I’ve never been the biggest fan of Mike Williamson, a solid enough player when the ball is in the air but on the ground he tends to panic more than when I realise I’ve forgotten the wife’s birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s, you name it.

Anyway, since he came back into the team against Bolton, United have now kept three clean sheets in the four league matches played.

Williamson has done ok but it is as a unit under the guidance of the superb Fabricio Coloccini that Newcastle have excelled at the back this season.

Well drilled in training, with an excellent keeper behind them, the defensive play has undoubtedly earned the team many points this season.

Again not to disparage him  but Mike is no world beater and for me shows that you don’t necessarily need superstars throughout your squad, what you do need though is at the very least dependable worker ants like Williamson who will support your real superstars like Colo, Krul, Tioote and so on.

Following Taylor’s injury shocker against Chelsea, the following three matches saw Perch come in as a makeshift and anything but solid replacement – one point out of nine and seven goals conceded against Norwich, Swansea and West Brom.

Having another utility player of Williamson’s ability wouldn’t have broken the bank and there must be a number of candidates that Ashley could have funded who could fill in at both full-back and centre-half.

Another five or six points from those three matches would have seen Newcastle into fourth place in the league, what monetary value could Mike Ashley put on that…

  • Mal

    He has been a really good buy and is a good defender who has steadied the ship since he came back. We do need another central defender in quickly though, or it’s back to square one if either he or Colo get injured.

  • Rocking Magpie

    I think that’s unfair on Williamson who may be ‘limited’ in his abilities but is by far a safer pair of feet in defence than Taylor S, who is still prone to going walkabout and lacking concentration after all these years.
          Yes I’d like more quality players on the bench (Full backs and another attacking midfielder would be my priorities) but given Mr Ashley’s track record in that department I won’t hold my breath.   

  • Leazesterrace

    Is it not perhaps a little disingenuous to say Williamson
    has done ‘ok’ when the defence has returned to normal ways, conceding a very
    respectable 4 goals in the 5 games since he’s returned?

    Coloccini is undoubtedly a class act but cannot take credit for the raw
    physical contribution that Williamson provides, and frankly, Colo needs to
    perform at the level he now does.

    Although undoubtedly another Williamson style player would have improved our
    defensive performance against Norwich, I’m unconvinced of the effect it would
    have had against West Brom where our high line was thoroughly exploited by
    their pacey, nomadic strikers and technically gifted midfielders.  

    At the end of
    the day NUFC have only lost 5 games this season and arguably only one of those
    could have been altered by a change in personnel.  Another Williamson would not have broken the bank in transfer fee but would have commanded a reasonable wage – and when put into the context of changing the result of one game perhaps we can just count ourselves lucky that we have got off lightly from our injury nightmare – rather than be too upset about what could have been.

  • Leazesterrace

    Is it not perhaps a little disingenuous to say Williamson
    has done ‘ok’ when the defence has returned to normal ways, conceding a very
    respectable 4 goals in the 5 games since he’s returned?

    Coloccini is undoubtedly a class act but cannot take credit for the raw
    physical contribution that Williamson provides, and frankly, Colo needs to
    perform at the level he now does.

    Although undoubtedly another Williamson style player would have improved our
    defensive performance against Norwich, I’m unconvinced of the effect it would
    have had against West Brom where our high line was thoroughly exploited by
    their pacey, nomadic strikers and technically gifted midfielders.  

    At the end of
    the day NUFC have only lost 5 games this season and arguably only one of those
    could have been altered by a change in personnel.  Another Williamson would not have broken the bank in transfer fee but would have commanded a reasonable wage – and when put into the context of changing the result of one game perhaps we can just count ourselves lucky that we have got off lightly from our injury nightmare – rather than be too upset about what could have been.

  • Sjsharp84

    I think it’s a question of organisation and defensive system; we’ve seen technically better centre-halves than Williamson come a cropper through a sheer lack of awareness and tactical ability (Boumsong, Goma, Shambles). One of the best centre back pairings in the PL in recent years were Dann and Johnson at Brum. Neither are great players but under McCleish they played in a tight defensive system (more so the season before last) that didn’t ship many goals and each knew what the others were doing – even Steve bloody Carr. Neither Johnson nor Dann have looked anything like as good since they left Brum.

    Playing with the colossal Coloccini obviously helps as well. I bet with these two playing, we’d not have shipped four at Norwich. We do need cover at CB and I hope Pardew knocks down Dekka’s door to address this.