought about it. Fabricio is the top man for the job. I just want to be in the team.”