"By signing his new five and a half year deal to stay on Tyneside," wrote The Mirror's Simon Bird, "Steven Taylor now has a chance to elevate himself above the ordinary, and cement his place in the history of his home town club", though I suspect the writers of Leazes Terrace spoke for just as many fans when they tweeted 'Traffic warden Steven Taylor signs new 5.5 year deal at Newcastle - 5.5 more years of pointing at players instead of marking them.'
Taylor had it in him to be an excellent centre-half but, after 175 appearances, he still makes too many of the kind of basic errors which saw him outmuscled by Henrik Pederson in his full debut for the team, giving away needless free kicks in dangerous positions, failing to mark his man, or allowing attackers to advance unchallenged, his puffed out chest compensating for a tackle.
"I have no doubt Shola Ameobi will be a top striker at this football club," Graeme Souness said of our much criticised centre-forward in 2005. "Our supporters have to understand that there is a player in there waiting to come out". The same could be said of Taylor. Question is, how long do you wait?