Filed: Tuesday, 22nd May 2012
By: Staff Writer
Matt Taylor has revealed that he would like to end his career at West Ham.
Taylor, who played the full 90 minutes of West Ham's Championship play-off Final win over Blackpool at Wembley on Saturday admitted that he would love to end his career at the club - despite having been a Tottenham supporter as a boy.
"I'm very happy and very settled," he told Talksport's Andy Gray and Richard Keys. "My family is settled, the kids are happy and ultimately I'm happy. Long may that continue and hopefully I'll be able to stay at West Ham beyond my current contract. If I can, then that will be wonderful."
The 30-year-old, who began the season on the left side of midfield before dropping back to full-back also revealed that he had been surprised by the size of West Ham United and their stature in the English game - adding that he was perhaps the happiest he has been in a career that has included spells at Luton, Portsmouth and Bolton.
"Maybe a bit naively I didn't realise how big the club was until I signed for them, how many fans they have and how well supported they were," he admitted. "Not just how big the football club is in the community but also in the country. It's the biggest club I've played for.
"I'm enjoying myself at the moment. I'm enjoying playing football even though I had a difficult mid-season with injury. Ironically the season's finished now but I was in a position where I was really enjoying my football. I thought I was doing ok and staying in the team.
"When you're a footballer you want to play. It's all well and good watching and saying we're handsomely rewarded for doing so but I always want to play and that was part of the reason I left Bolton, for football."
And already Taylor is looking forward to the 2012/13 Premier League campaign - even if a much-deserved, post-season break is slightly higher on his current list of priorities.
"After the euphoria of Saturday it'll be nice for everyone to get some time with their families and some time away from football," he added. "We've been advised to have a couple of weeks off and do nothing because the body needs to recover. Then, when you come back in, you're raring to go again.
"First and foremost we want to make sure we stay in the League. But if you look at the [Premier League] season this year, in terms of the way Norwich and Swansea have fared so well, we as a team should take great hope from that.
"In the Premier League you've got five or six team that are in a different league financially to everybody else, but Newcastle have nearly broken into that this year. We want to go and be as successful as we can but obviously the Chairmen would sit here and say we'd take 17th.
"We've got some fantastic young players and it'll be great to see who we sign. Hopefully we'll sign some quality players to help us out next season."
However one position that is definitely not up for grabs is that of Saturday's match winner Ricardo Vaz Te, whose 87th minute strike in front of the West Ham end of Wembley ensured that he will always be remembered in West Ham folklore.
Taylor admitted that he was delighted for the Portuguese forward who, he revealed, had thought that his career could have been over even before he signed for West Ham back in January.
"It was a hugely emotional day for Vaz on Saturday," said Taylor. "I was at Bolton [with him] for three-and-a-half years and I think in that time he probably trained 10 to 15 times because of his knees and injuries.
"He went to Scotland and Greece and then Barnsley took him. He was meant to go to Sheffield United but they wouldn't pass him on a medical, so he ended up at Barnsley where he set the place alight. Sam knew him so we signed him - and he's been a fantastic signing for us.
"He was in tears on Saturday after the game, it meant so much. He thought that maybe his career was over and now he's getting another crack at the best league in the world. He was very emotional in the changing rooms afterwards but it was fantastic for him.
"Vaz has come in and done exactly what was required of him. He's played on the wing and he's played up front. You put him and Carlton together like we did on Saturday for the second half and they look menacing.
"He's quick, he's big, and he’s strong. He's good in the air and he's got so many tricks I don't think he knows what he's going to do sometimes!"
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