Signing for Newcastle United two days before the season kicked off, Ciaran Clark missed out on the opening day defeat to Fulham.
After another loss to Huddersfield, Jamaal Lascelles was dropped and Clark played alongside Chancel Mbemba as Newcastle beat Reading 4-1.
The next game saw Ciaran Clark remain in the team but as a left-back, allowing the United Captain to return at centre-back, as United won 1-0 at Bristol City.
Despite having an excellent game at QPR and scoring his first Newcastle goal in a 6-0 win, the Republic of Ireland international was nevertheless left out again.
However, the next game was pivotal, Mbemba and Lascelles having a shocker in the 2-0 defeat to Wolves and a toss of the coin as to who would be replaced.
Lascelles maybe won the vote because of wearing the captain’s armband and Ciaran Clark has been first choice ever since.
In many supporters’ eyes he is already the unopposed player of the season.
Very ironic that it was from our fellow relegation sufferers that Ciaran Clark was recruited.
When the offer came in for him, Ciaran Clark said it was a ‘no-brainer’ to escape Villa and join Newcastle United, even though the Magpies had already been relegated.
A brilliant signing by Rafa Benitez and a sensible choice from Ciaran Clark!
“You can never predict what’s going to happen but when I moved here…I just had a feeling that the club was set to bounce back.
“It was always a club set up to fight to get back to the Premier League and the manager staying was a big factor, then the quality of the signings that came in was another big positive.
“All of it meant that it was a no-brainer for me to come here – at the minute it looks a good decision.
“Hopefully, we will keep fighting and winning until the end of the season, get back up to the Premier League.
“From the outside people were looking at us having lost those first two games and thinking ‘That wasn’t meant to be like that’.
“It wasn’t what everyone thought was going to happen but as players we stayed level-headed about it.
“We worked on things in training and turned it around – the results turned and we knew we had the confidence, the belief, the players, to turn it around.
“We’ve gelled together as a defence pretty quickly, we’re all good lads and we all work hard, we all want to improve and learn.
“The more you train together you start to learn what each player is about, the main thing was getting us all working together as a team. We did that pretty quickly and it has been good since then.
“It’s a good pressure, being at the top of league, a different kind of pressure to what I’ve been used to (at Villa), but I’m really enjoying it.
“Doing the best we can to try to get up and it’s all positive, I’m really enjoying it here, being part of this.
“I’m just looking forward to the next few games – in the form we’re in we just want to keep it going.”