You would think the Carroll bust-up never happened in Newcastle's fairytale world
Simon Bird is the Mirror's north-east football reporter...
Steven Taylor is currently unable to eat, sucking his meals with a straw, with each side of his jaw broken.
The injuries could take four months to heal. His jaw is wired semi-shut to help the fractures heal. It took two nights in hospital to fix.
Andy Carroll appears at a 50 Cent gig in Manchester with both hands heavily bandaged. Either his fists have been in a collision with something hard, or he grazes his knuckles dragging them on the floor.
Yet in the warped world of Newcastle United, the bust-up between Carroll and Taylor, witnessed by senior players, has become the incident that didn’t happen.
If there was any further proof needed at the moral vacuum at the heart of professional football, here we have it.
Newcastle United and their players are prepared to let a serious assault on a fellow pro, and employee, go unpunished and covered up, in public at least.
A punch in the face, a broken jaw. Just football’s way of settling these matters.
If that’s the case, spare me the clap trap about football and footballers being role models.
At the next community initiative, or friendly visit to a school, spare me the gushing guff about how great men earning £2million a year are just because they give up an hour to smile at some kids.
The very kids who may now think they can smack someone in the playground and get away with it if everyone keeps quiet. Whey, that’s what happens at Newcastle United, isn’t it, man?
And the next time there’s a scrap on the terraces and Newcastle United want to ban the offending fan, you know what to do? Just use the Andy Carroll-Steven Taylor scrap defence. If it’s OK for Wor Big Striker to lash out, then why not a fan?
In football, the pursuit of points, the march towards the Premier League, is all important.
Protecting the value of a player in the transfer market is paramount, and you don’t want the police or courts involved.
The macho laws of football, the dressing room code of silence, his desire not to rock the boat, has so far ensured Taylor keeps quiet and refuses to talk to the police.
Chris Hughton, a man who I am sure knows right from wrong, faced ten minutes of questioning about the incident at the weekend, and like the most skilled politician resolutely failed to even acknowledge anything happened.
It was like the famous Jeremy Paxman interview on Newsnight when he asked Michael Howard the same question 12 times and still didn’t get his answer.
“Er, yes, re: we are fully focused on the next game....”
Some in football have even suggested that Taylor deserved it, if he has been texting a woman that Carroll (and once too, Taylor) has been involved with.
There is even a joke text circulating Tyneside about the assault. It goes along the lines of...
“John Terry shags Wayne Bridge’s missus.... and Bridge refuses to shake his hand.
“Steven Taylor texts Andy Carroll’s bird and gets a broken jaw. Makes you proud to be a Geordie.”
It’s a joke, I know, but some will take it seriously and agree. We are back to the dark ages if personal disputes are settled by oafs dragging you off for a punch up, however tempting that might be given the betrayal.
So surely the players' trade union, the PFA, have stepped in and demanded to know why a member has such severe injuries, and why his employers are sticking up for him?
Has there been a personal apology from Carroll to Taylor, and if needed vice versa, to stop it festering? Not that we know of.
The big problem is that any public admission of guilt, or that an incident this serious took place, would leave Carroll in a perilous position.
He is due for a first appearance in Crown Court next month accused of assault in a Bigg Market nightclub, which carries a maximum five year sentence.
I wrote here earlier in the season that Carroll has to calm down, and stop getting into scrapes out on the town to fulfil his potential. Alan Shearer gave similar advice three weeks ago, and so have his more experienced Newcastle team-mates.
If the cover up continues the one question Hughton has to answer, if the courts don’t do it first, is when does Carroll become a liability and get shown the door?
The day can’t be far away.