Taylor could save Toon millions

Last updated : 30 November 2004 By Craig Hope (website editor)

Steven Taylor showed yesterday just why aged only 15 he was subject of interest from both Manchester United and Liverpool before he eventually signed for Newcastle.

Making his home debut yesterday three years after electing to commit his future to the Toon, Taylor was strong, aggressive and composed throughout.

The fact that Everton tried to focus all of their attacks down their left and test the young defender merely improved Taylor’s game. The 18 year old wasn’t allowed a moment to think or to become lost in the emotion that must surround a home debut in front of 52,000 supporters.

A 50-50 challenge with Thomas Gravesen and the subsequent roar of approval from the Toon Army was the moment that any pre-game nerves were well and truly eradicated.

What was extremely encouraging was Taylor’s communication – the Greenwich born full back showed no sign of being in awe of his colleagues, often gesturing to Bramble and Hughes to calm things down and remain steady.

His tackling was also excellent. On a number of occasions he ‘went through’ men much to the St.James’ crowd delight – ex Mackem Kevin Kilbane finding himself on the receiving end of one of Taylor’s tough challenges.

Taylor displayed composure beyond his years, very rarely wasting a pass and even finding time to beat men with relative ease.

It may be a little too early to declare Taylor as a first team regular, but if yesterday’s performance was an indication of what he has to offer then he may well become only the third academy player in five years to make any sort of impression upon first team affairs following on from the success of Aaron Hughes and Shola Ameobi.