I have to admit, when I started to write this, it was on the subject;‘Who is Newcastle United’s most over-rated player’.
However, I thought, no, let’s be positive, glass-half-full and all that. So I turned it round to have a look for our most under-rated player.
Of course it is all a matter of opinion – almost by definition, the player one person thinks is under-rated, is going to be the one some other folks think is pants.
First of all we can rule out the players who pretty much everyone rates highly – Krul, Jaanmaat, Sissoko, Perez.
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Here are my candidates:
Fabricio Coloccini – Now Colo might seem to be a bit out of place on a list of under-rated players – after all he’s the captain and just about the first name on the teamsheet.
But I wonder if he’s rated as highly as he deserves. I’ve been watching Newcastle since the mid 70s and for my money he’s one of the two best centre-backs I’ve seen play for Newcastle (along with Woodgate).
Throughout his time with us he’s had to play alongside defensive partners who aren’t in his league. I can’t help thinking that if he’d spent the last few years playing for a team like Benfica/Porto/Atletico Madrid, he’d have a cupboard full of medals and a lot more Argentina caps.
Jack Colback – Again, I wonder if it’s right to call him under-rated. But if Jordan Henderson gets to play for England, then why not our Jack? I know who I’d take if you gave me a straight choice between the two
Massadio Haidara – Here’s a player who seems to split opinion – from what we’ve seen of him a lot of supporters reckon he looks like a pretty good player, with the potential to be a very good one if he was ever to be given a run in the team. But for some reason the people who pick the team seem to take a different view.
Mike Williamson – I keep hearing the expert pundits on TV going on about the aerial threat posed by Mike Williamson at set-pieces. Do they see something that I’m missing? Maybe I under-rate him – but I don’t think so!
Paul Dummett – Here’s the man that gets my vote. I know a lot of people think he’s ‘just a journeyman’, ‘not Premiership standard’ and such like. But I disagree.
I think he’s a smashing player. As a left-back he’s fine by me – he’s a defender who likes to defend. But as Mr Pardew found out more by luck than judgment earlier in the season, his real position I think is at centre-back.
For the few games that we were forced to play him there due to injuries, we looked better at the back than we have for a good long time.
Of course as soon as he was able to, Pardew shipped him back out to left-back. We should have him in the middle alongside Colo and look to build the defence around him in the longer term.
After yesterday’s match, another writer John Martin had a slightly different view of Newcastle’s strengths and weaknesses which you can read HERE.