Newcastle United have insisted that Fabricio Coloccini stays on Tyneside rather than spending part of his self-enforced five week playing absence back in Argentina with his family and friends.
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According to John Carver, the club wants him to remain involved at the club during the course of the ban and to help the rest of the squad, especially the younger players.
“He is staying here and he is going to get involved around the place.
“We’ve got a lot of young lads in the dressing room at the moment and I want him to be part of it, because he needs to contribute. He has never asked to go back.
“I’m still not convinced it was a straight red card. It (appealing against Coloccinii’s red card) wasn’t a desperation thing.
Not one to blow my own trumpet but I’d like to think what I wrote on Tuesday (extract below) helped the club come to their decision, along with the thousands of other Newcastle fans who have made their feeling known by social media, radio phone-ins and suchlike.
Part of my piece on Tuesday:
Instead of thinking about any potential trip to Argentina, Coloccini should be ensuring he is very visible at each of these next three matches, with the players before the match and in the stands during the games.
In between he should be working even harder on the training pitch to both help the defence/team in his match absence and trying to sort them out for when he returns.
On top of this, I think Coloccini should be getting out and about in the community as well to do some very visible work for the Newcastle United Foundation.
Call me Mr Cynical but I find it impossible to believe that Coloccini didn’t have an expectation that he would be heading back to Argentina for at least some part of this ban. Whether he actually ‘asked’ Carver or other people at the club is just another question that we’ll never know the answer to.
In fact the situation is complicated further by the fact there is an international break of two weeks (15 days for Newcastle) coming up after this Saturday, during his five week playing absence.
So ironically, Newcastle’s Captain may have had an approved trip back to see his family and friends already arranged and the furore over hos actions and red card have put a stop to that.
Whilst it would be too much to believe that Coloccini takes up the media duties in front of the TV cameras during his absence, that he has so studiously avoided during his captaincy. Let’s hope that he is a very visible presence whilst banned and tries to play a part in inspiring his teammates.