Lyle Taylor has spoken out for the first time after it was revealed that the forward won’t be playing in any of Charlton Athletic’s remaining nine games of the season.
Taylor was an influential player for Charlton in League One last season, scoring 25 goals upon his arrival from AFC Wimbledon as the Addicks won promotion via the play-offs.
This season, the 30-year-old has been even more important. Despite an injury problem, the forward has found the net 11 times in 22 appearances to help keep Charlton’s survival hopes alive.
Can you get full marks on this Charlton Athletic higher or lower quiz?
But due to risk of injury ahead of the EFL restart, Lee Bowyer has recently revealed that Taylor, along with Chris Solly and David Davis are refusing to play in any of the final nine games of the season.
For the first time since Bowyer’s reveal, Taylor has broken his silence and spoken out, admitting that the decision has left him sleepless for weeks.
In an interview with Sky Sports, he said: “I’ve sat in my living room staring at a blank TV screen for hours on end these last few weeks. I’ve not eaten or slept properly. I’ve been up ’til 5am listening to the birds chirping thinking about it.
“Then I finally came to the decision together with the manager that he has openly spoken about. He said to me ‘Lyle I can see how cut up this has made you’. But this is a time nobody has had to deal with before – lockdown has been difficult for everyone.
“I’m gutted at the way it’s finishing, but I don’t expect people to care. I know that once the damage is done it’s irreparable and I don’t really expect any sympathy.
“We are the first ones able to go back so that’s difficult for footballers and football clubs. My reasons and concerns stem from my knee injury – it plays on the mind.
“It makes me think what would happen if I had an injury now that threatened the rest of my career. I’ll be honest with you, it scared the life out of me.
“That’s my honest reasoning. I know it won’t sit well with people but it’s been a very had decision to make.
“I want to play to keep this team in the league; we have worked so hard to get here. But there is something in the back of my head that says if you get a serious injury the chance you have worked and dreamed of since you were six-years-old is gone. I’m not 26 or 27 – I’m 30 years old. The way I play, it puts me in positions that I could get seriously injured at any time.”
Taylor’s contract at the Valley runs out at the end of this month with a summer departure looking extremely likely, and this is obviously not the best of ways to end a hugely positive time at the London club.
Here, we take a look at Charlton fans’ reactions to Taylor’s comments…
Lyle just always has to be the centre of attention, it’s always been like that. If he wants to leave in the summer for a pay increase then no problem. But he has a contract until June 30th to play for us.
— Tom (@tom_cafc_) June 4, 2020
Think them Charlton fans will remember you when they get relegated!!!! Clubs dont need players like you pal.
— David Spence (@Spenny2382) June 4, 2020
Isn’t he being tipped to go to Rangers 😂. How is that a better “opportunity”? SPL is undoubtably the worst professional league in world football.
— Magwitch (@beefandchips) June 4, 2020
@lyletaylor90 I don’t like your decision, I will never understand your decision and I don’t wish you well.
— Duncan not Duncan’t (@charlton_dunc) June 4, 2020
Nope. Don’t understand it. Don’t like it. Get out of my sight.
— CafcPaul (@cafc_paul) June 4, 2020
You wouldn't be in the championship without us and maybe the other way around but when we need you the most you are willing to just sit back and watch us sink. We will never forget this
— Brad (@BradPVFC) June 4, 2020
Charlton shouldn't pay him another penny. There's 'a risk of injury' for every player at every club whether they are on a long contract or not. Total disrespect IMO.
— Matthew Roache (@Boy_Roache) June 4, 2020
Charlton will still be there long after Taylor. No player is bigger than a club
— David Evans (@David1965De) June 4, 2020
Lyle making himself centre of attention again 😴 #cafc
— CB (@c0n0rburden) June 4, 2020
This story would have some sympathy if it were not for the fact that his decision could not only cost #cafc relegation but also it’s very existence. Think about that for a minute. Hope he can live with that
— Keith Searle (@kwrs) June 4, 2020