Steven Taylor has claimed that it is all change for the Newcastle squad, with a new ‘philosophy’ and a deviation from the ‘run, run, run’ of pre season training under Alan Pardew.
The United defender says that lats season was unacceptable and the players accepted they had to get focus back on getting the basics right.
That is the case especially for Steven Taylor and the rest of our shambolic defence, who let in 63 Premier League goals last season – only bottom club QPR conceding more.
“I think this is the start of a new era, a new style and everything we have done in the past will change.
“It has been tough and a lot different to what we are used to, it used to be old school like ‘run, run, run’ but now it is different and all of the lads have bought into it.”
“When you look at the Premier League there are different styles of teams and this for us is getting us ready for the Southampton game.
“As a team you have to do whatever you have to do to make sure you are fit and ready for the first game of the season. Everything we are doing now is all designed around that – every session.”
Back to basics:
“There is a philosophy behind it and the meetings we have are constantly drilling things into the lads.
“To be fair we had to go back to a few basics, last season wasn’t acceptable and we all know that.”
Of course, we are all used to hearing from players about how everything is going to be different/better this new season.
In fact if you go back only 12 months you will find Steven Taylor seemingly extolling the virtues of a tough physical (run, run, run?) approach to pre season.
“Pre-season has been really, really tough. Dave Billows (fitness coach) has come in from Everton and he has been absolutely thrashing the life out of us.
“It is a sickly feeling sometimes but the hard work is going to pay off for us. It has been really good and we have been enjoying the pain.
“Dave got us down to hard graft from the very first day. It’s been tough, but great. It’s what you need as a team and everyone has brought into it straight away.
“Fair play, there have been no complaints as everyone knows how vitally important fitness is in the Premier League these days.”
During last season we kept getting told by the players how next week/match was going to be different, only for yet another defeat to follow.
With only 16 Premier League starts over the last two years due to (lack of) form and injuries, Steven Taylor has to make sure he picks both his form and fitness up if he is going to contribute to anything better this time around.
The centre-back turns 30 this coming season and the days are long gone when anybody made allowances for ‘young’ Steven Taylor.
Whether Taylor can lift his game or not, it appears inconceivable to most supporters that Newcastle won’t bring in the quality central defender taht the club have been desperate for over the course of many years.
The three centre-backs (Taylor, Williamson, Coloccini) from the 2009/10 promotion season are still United’s three senior central defenders, plus all three are out of contract in a year’s time.
Something has to give.