27 June: Stuart Taylor sold to Villa, just before Vito Mannone arrived.

Day by Day: the videos: An Arsenal video for (almost) every day of the year in order. 

In all, Stuart Taylor made 26 starts for Arsenal in league and cup, and came on four times as a substitute between 1997 and 2005.  Which when you come to think of it means an awful lot of bench sitting over an eight year period.  But such is the lot of the second keeper.

Unfortunately for him, even upon leaving Arsenal to try and get regular football he didn’t.  In fact, in 2013 he completed a stint of five years and 40 days without playing a Premier League game.  He played for Aston Villa at Liverpool on January 21, 2008.  And then in March 2013 for Reading at Everton.

In between those two events he was registered with Manchester City without playing once.   In an interview in 2013 Taylor said, “When I’ve left clubs in the past and my agents have been speaking to clubs and said ‘Stuart Taylor is looking for a club…’ and the first thing they say is ‘oh yeah we know who he is but we have not seen him play for a long time.’

“I expect people do think ‘backup keeper’ when they think of me. That hurts because I feel I’ve got the ability and enough to do a job. “But as much as you can say ‘look at past games I’ve played’, they can say ‘that was ten years ago’ and things have changed, the game has changed.”

But let us not forget that Stuart Taylor won the league with Arsenal in 2002.   Of his time at Arsenal he said, “Things can change really, really quickly…. When I was at Arsenal I was third choice goalkeeper and before you know it the two in front get injured, you get given a game, I ended up playing 10 games and winning a league medal.

His Premier League championship medal was achieved by giving him the chance to play as a sub in the final match of the season against Everton in 2002 with the title already won.  Richard Wright started in goal, and Taylor came on, after 85 minutes as sub, which allowed him to qualify.  It was an event that was widely publicised in advance, and something that Arsene Wenger did with other players – most notably Martin Keown.

He also got FA Cup winner’s medal in 2002 and two Charity Shield winner’s medals in 1999 and 2002, so he might not have got the games, but he got the baubles.  He also played in the England Under 20 side in the 1999 World Youth Cup, and got four under 21 caps.

He won the league, and played for England, yet never got a top club where he could play football week after week.

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