Newcastle defender Steven Taylor reveals reason behind Plymouth celebration
Published 22:45 20/09/09 By By Simon Bird
Steven Taylor celebrated his goal by making a X-Factor symbol, because he’s been taunted all week about having a Simon Cowell-style tooth whitening job.
The defenders dazzling white has been arousing suspicion at Newcastle’s training ground among team mates and coaches who reckon he’s tried to glam up his image by having a special treatment on his perfect set of gnashers.
So having opened the scoring with his first of the season against Plymouth, in a game that lacked the sparkle Cowell himself would be looking for in a performance, Taylor got his own back.
At first fans may have thought Taylor’s gesture - just like the one that got Tim Cahill into trouble last season - was a message for someone who’d recently been in handcuffs.
But Taylor’s agent might like to get on to major toothpaste manufacturers in search of a deal after he explained: “I’ve been getting a bit of stick about my white teeth from the lads. They’ve been calling me Simon Cowell, telling me I’ve had them chemically whitened. That’s why I gave it the X-Factor sign when I scored.
“I’ve taken loads of stick off the coaching staff, they’ve been getting at me all week calling me Simon Cowell this, Simon Cowell that.”
Coincidentally Taylor is the player who wins the regular X-Factor singing contests on bonding days, and he added: “I was going to hitch the shorts right up to my nipples, I thought that would have been a good celebration, but the fans would have thought ’what the hell is Steven Taylor doing.’
“Honestly, I’ve not had them whitened. It’s just Colgate, that’s all I’ve been using. What you find is the coaches drink a lot of coffee, that’s why they’ve got yellow teeth. They look so miserable the whole time because they’re afraid to smile because of their yellow teeth.”
The smiles were muted on the final whistle. Newcastle won comfortably in the end, but it was not totally convincing against the basement club, who put up a spirited show and came within a whisker of levelling at 2-2.
Taylor set up the win heading home a Geremi’s corner after five minutes. The visitors, who had a 840 mile round trip were delighted when Karl Duguid finished a well worked counter attack. Newcastle’s winner’s came from Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll, his second in four days.
Taylor added: “I know as well as anyone that life at Newcastle United is up and down but it was pleasing to win a game as well as this. We’re in this for the long haul and we know there is a long way to go this season but it was important we sent the fans home happy this weekend and hopefully we have done that.
“We want to keep it going, build momentum and keep that winning habit. We’ve had one setback, it was a blip, and we’ve shown we can come back strongly from that. All we’ve got to think about is the winning mentality and good spirit we have in that dressing room.”
It says plenty about the real standard of the Championship that Newcastle can play this poorly and win so well. Newcastle have a wage bill of pds 50 million - Plymouth’s is around pds 5 million.
Paul Sturrock’s side have had a terrible start, but they showed signs here that they can play good football, if only their defence can tighten up.
Sturrock believes there are three teams who will run away with the division this season, Newcastle, WBA and Boro, and says the gap between the top flight yo-yo teams and the Championship is difficult to bridge.
He added: “The three teams coming down have brought a distance between themselves and the rest of us. Something has to change, something is wrong. You can look at leagues around Europe and name the teams who will finish in the top three. That is not a healthy situation to be in but it is the reality. You may get an outsider challenging but that is all. Money talks.”
Remarkably St James’s Park was filled with 42,898 fans, including 2,000 who made the mammoth trek from Devon, getting up at 2.30am for a 4am coach journey, which only got them to Tyneside 40 minutes before kick off.