Date: 17th January 2008 at 2:00pm
Written by:

It is a sad, sad day for Pompey today – yep we have signed Lassana Diarra but Matty Taylor has finally made his exit from the club…

After 6 years with Pompey the fans favourite has bid farewell for a final time and signed a 3 and a half year contract with Bolton for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around the £4m.

He was not without his admirers and could have chosen any one of a number of clubs in England, as well as Rangers in Scotland if ‘reports’ of an interest from them were to have been true.

Taylor played a major role in our promotion into the top flight and this always led me to believe that this form would earn him England recognition in our first season in ‘the promised land’… sadly injury and loss of form that season set him back.

But he came back with a bang and will be remembered forever more for his willingness to never give up, his sensational strikes against the likes of Everton – which still gripes me that this was not voted that seasons goal of the season, Arsenal and Sunderland – not forgetting his crucial penalties for us, none more so than his match winner against Wigan that ensured our survival at the end of the 2005/06 season.

His form last season brought him to the brink of an England call up and I feel certain that he would have earned this – at B level at least – had he not picked up and injury at the tail end of last season. Had he managed this maybe he would not have been sold, almost certainly not as cheaply as it is said he has been?

This season however he has barely had a sniff, Niko Kranjcar has been preferred on the left and even when John Utaka was having a shocker Harry Redknapp stuck with him and refused to switch Kranjcar to the right and bring Taylor in on the left. When Noe Pamarot was selected at left back ahead of him during Hermann Hreidarsson’s absence the writing was well and truly on the wall.

I am gutted to see him leave, but he wanted to play football – he was not getting this chance here, nor was he likely to. He does not figure in Redknapp’s plans, so this is something we have to accept and move on from. I – and many of you – might not agree with his being sold, but Redknapp has a vision for the future, which sadly does not include Taylor so I accept this and hope it proves the right call…

If someone had told me last summer that we would get to the middle of January 2008 and both Gary O’Neil and Matty Taylor would have gone I would have laughed at them, but it has happened… good luck to Taylor, he will be missed but never forgotten.


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