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Cheick Tiote Or Siem De Jong Better Choice Than Fabricio Coloccini As Newcastle Captain?

6 years ago
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I was interested to read some discussion amongst fans and journalists about the possibility of maybe Siem De Jong replacing Fabricio Coloccini as Newcastle Captain.

The Dutch attacking midfielder was Ajax Captain and so the role would hardly be a new idea for him to get his head around, but what could he offer that Coloccini doesn’t?

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There is little doubt that when the Argentinian is good, he is usually very good. As for his Captain’s role, the central defender is very much a one for leading by example, but then what else does he give the role when he is struggling with his own game?

Last season Coloccini was average at best most of the time and when United descended into that horrific half season long run after Christmas, you were looking for leadership to help pull them out of the nosedive.

When he is on top of his game then the Newcastle Captain is a massive help to the rest of his defence, but that is almost exclusively down to his reading of the game, not any great organisational skills – in my opinion.

Personally I have always been a fan of a central midfielder being Captain, a player who is involved in the action most of the time and so can dictate play as well as motivate/encourage others with that extra responsibility as a Captain.

Expecting Siem De Jong to instantly pick up the Captain’s armband in a dressing room he’s just walked into, is a tough ask.

Personally, I would give the job to Cheick Tiote, one of the few players who could hold his head up last season. The added confidence in him, may also take away any thoughts he might have about joining a club showing more ambition.

One strange factor that never seems to be acknowledged is that despite being at Newcastle for six years and Captain for much of that time, I have never ever seen Coloccini do an interview in English to camera.

This is almost unheard of on the continent, and indeed in this country as well, but in mainland Europe the Captain is expected to speak to the media almost as much as the manager, showing leadership and being a public face of the club.

Considering other non-English speaking players such as Gutierrez and Tiote have regularly spoken on camera, it does point to something that is not ideal for Newcastle United, a Captain who never speaks directly to the fans, via the cameras.

Even on Newcastle’s own TV channel I have never seen Fabricio Coloccini speak in English, surely a safe environment where he doesn’t have to worry about being caught out. On the other hand, when Coloccini has been on international duty or back home in Argentina, I have seen him often interviewed in his native language.

Maybe with his well publicised family problems, it would maybe be a blessing to relieve Coloccini of that extra responsibility and let him concentrate on his own game. If back to his best then he is a real true quality defender, as shown when his fellow professionals picked him in 2012 as one of their team of the season.

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