GARRY MONK hit out at a “naive” Charlie Taylor and described him as “terribly advised” after Leeds United’s former player-of-the-year confirmed his intention to quit Elland Road by refusing to play in yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic.
Taylor, who will leave United when his contract expires this summer, pulled out of the club’s final game of the Championship season after being told he would start, prompting scathing criticism of him from an angry Monk.
The 23-year-old’s departure from Elland Road, where he began his career in Leeds’ academy as a nine year old, has been likely since he submitted a transfer request last summer and declined talks about an extended deal but Monk defended Taylor’s attitude in contentious circumstances during his midweek press conference prior to yesterday’s match.
Taylor’s subsequent refusal to travel to the DW Stadium, where Chris Wood’s 30th goal of the season earned Leeds a point, drew a more critical reaction from Monk.
“There’s no sugar-coating it,” Monk said. “Charlie refused to play the game and I think he’s been terribly advised in this instance. I think he’s been poorly advised all season to be honest, from the outside. We’ve tried to guide him and help him. He’s a young lad and a very good lad but he’s a bit naive.
“He’s acted naively, not with any bad intention, but he’s been terribly advised. To refuse to play the game, as a club and as a manager, is unacceptable.”
He’ll learn from the experience I’m sure but the club cannot have or accept a player refusing to play. It’s not what it should be. The club will have a strong stance on it.Leeds United boss, Garry Monk
Taylor had been called into Leeds’ starting line-up after centre-back Liam Cooper - back from a six-match ban and in line to replace the suspended Pontus Jansson yesterday - twisted an ankle in training last week.
Taylor, however, spoke with Monk before United’s squad travelled to Wigan on Saturday afternoon, informing the United boss that he had been advised not to play. He will face internal disciplinary proceedings and is likely to be fined.
The controversy brings a sorry end to a Leeds career which earned Taylor the 2015-16 player-of-the-year award and attracted the attention of several Premier League clubs.
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis is a long-time admirer of the defender and Liverpool are understood to have been monitoring him during the second half of this season.
Monk insisted he was unclear about Taylor’s next move. “It didn’t go that far into the conversation,” United’s head coach said. “But to refuse to play the game makes a clear statement.
“I’m disappointed for him because he’s a fantastic lad. I’ve got a lot of time for Charlie. He’s a young lad, not very experienced in these situations, and you need proper guidance. You need people around you to help you do things right. He’ll learn from the experience I’m sure but the club cannot have or accept a player refusing to play. It’s not what it should be. The club will have a strong stance on it.”
Leeds will be entitled to a seven-figure fee in compensation for Taylor due to him being under the age of 24 but the club have no power to retain him this summer with the three-year deal he signed in 2014 set to run out.
Despite attempting to force a transfer last summer – a request Cellino dismissed out of hand – Taylor played 32 times under Monk this season and returned in March after suffering an Achilles injury before Christmas. His last appearance came in a 2-1 defeat at Burton Albion on April 22.
Monk said: “He had his injury and a period of time out but I don’t think we’ve seen the full Charlie Taylor this season. It’s a shame. My advice to him at the start of the season, having experienced these situations and been through it with other players, was to block out everything and get on with his football. That’s why you’re here. The club were very clear that he was going nowhere.
“We’ve not seen the full Charlie Taylor and this last episode is hugely disappointing. He’s not a bad lad at all. He’s a good person and a good footballer but he’ll have to face the consequences of his actions.”