Mike Williamson and I were born ten days apart in November of 1983, by way of achievements, he has accomplished way more so far in his career then I could ever dream of replicating.
At points of last season, the lanky United number 6 was the first name on the Newcastle team sheet and rightly so. Some of the Geordie faithful even dared to believe that our local team could be represented, by an Englishman, on the biggest footballing stage of them all.
Over the course of the 2013-2014season, one of few highlights, in my opinion Mike Williamson was Newcastle United’s most reliable defender. He got the simple stuff right, won the ball in the air 9 out of 10 times and generally for most of the season, the ball ran nicely for the former Portsmouth and Wycombe man.
(To feature like Gaz, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
Fast forward only half a season and we see a very different Mike Williamson. The once relied upon centre-half causes more groans when the team sheet comes out then any other player it seems, except maybe Yoan Gouffran whose black and white story is a similar one…
Like Williamson, early in that 2013-14 season, Gouffran was on smashing form – scoring, going past wing-backs for fun, covering well when needed and regularly putting in Man of the Match winning shifts. Gouffran’s fall from grace has been a frustrating one for fans, but not as disheartening as Williamson’s.
Newcastle United fans’ confidence in the man has fallen so exponentially that in two different ‘starting XI vs Southampton’ surveys conducted today, one in the Evening Chronicle and one on here. Paul Dummett was the overwhelming choice to partner club captain Fabricio Coloccini in the heart of the defence – Paul Dummett, an unproven young left-back over a player as vastly experienced as Williamson!
And yet, I am amongst them. I too would pick Dummett ahead of Williamson. The fact of the matter is that the once calm, steadfast and reliable ‘Iron Mike Braziliamson’ now seems to panic uncharacteristically on the ball, lose his man repeatedly at set-plays, as well as making hurried and rash passing errors.
I hope either Mike either regains the form he picked up last season, or John Carver (or whoever is picking the team over the coming weeks of the season) sees sense and starts Dummett… because we all know we’re not getting any new players this transfer window!