What has Captain Coloccini brought to the Newcastle armband?

Posted on October 12th, 2011 | 43 Comments |

Captain Coloccini: Level headed.
Captain Colocini: Level headed.
He’s come a long way since he joined the ranks of Newcastle United as a £10.3M Centre Back under the control of Kevin Keegan.

It’s probably debateable whether Keegan even wanted him in, but I don’t remember there being too much dissent when he transferred.

We all knew of him through his days playing for Argentina, so we expected big things from him. His first season started really well, putting in some top class, assured performances, starting away at Man. U. in the league. It was clear that he’d be a great acquistion. But as that ‘ill fated’ season progressed, things started to go wrong ‘upstairs’ at the Toon, all of which well documented, so I won’t go there. Suffice to say, Keegan ended up leaving, the club went into turmoil, a series of caretaker managers presiding over the drop down to the Championship by the end of that chaotic season.

After the “deadwood” was shipped out, the players that stayed got their heads around plying their trade one league down. Some of our ‘better’ players hung around, when no doubt they could have moved on to top league clubs, Fabricio Coloccini being one of them.

He had lost his way somewhat in the second half of ‘that’ season, but as a player still getting used to Premier League football, it would be unfair to point the finger at him. It must have been a really tough time for the lad; new country, new language, new league, new style, several new managers all culminating in what must have been a soul destroying season.

In the following Championship season, he started to really get to grips with the English game. You could tell that the guy was no quitter, he just seemed to roll up his sleeves and get on with it. For me, he started to show a passion for the game, a professionalism and detirmination that would endear him to the Geordie fans. He never once came across as a complainer, even though he must have been non-plussed by all that had gone before. He played a great season, helping to drag us back the ‘big league’ in double quick time. Having a few other Spanish speakers around him no doubt helped him re-settle, but I got the feeling that he wasn’t gonna let a lousy stinking relegation stop him succeeding with the Toon.

As we got back to the Premier League a few media outlets threw stories out here claiming he may leave and move back to Spain. I never once believed any of it! Again, he formed a great partnership, firstly with Mike Williamson, then Steven Taylor. At once creating a previously unseen implacable coolness about the Newcastle defence, while also instilling the same calmness into his younger defensive partners. I think it’s fair to say that both Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson particularly have learned a lot from Colo. There seems to be a level of understanding and organisation that this term has brought about the moniker of ‘meanest defence in the league’ so far.

The lad, for me, was ‘nailed on’ as the natural replacement as Captain when Kevin Nolan left, although there were some worries from fans that he may not be able to communicate his orders as well as a natural English speaker. It was a brave decision, based on that, by Alan Pardew to reward his great form, undoubted experience, seemingly unlimited coolness under pressure and above all, ever presence. Colo always plays!

It looks as though his captaincy has brought with it a new era and a level-headedness to proceedings at the club. Many were in fear of what might happen when Captain material like Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton moved on, but i just knew Fabricio Coloccini would step up to the plate and not let us down as he was ready for the new challenge of becoming Newcastle United’s Captain.

All we need now is for him to sign an extension to his contract. Long may he reign!

Howay the Lads!


NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it'll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black 'n' White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

43 Responses

  1. Didn’t he play every league game for the whole of his first season after doing exactly the same for his previous club the season before?

    He’s a machine who could easily play further up the pitch as shown with his recent form.

  2. goodoldjimgold says:
    October 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    “Didn’t he play every league game for the whole of his first season after doing exactly the same for his previous club the season before?”

    I think he missed just a few in our relegation season Jim? Not many mind.

    I’ll just check with OPTA. Hang on…

  3. I think the true test of his captaincy will come when things are not going as well as they are now! How will he cope after a few losses? I think he will be a good captain, leading by example but only time will tell!

  4. “It’s probably debateable whether Keegan even wanted him in, but I don’t remember there being too much dissent when he transferred.”

    Clint, it’s a well known fact that Keegan didn’t want Coloccini at the club originally as he was jealous of his bubble perm.

  5. I think he’s class, the way I look it is we have a very young team at the minute and they’ll look up to colo quite easily. I’m older than coloccini and I look up to him. He commands respect rather than shouting and screaming for it.

    And his hair is mint.

    Good article by whoever wrote it.

  6. I gave watched all the games this season so far, and I think there is only been a couple of times I have gone “colli what are you doing?” Best centre back we have had in a very long time. Reads the play very well and shuts down a lot of plays too.

  7. Think he was put on the bench for a couple of games in the relegation season because the lack of form, but im not 100% sure about it.

    Like hatstand said: we should judge him when the team aren’t doing as good as now. I think he will become a great leader, but to early to judge.

  8. Fundamental question: how’s his English? Does he do interviews for the English press? Can he effectively communicate with his teammates?

    The determination that his leadership is “level-headed” seems more like a comment about Barton & Nolan than Colo.

    Everyone I know who paid attention (more than usual because my Argentina-supporting friends took notice) thought Colo was inconsistent, often struggled and looked slow throughout his first season with us. That’s not surprising, as even Vidic took 6-8 months to adjust. Fair dos, Colo has come on very strong since then and to quote AP he is a top, top center half.

    One last thing to point out-I agree with your take on Colo’s development through our relegation season and championship campaign. It’s a line of thought that’s a good corrective to the petty assertion that JE only had one good season for us because the ccc didn’t count.

  9. Who’s JE?
    Do ya’ mean JB?
    Cos he was injured for most of that season, playing the last handful of games.
    He readily admitted on TV that our promotion was more to do with the rest of the team than him.

    Colo maybe looked ‘slow’ in his first season, as he had to get used to the pace of the english game. He now anticipates far better, so doesn’t ‘look’ as slow.
    He’s no 100m sprinter, yet no slouch.

  10. Has he been a good captain ?
    Who the hell knows ?, we can only judge from what we see on the pitch and apart from how he performs as a player i see very little of any inspirational or verbal direction.
    But that may be his strength, that of being both consistent and quiet, leading by example.
    He has certainly proven to be a good acquisition, though i dont rate him as good a player as Woodie, but i guess his durability and consistency more than made up for it.
    I expect he will sign an extension, like Jonas and be part of the side for the next couple of tears, hope so !

    Just a note on “after the deadwood shipped out” some of our better players who could no doubt have got moves to top league clubs, Colocinni being one of them.
    Not a direct quote i know, but i’m afraid that’s pure speculation my friend, you have no idea what went down, during that period.
    Where no doubt a number of highly compensated players who were forced out of the club and due to the instability and chaotic circumstances of the time, were more than happy to escape.
    On the other hand there were those with big contracts who were not going to jeopardize them even if it meant playing in the second tier.
    My point is, it’s unfair to demonize those who left and praise those who stayed, after all it was all about “The Money”
    Something that remains a difficult fact to grasp for many of those who contribute to these blogs.

  11. Colo’s done a fine job thus far, though Vs Wolves he didn’t look too good. I’m only basing that on the highlights I saw, and when he was arsing about with the ball on the touchline. He does look much sharper these days, though that’s due to his concentration levels improving.

    He’s a top player, one of our best… So give him a new contract Ashley. Don’t think you’re better off replacing him with some 21 year old French unknown! He’s only 29, and CB’s usually peak around 30 – 31, he’s got loads of fuel in the tank yet, and above all, he’s one of our most experienced players, something which we need, due to the shipping out of certain senior squad members.

  12. tunyc says:
    October 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm
    Fundamental question: how’s his English?

    Yo no entiendo nada.

    ¿Habla usted español tunyc?

  13. I loved Philippe Albert! and i’m starting to have the same thoughts about Colo! Comedy tash comedy hair and great CB’s! He’s loyal and that means a lot and this good start to the season is a lot to do with the defence surely?

  14. chuck,
    michael owen=manusa

    Not much ‘forcing’ going on there like.
    & the fact that they more bothered about money or prestige qualifies their ‘deadwood’ nature.

  15. On another subject.
    It’ been reported that Liverpool would consider, making their own tv deal, there were no real specifics as to how they would proceed.
    But there were some interesting statistics in regard to world wide audiences etc.
    Showing the EPL to be far and away the most popular league, for foreign audiences.
    Of course the FA is the present body that does the negotiating and at present revenues are shared out fairly evenly.
    Not, as say in Spain, where the big two negotiate their own contracts, ending up with somewhere in the region of forty percent of the total revenues paid by tv.
    The claim by Liverpool is that fans want to watch the top sides, not the Boltons of the league (the same claim made by the Spanish big Two) therefore they are loosing revenue.

    (I understand NUFC has in place a state of the art tv center at St.James, where they could broadcast all home games)

    Apparently Fergie remains in favor of the present shared system but believes there should be a greater negotiated amount due to the clubs, when one considers the revenue earned by tv. rights.

    At the same time there are threats by Government, to force change to a moribund FA, or face government interference, by imposing some form of regulation.
    The problem being one of high amounts of debt incurred by so many clubs, which brings about a fear of eventual collapse.

    I dont understand the reason why every EPL game is not available to fans, even through a pay per view system ?
    Yeah i’m aware of the clubs fear it would lower attendances, but who knows, it may in fact increase revenue ?
    There will of course be changes made in the not too far future, whether it will result in a European super league, or in fact more than one league consisting of teams from various EU countries, combined to generate a greater catchment area, with evenly distributed tv earnings, resulting in something like parity of earnings, therefore an elimination of the present leagues dominated by the same top few clubs.
    Whatever happens ? you can be assured things will not remain as they are, greed will guarantee that, everyone is looking for more of your Dollars, Pounds, Euro’s.

  16. Clint
    Joye = what sixty grand a week ?
    Colo = Got to be similar
    Jonas= ditto
    Nolan= not cheap
    Saylor= over forty grand
    Enrique= forty plus
    Smith= Too much, around sixty a week
    Just a few of those who stayed because of “The Money”
    Tell me, who would have picked them up for that kinda dosh ?

    The ones we sold were marketable.
    Owens, was forced out because of wages, good riddance.
    Martins, sold cheap, to get his wages off the payroll.
    Duff,still a good player, ditto.
    Bassong, an offer Newcastle cold’nt refuse.
    Shea, best goalie we have had since Ronnie Simpson, sold cheap.
    N’Zogbia, dumbass move, we sell him cheap and come back for him for twice the fee, stupid !

    Listen players who end up leaving the club are not bad guys, simply business, don’t take it personally.

  17. Oh ! what does he bring ?
    Well a hairstyle last seen in the seventies.
    ERmmmm ?
    Sorry that’s about it !

  18. In the modern game with a whole team of coaches, physyos, dieticians, motivators, computerised analysis of players & gowd knows what else – why do we still need a captain?
    Is he anything other than a figurehead? Does he actualy change tactics on the pitch or influence how others play?
    I doubt it – most teams have a core of players who marshal the defence or whatever – its down to character & experience in every area not to one man with an armband.

  19. chuck says:
    October 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    “Oh ! what does he bring ?
    Well a hairstyle last seen in the seventies.”

    There’s still quite a few over on your side of the pond Chuck, and “mullets” if you cross over the Mason-Dixon line. :-)

  20. Workey

    Yeah you got that right, it’s those “Oakies from Muskokey”, takes a while longer for them to catch on.
    Appears to be the same in Argentina, plenty of long hair and Alice bands.
    Go figure !

  21. Coloccinni is a great defender. We can’t doubt that now after all these years it’s finally paying off. I used to have my doubt a few years ago when we relegated. But now he’s grown, mature and plays a solid match almost everytime. So he deserves that armband pretty much and he’s one of the reasons we are doing pretty well.

  22. chuck,
    they aren’t ‘deadwood’ they stayed & got us back up.
    martins went for £9m, £1m less than we payed a couple of years before. So, huh?
    Well Barton, Nolan, Jose all ‘got picked up’ for those wages or more & for longer deals.

    Wether or not ‘we could refuse’ the price paid for the others is irrelevant, they wanted to go.

    Who says they are bad guy’s, i know you have it in your head that that’s what people think but you’re wrong.
    Some say stuff that fans end up not liking & for that they are chastised or disliked. Some claim undying love then split soon as…fill in the blank. I dunno what ‘you’ call that, but let’s just say it doesn’t really endear them to the public.
    If that’s not a problem for you, that’s nice!

  23. Suprmac

    Tend to agree, it’s mainly symbolic i suppose, as there’s only one man for the most part, who controls the side and that’s the midfield engine room, in our case Cabeye.
    As Tiote improves his passing awareness and ability he can hopefully share some of that role, but he is primarily the man who sits in front of the back four and breaks up attacks.
    With time imo these two can improve their understanding and become one of the best (if paired with Marveaux and HBA) and most dangerous midfields in the league,who can also play a pretty good defensive game.
    But then what do i know ?

  24. Clint
    No offense meant, but calling people who left during the relegation period “deadwood”, may in fact be an unfortunate choice of terms.
    It suggests either they were not good enough or they had some other deficiency, when in fact we are aware that there was a fire sale of highly compensated players taking place, in order to cut the clubs overall salary cost.
    Sure some were happy to leave, a club that was in a somewhat chaotic state, while others were happy to collect their not too shabby forty thousand per week and and up salaries.
    Doncha think so ?

  25. Chuck @34:

    Has someone stolen your computer and written that post? That’s the most optimistic thing I have ever seen you write. Not really even a caveat in there.

  26. chuck,

    no offense taken mate.

    i use the term ‘deadwood’ as a general, coverall that pertains to a whole range of fans beliefs. Not least a shorthand to illustrate the point that players left, good & bad for various reasons, mostly without looking back.
    Basically, i was trying to cut to the chase in a semantically economic way.
    Whether they left for their own reasons or cos the club ‘couldn’t afford’ to have them hanging around, with or without an attitude is beside the point for me.

    Attitude was maybe their worst deficiency!

  27. C’mon guys, gimme a break, obviously you did’nt read my piece on “Do we have a better midfield this season”
    There was a degree of positivity there, no ?

    Of course i disagree for the most part with Pardew, simply cant understand why he does’nt employ both HBA and Marveaux, in place of Jonas and Obertan.

    Would like to see the following side against Spurs, IMO would result in a great game of football, horses for courses.


    with the 5# allowed subs.
    Goalie ?

    A few more bodies brought in and we could end up with a side here !
    That positive enough ?

    OK Clint !

  28. I personally think he’s doing a great job and he’s one of the forces besides Ba. Hopefully we can take it down tomorrow since Chelsea lost points we can grab that 3rd spot!