Greg Taylor is Celtic’s unsung hero, time to extend his contract

Greg Taylor has had his critics at Celtic, but the Greenock born left back has been a steady performer in his time at the club and has done more than enough to merit a new contract.

Greg Taylor (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Greg Taylor was signed by Neil Lennon for £2 million back in 2019 as a replacement for Kieran Tierney, and while Greg may not be in the ‘superstar’ mould of KT, he hasn’t put a foot wrong in his five years at the club.

In that time Greg has helped the club win eight honours including two trebles. Greg has been a vital part of the squad under Neil Lennon, Ange Postecoglou and now Brendan Rodgers. All three are top class coaches and the fact that they’ve all seen Greg as a mainstay in the team tells its own story.

IMAGO / Shutterstock. Greg Taylor with Lennon Miller of Motherwell. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

He might not be the greatest player in the world, but he knows his job and always puts in a shift. With Greg in the side, you know he’ll never let you down.

He was handed the captain’s armband on Saturday, albeit for only a few minutes, but it shows how much Brendan rates his leadership qualities, and in football you need all the leaders you can get on the park, and Greg is certainly one of those.

Celtic v St Mirren – Joe Hart left hugs team-mate Greg Taylor during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday May 18, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

Greg’s contract is up next year and it’s important we get him tied down on a new deal. Yes we need a new left back, but Greg is a player we want to stick around. Football is a squad game after all, and Greg is a player we should all want as part of our squad.

Speaking to the Celtic fan media on Saturday afternoon after the trophy presentation and laps of honour, Greg had this to say about his contract situation. “Any news on a new contract for yourself?, Greg Taylor was asked. His reply: “No, none, to be honest. That’s the truth.”

Incidentally, thanks to Jessica Elliott, my colleague on The Celtic Star, here’s everything that Greg Taylor had to say to the small group of Celtic supporters next to the dug-out at Celtic Park on Saturday after the stands emptied.

The Celtic Star, along with other fan media, had the opportunity to speak to Greg Taylor after Celtic’s 3-2 victory over St Mirren.

Celtic v St Mirren – Greg Taylor celebrates with the trophy after the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday May 18, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

The Celtic left-back was asked if there is any news on his new contract and about Joe Hart’s incredible Celtic Park send-off. Here’s everything Greg Taylor had to say to the Celtic fan media on Trophy Day at Celtic Park…

Q: Another trophy day. What’s changed this year?

Greg Taylor: “Bit sunnier! It was again another hard-fought title, everyone is, never take it for granted. Success, as much as we’ve had a lot of it at this club, it’s really hard and it’s a real honour. So delighted to get another.

Q: It’s been a bit of a battle at times. When did you and the rest of the team feel that everything started to click?

Greg Taylor: “I think the gaffer had a really important meeting after I think it was St Johnstone. We didn’t play great, we drew nil nil, and some things probably weren’t clicking. Then we went into Ibrox and we had a big result with half our team fit and I think the captain that day was outstanding, we got a big win then. So that was a big moment in the season and then, I think in terms of our quality, probably the last eight to 10 games we’ve improved every week and there’s been real consistency and there’s no coincidence we’ve had every player fit. When you’ve got your top players fit, it really helps.”

Q: Any news on a new contract for yourself?

Greg Taylor: “No, none, to be honest. That’s the truth.”

Q: The send-off today [Trophy Day] for Joe Hart was great.

Greg Taylor:  “Exactly. The work the guys put in to put tifos and displays like that for a club legend, the status you could probably give Hart now, is a fitting end for him. But we’ve still got one more game and hopefully end that with another trophy.”

Q: Do you think you’ll have more competition for the left back spot next campaign?

Greg Taylor:  “Yeah, I think so. That’s been pretty much consistent since I’ve been at Celtic, it’s either there’s one coming in or there’s one needed is always the shout. But that’s football, that’s the life of a big club, and I’ll welcome the challenge, that’s what we need, we need two players that are strong and fighting in every position.”

The Celtic Star: Just going back to Joe Hart, how good has it been to work with him at the club?

Greg Taylor:  “As a person, he’s just so humble. For the things he’s done in the game, it’s unbelievable. And just, I think he’s been a real key leader in the group since he’s come in. Between him and Callum McGregor leading the changing room, he’s been pretty special.”

Q: Last campaign under Ange, you played an inverted role. What do you think has changed this campaign for you?

Greg Taylor:  “I wouldn’t say a lot if you watch us play. I’m still playing on the inside. I think it’s helped for me having that more consistent run with Daizen [Maeda] on the left, I think we complement each other well. That’s probably been key for us all. But in terms of playing style, the manager’s been pretty consistent with what he wants, he wants us still to do similar and at times to play really attacking football. Of course, there’s been moments where it’s not looked like that this season but that’s been down to us and performances, not the manager. But when the business end came to it, we’ve done that.”

Q: Do you think that having competitors for that left back spot makes you a better player?

Greg Taylor: “It’s a hard one because yeah, probably, it does and natural competition does that of course. But it’s not something that [adds stress], you know I’ve played a lot of football this season and Bernabei was still in the building. You still feel that competition, he trained his absolute heart away every day and I was just lucky that I got a lot of opportunities this season and very grateful to the manager. But you can’t afford to at this club, you have to play and train as if every day is your last because if you don’t do that, they’ll quickly find you out.”

Q: What are your thoughts on the manager because you weren’t here during his first spell?

Greg Taylor: “Yeah, amazing. I remember watching on from afar at Kilmarnock and probably with envy, wanting to work under a man of that stature and to get the opportunity to do it has been amazing.”

Q: With Joe leaving, that’s a massive blow to leadership in the squad. Do you see any other players really stepping up?

Greg Taylor: “I think that’s important. Gradually as you stay here longer, you have guys who lead in different ways, big Cam[eron Carter-Vickers]leads in terms of performances, he’s a colossus at the back and he does it more like that, then you’ve got the boys who are a bit more vocal in terms of myself and Cal[lum McGregor]and even Alistair Johnston, who will of course next season be big again but it’s important to remember the guys like Anthony Ralston, who again comes into the team and he’s so consistent, he’s always supporting the boys, explaining what it means to others that come in, so another guy who’s been really key.”

Q: How are you personally going to reflect on this season in your own performances?

Greg Taylor: “With real pride again, of course. It’s never been easy my journey here, of course it’s not. You’ve had to fight, you’ve had to prove others wrong and that’s been the life of my Celtic career but it’s one that I’ve loved. I’m not wanting sympathy by any means, I’m getting to play in front of 60,000, I’ve loved it, I love the system we play, it’s been amazing. It’s been such a special time of my life.”

Q: We’ve faced a lot of adversity this season, but you found the extra gear within yourself to keep going.

Greg Taylor: “I think I’ve probably had to. Like I say, I’ve played a lot of football this season and during that period at Christmas time where you’re churning out game after game, it’s not easy and it’s about keeping that level of form. I didn’t start the season as strong as I would’ve liked but over the season, I’d say I’ve been pretty consistent, and I’ve enjoyed it.”

Just an Ordinary Bhoy and Jessica Elliott

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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