Steven Taylor: Alan Pardew made signings explain Newcastle choice
Newcastle United's Steven Taylor reveals Alan Pardew made his new signings explain their reasons for joining the Magpies
Steven Taylor has revealed that Alan Pardew made Newcastle’s January signings explain to his squad why they chose to move to St James’ Park.
The Magpies boss recruited five players – Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko – from Ligue 1 during a hectic month of activity.
Pardew was ridiculed by some for the influx of Ligue 1 players at St James’ Park, but Taylor says that the 51-year-old’s unique request helped to create a bond between his current players and new signings.
“Before the Aston Villa game we all sat down for a meal and the Gaffer presented each player with their shirt and asked them to explain why they came to Newcastle,” the defender told Topman magazine.
“Through a translator they all explained that they just wanted to be accepted by the group, give 100 per cent to the team and promised not to let down the players and staff who were already there.
“It was refreshing to hear them say that to us because too many times I’ve seen players come in, sign their big money contracts and just down their tools and relax. We’ve now got a group of players willing to work hard.”
Taylor says Newcastle have been holding themed lunches reflecting the different cultures at the club, and the centre-half is confident the exercise will bring the squad closer together.
“You can see a player every day without actually getting to scratch beneath the surface and really get to know them,” he added.
“To help that, the Gaffer has arranged a different theme every day for lunch times and we all have to eat together.
“Today we had a French day, tomorrow it’s Dutch and then Senegalese. We eat food from whatever country we’re doing that day, put up decorations with the country’s flags on them, the full shebang.
“It might only be a small gesture but hopefully it helps the foreign players settle and feel accepted.”
Newcastle, who are currently in 15th place in the Premier League, make the trip to Metalist Kharkiv in the second leg of their last-32 Europa League tie on Thursday.