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Reality check for Steven Taylor and two other former Newcastle centre-backs

2 years ago
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With even Championship strugglers Ipswich Town deciding against offering Steven Taylor a contract, it has been a bit of a reality check for the former Newcastle defender.

Only 31, he will no doubt have been expecting a decent second tier club as a minimum at this stage of his career buy it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

After Mick McCarthy told him he wouldn’t be offered a deal, Steven Taylor has turned up at Doncaster Rovers on trial this week, playing 45 minutes in a friendly on Tuesday for Rovers against Derby County.

Doncaster were in League Two last season and got promotion, so League One is looking Taylor’s level now, if his wage demands aren’t excessive.

Newcastle repeatedly failed to invest, especially in their defence, under Mike Ashley.

So when the 2015/16 (relegation!) season kicked off with Steve McClaren in charge, Newcastle still had three centre-backs on their books who had featured in the 2009/10 promotion season six years earlier.

With Newcastle’s defence regularly one of the worst when it came to goals conceded, it was a massive negative.

The worries Newcastle fans had about the lack of investment in defenders appears to have been proved correct, with the state of play for those three centre-backs who remained at the club for so long.

As well as Steven Taylor, 33 year old Mike Williamson now finds himself a free agent after Wolves released him.Always came over as a nice bloke…but the fact that he is now on trial at League One Oxford and trying to get a contract, suggests Newcastle held on to him far too long.

The final member of the trio, Fabricio Coloccini, is also looking for a new club. Returning to the very weak Argentine league to the club he supported as a boy, San Lorenzo, after only 10 league starts for the club he is now desperate to find new employers.

Maybe a decent comparison when considering age and how in demand, Daryl Murphy is 34 and as a striker they tend to have a far shorter shelf life than a central defender, yet half the Championship are trying to sign him as we speak, with Nottingham Forest looking the most likely destination.

Darren Ferguson talking to Doncaster Free Press about Steven Taylor:

“I had a conversation with Steven Taylor after the (Derby friendly) game and the bonus is he wants to come here.

“He likes what he’s seen so far and the way we play – that is one bonus because you’re never too sure.

“We will see how talks go and develop but I think he’s got a great attitude and he’s settled in really well with the players.

“Unless something happens, he’ll be training with us for the rest of the week, it’s just a case of trying to negotiate something with him.

“I always try to look at what a player can do rather than what he can’t, you have to take the injury situation into consideration but that can’t be the overall deciding thing.

“He’s done everything with Ipswich, he’s played a couple of games with them and done all the pre-season.

“I think he expected to get something there but it’s not happened – he’s fit, no doubt about it.

“We’ll have to manage him in a certain way but we’ve done that with lots of players.

“I think 31 for a centre half is a really good age.

“It’d be a good signing for us – whether we can do anything, we’ll wait and see.”

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