Betrayal is a very strong word to use, but that is what Charlie Taylor’s refusal to play for Leeds United today feels like to loyal Whites fans.
The skinny of it is that Charlie Taylor, in what many Leeds United fans expected to be his last appearance for the club, simply refused to play. Just like that, turning around and saying that he wasn’t willing to play.
💬 @GarryMonk "Charlie Taylor refused to play, he is a good lad but he's been terribly advised. From my point of view it's unacceptable"
— Leeds United (@LUFC) May 7, 2017
Confirming the rumours that were buzzing around social media when Taylor’s ‘no show’, head coach Garry Monk called Taylor’s refusal to play “unacceptable.” That word, and much worse, have been bandied around by disappointed fans. However, in cases like this the more meaningful criticism often comes from your peers.
That is exactly the case with what Simon Walton tweeted (below), adding “disgusting” and “unacceptable” to the pantheon of words being bandied around and associated with Charlie Taylor and his decision.
Walton started out his career at Elland Road, moving from the Under-18s to the first team at the start of the 2004/05 campaign, staying at the Whites for two seasons and leaving for Charlton at the opening of the summer 2006 transfer window for a fee around £575,000. In total, Walton turned out 34 times for Leeds United, scoring three times in the process.
Since then, 29-year-old Walton has moved around in a career that is that of the clichéd ‘journeyman pro’ – turning out for Guiseley in the National League, who are his 15th side. 15th they might be, but that hasn’t stopped the former Whites midfielder adding a personal opinion to the growing criticism of Leeds left-back.
Snapshot of Leeds United fan opinions over Taylor refusal to play
Firstly this response to an addendum that Simon Walton posted as a reply to his original tweet.
Honest question and not a criticism but did anyone badly advise you to leave Leeds so early or was that your/clubs decision?
— Darragh Cunningham (@DarraghC81) May 7, 2017
Walton answers that he “wasn’t given a choice from a certain owner at the time,” but the opposite is the crux of the matter in the case of Charlie Taylor. He had a choice, and he made it – upsetting fans in the process.
Sadly they think they're bigger than the club mate. I loved Taylor but this is two fingers up to the fans
— IsThatConfirmed 🤍💙💛 (@IsThatConfirmed) May 7, 2017
The fact that there are often ‘Wormtongues’ in as player’s ear is a common thing that fans are picking up on.
Another young lad badly advised by his agent, agents are ruining good footballers by being greedy, wanting them to be sold so they get a %
— paul young (@wicketlufc) May 7, 2017
Away from Walton’s comment, the ‘betrayal’ is still raw for Leeds United fans – self before side NEVER appreciated at Elland Road.
Who the hell is Charlie Taylors agent? They make a right pair of twats #lufc
— Armin Tamzarian (@Wakeyladhere) May 7, 2017
Here’s a tweet from a Pigeon Detective, the motive of his post is plain to see.
— Dave Best (@Dave_Pigeons) May 7, 2017
Here’s a word of warning from one Leeds United fan to his fellow football followers of West Brom – a case of ‘better the Devil you know’?
Your welcome to him, no player is bigger than the club, lack of respect to the fans and club that pay his wages take him away. #disgusted
— Andy (@Andyg_LuFc) May 7, 2017
There’re a lot of Leeds fans hanging out the ‘club that pays your wages’ line and adding how disgusting Taylor’s actions have been in regard to this.
How a professional footballer has the cheek to refuse to play for a club that pays his wages is beyond me, shameful Charlie Taylor #lufc
— josh stacey (@joshstacey89) May 7, 2017
Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Phil Hay gives at least a crumb of satisfaction to fans like Josh (above) with the following tweet.
For what it's worth, Taylor will face internal discipline from Leeds (which most likely means a fine). #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) May 7, 2017
In all seriousness, the buzzword ‘legacy’ gets thrown around far too often and far too easily at times. But the way that Taylor has basically turned his back on the club that has set him on the path to his future in football, that is definitely a case of crossing the Rubicon and burning all bridges that took you there. Yes, Taylor, like Phil Hay says, will be disciplined, but the lasting effect is that Leeds United fans will long remember the hurt and disappointment of being let down by one that they were proud to call their own.