You say the name Matthew Taylor to Premier League fans, nine times out of 10 you get the same reaction: “What a goal that was!”
The wing-back’s 40-yard screamer against Everton is highly regarded as one of the best goals in the history of the Premier League. A sensational dipping volley that, if it took place during the age of social media, would make the internet, pundits and journalists explode with excitement and wonder and likely be considered for the Puskas Award, it was simply that good.
And yet that’s all fans seem to remember about Taylor’s time at Portsmouth. A club the versatile wide-man spent six years at whilst playing regularly for them during that time, as well as winning promotion to the Premier League with and scoring a goal as good as his one against Everton but against Sunderland.
For all the things Taylor did for Portsmouth, his accomplishments remain hardly noticed aside from the anniversary of his wonder goal against the Toffees and more recently when the winger announced his retirement from football.
Signed from Luton Town when Pompey were in the Championship for a reported fee of £750,000 in 2002, Taylor’s signing went long way in the club securing promotion to the Premier League in his debut season for the club, where he scored seven goals.
Under new boss Harry Redknapp the next season, Taylor was converted into a left-back, a position he would spend most of his time player at during his six years at Portsmouth.
Taylor was a consistent left-back for Pompey in their first two league campaigns, but it is his contributions in the 2005/06 season that has made him a cult hero on the south coast. His goals against Sunderland and Wigan in the final games kept Portsmouth in the Premier League in a season where Redknapp’s side looked likely for the drop.
Although Taylor would go to score eight goals in the next season, fans would say that the six he scored in 05/06 were way more important in the long-term success for the club as the versatile wide-man etched his name into the history books of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth fans, what is your favourite memory of Taylor? Let us know!
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