When asked about the contribution of Fabricio Coloccini in Newcastle’s defeat by Watford, Steve McClaren chose to bodyswerve the question.

The United Head coach instead changed the subject and spoke about the team in general terms.

McClaren saying that when you lose then ‘not everybody is going to play well’ and that players might play well in some games but others.

Alan Shearer was amongst those who gave Coloccini in particular a hard time after Saturday’s match, talking TV viewers through the defender’s shortcomings – his weakness in the air and failure to get tight on the man he was marking, which was a key factor in the killer second goal.

The trouble is that Fabricio Coloccini hasn’t played consistently well since the 2011/12 season and Newcastle have consistently had one of the worst defences in the Premier League over these past three years.

Last season, only rock bottom QPR conceded more goals than Newcastle.

Not only is there an expectation of Coloccini to play well as an individual, as Captain he has a responsibility all round to be a leader and inspiration and organiser.

On all those counts he failed against Watford and other games this season, with only the ‘every man behind the ball’ battling team displays against Man Utd and Arsenal seeing Coloccini come out of it with any credit.

After the match, the Argentine centre-back yet again failed to appear to represent his team and club in front of the TV cameras, abdicating his responsibility.

Newcastle need big characters who are going to get this team going, that is one question Steve McClaren can’t ignore.

“You lose football matches – individuals are settling in.

“Some players have been magnificent in games whilst others aren’t playing up to their level, to their unusual standard, so you are than always going to get indifference.”

Not everybody is going to play well:

“When you lose matches, not everybody is going to play well.

“It is a team and not just about individuals, we lost because we conceded two goals – it could have been more. However, fought back in the second half and could have got something out of it.”