Newcastle ace backed for England call-up
Following Newcastle United’s two-legged clean sheet against Russian moneybags Anzhi Makhachkala, their star of the show Steven Taylor has been backed for an England call-up.
The Magpies overcame their opposition thanks to a dramatic last-gasp winner from Papiss Cisse, who netted the only goal of the tie after a sublime cross from Sylvain Marveaux met the head of the Senegal striker in the third minute of stoppage time.
That sent the 45,000 strong crowd of St James’ Park – and Taylor who immediately celebrated with a disabled supporter – into euphoria as the North-East side won with a 1-0 aggregate margin.
In preventing iconic striker Samuel Eto’o, who earns a staggering £364,000 a week, from scoring, that has prompted Taylor’s defensive partner Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to speak up about his team-mate.
“I think he’s got every chance to get an international call-up and if he goes out and continues to play as well as he is week in and week out, then the international manager is going to see that,” he said, as reported by nufc.co.uk.
“I hope he will get a call-up so I can also say I’ve played alongside an international.
“Steven’s a fantastic player and it’s great to be alongside him.
“He’s someone who’s come up from within this club and he’s been a great player for this club.
“He knows the culture of the English game very well and he’s someone I try to listen to a lot and learn from a lot as well as bringing what I know from my experience in France to the partnership as well.”
With the final whistle going straight after Cisse’s goal, that last touch of the game proved the difference – but Newcastle should have been out of sight by that point.
A red card for Anzhi’s Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez in the 55th minute meant the visitors had play the remainder of the game with 10 men, but the home side never truly looked like taking advantage.
A somewhat fortuitous ending saw Cisse sink his header past ‘keeper Vladimir Gabulov, making the journey home for the Russian supporters an even longer one.
The draw was made on Friday morning and Newcastle will travel to Benfica for their first leg, while Spurs face Basel and Chelsea will meet Rubin Kazan at home.