Mike Williamson has looked back at his Newcastle days and declared that Fabricio Coloccini was ‘undoubtedly one the best I have ever played with’.
Which must be some comfort to the Newcastle Captain, as the competition for that accolade saw him up against Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor and the centre-backs Williamson played alongside at Torquay and Wycombe Wanderers.
Full of praise for his former team-mate, Mike Williamson thinks that he and Coloccini perfectly ‘complemented each other as a pair’, with (according to Williamson) the Argentine defender reading the game so well and Williamson organising and keeping ‘the shape’.
Willo seems a canny bloke and to be fair his form with Wolves seems to suggest, over a short period of time so far, that he has found his level – but like other past and present Newcastle players, he does seem to see things differently than the rest of us.
Sadly, the United defence has suffered more than any other area from a lack of investment under Mike Ashley and until the arrival of Mbemba, the centre-back area has been a disaster area, even despite Chancel’s best efforts there are still only two clubs to have conceded more than Newcastle this season.
Last season only rock bottom QPR conceded more and so on, with it being a tale of disaster ever since the promotion season of 2009/10.
The fact that this season we started off with yet again the three centre-backs from that promotion season (plus Mbemba) – Taylor, Coloccini and Williamson, sums up the neglect Ashley has shown to the defensive qualities of NUFC.
Until a big dominant centre-back is brought in (as well as a left-back) to play alongside Chancel Mbemba, then Newcastle will continue to struggle at the back.
The signing of 31 year Robert Huth for £3m is looking like one of the bargains of the season at Leicester and is the kind that Newcastle were desperate for, yet sadly that kind of signing with both experience and stature would never have been sanctioned by Mike Ashley.
Mike Williamson talking to the Football League Paper:
“He (Coloccini) is a good guy, a good friend, and undoubtedly one of the best I have ever played with. In my eyes he should have far more caps for Argentina.
“Colo has never been that vocal but I think we complemented each other as a pair.
“I organised, kept the shape – technically, he is incredible and reads the game so well.
“He’s not slow by any means but I think he is a perfect example of why centre-halves develop later.
“Experience is more crucial there than in any other position – the older you get, the more you can predict situations and react before it occurs. He is a master at that.”