Are Newcastle right to hold firm over new deal?

Limbo looms for Steven Taylor. No new contract, no big move. When Taylor was reported to ask for a 50% rise in his contract, from £40k per week to £60k, Newcastle’s board were swift in their blunt response. With a year left on his contract, there is the possibility that Taylor may have over-valued his position at the club, because, as it stands, Newcastle have stood firm.

A product of the club’s academy, Taylor made his first-team debut in May 2004, but it wasn’t until the 06/07 season that he established himself as a first-choice member of the team. Since then he has been a consistent performer, and has been a key part of the England under-21 set-up. The garden however is no longer as rosy as it once was.

Taylor is becoming more and more susceptible to injuries. He is currently out with a dislocated shoulder, and in his absence, his position has come under threat. The arrival of Sol Campbell – currently unfit, but full of experience and potentially a shrewd bit of business – as well the emergence of Mike Williamson, have meant that Taylor’s position alongside Fabio Coloccini is not the certainty is was previously.

Mike Ashley and Newcastle have decided that they will now stick to a strict and rigid policy in regards to transfer spending and contract negotiations. While Taylor has been a good player for the club during his time at St James’, he is not the most important. In terms of ability, Newcastle have players that can fill his boots as I have mentioned above. He has also shown leadership qualities for his club and country, but Newcastle can call on the likes of Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith and now Sol Campbell to show leadership on the pitch.

After the financial trouble that Newcastle have been through during the last three or four years, the upper echelons of its hierarchy are well within their rights to put a limit on what they are prepared to shell out. They have had a good start to the season, but their priority, as for every promoted club, remains survival, and another relegation would be a disaster. After moving their big earners on (not having to fork out the regular sums Owen, Viduka et al is a welcome relief for the club’s accountant), it would be an act of sheer stupidity to then hand out huge contracts within a month of returning to the top flight.

Chris Hughton is only concerned with footballing matters and has proclaimed that he is happy for Taylor to stay at the club and win his place back. If Taylor manages to negotiate new terms and extend his contract, then Hughton will be happy to have an experienced player among his ranks. Equally, if Taylor is sold in January or leaves on a Bosman in a year’s time, Hughton has the nous to find a replacement.

The information we have regarding Taylor’s contract negotiations has been passed from news report to news report, but if he is indeed holding out for such a hefty rise, then he is in need of a reality check. Newcastle are managing well without him, and whether he stays or not, the situation can still end well regardless of the direction it takes. The bottom line is that Taylor is at the club until January at the very least, and if he has any sense of loyalty, or sense at all, then he should put all his effort into doing his best for Newcastle United. Newcastle has served him well, he should now return the favour.

Follow me on twitter….it won’t cost you £60k a week.


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