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Add a few goals and this Newcastle star would be the complete player

6 years ago

As the end of last season was fast approaching, social media made it apparent that Newcastle United were interested in signing Sunderland’s Jack Colback on a pre-contract agreement in the summer.

I sent an article in to The Mag discussing my thoughts on the rumour. I argued it would be a massive coup for us to have landed a young, hard working battler for the midfield,  somebody who is Newcastle through and through, especially for the grand transaction fee of £0!

The piece was met with a mixed response, ranging from ‘we need this kind of player’ to ‘not good enough’ from Mag readers.

Fast forward to December 2014 and I think I have a published piece to fondly look back on.

Jack has been sensational for us this year.

(To feature like Rhys, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

Since his first appearance at home to Manchester City I was already a fan of his. He played with his heart on his sleeve and even showed the likes of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho a thing or two about midfield play that day.

Newcastle went through a well publicised rough patch throughout the early months of the season and those from Wearside were relentlessly laughing at his and our expense.

Even through the streak of poor results, I still maintained he was performing well in a side that lacked confidence.

The only issue I had with him is that he needed to work on his ability to find the back of the net. Glorious chances away at Southampton and Stoke had gone begging at the feet of the ‘Ginger Pirlo’, the latter which would have rescued a point at The Potters.

Now things are looking much rosier for Newcastle United and this really has given all on Tyneside the chance to fully recognise that Jack Colback is a very good footballer.

Against Chelsea he was sublime once again. He was unlucky not to score in the first half after a clever pass from Ayoze Perez and his low shot saved well by Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois.

But in the second half, and not for the first time in a black and white shirt, he ran the midfield engine room against world class opposition.

The second goal for Newcastle was a particular highlight. After an excellent crunching tackle to dispossess Eden Hazard, he recollected the ball soon after before bringing it forward with pace, threading a perfect pass through to Sissoko, and before we knew it we were 2-0 up against the best team (by some distance) in the league.

Colback really does have so many attributes that go unrecognised. His tackling is fantastic, his passing is often superb, his workrate is unquestionable, he’s got a decent bit of pace about him and (perhaps most importantly) he looks like he would die for this club.

He plays with the passion and recognition of Newcastle United’s black and white stripes that we have sorely missed since the departures of the likes of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton.

He really would be the complete midfielder, in my eyes, if he could add a few more goals to his game.

He still has improvements to make, as do we all, and I’m sure there’ll be one or two of you reading this ready to comment your own thoughts of disagreement. And, of course, there are plenty more players at The Toon who deserve a lot of credit for their performances this year; Janmaat, Sissoko, etc.

But the reality for me is that we got this guy for nothing and what a bargain it’s been.

Regardless of who we bought him from, we brought in a young, hard working, talented footballer who cares about Newcastle United just as much as the fans in the stands who bleed the club’s colours.

I may be getting ahead of myself, this may be just a run of good form for him that may not last. And many of you may tell me to calm myself down a bit.

But this lad has several England caps eagerly awaiting him and a potential route mapped out that could lead to him becoming a Newcastle great. Who knows?

Comments welcome below.

You can follow Rhys on Twitter @RhysMelhuish22


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