When Newcastle United put Mike Williamson up as a spokesman, it produces the following reactions from supporters….

Is he still here?

He seems a really canny lad but WHY is he still here?

Why on earth are the club putting Mike Williamson quotes out just two weeks before the season when this is supposed to be a brave new dawn?

Wijnaldum and Mitrovic look great signings but having Willo speak, is simply reminding everybody of just how desperate the defence is, amongst other areas of the pitch.

Centre-back is by far the weakest part of Newcastle’s team and even if the anticipated signing of Chancel Mbemba does happen, it is totally unrealistic to expect him to sort out the defence by himself.

The idea of having Mike Williamson as part of Newcastle’s team this season is a massive worry and you have to ask yourself, if they were actively trying to get him out of the club why would United have him talking about the preparations for the new season.

mike williamson

As we keep on saying, Williamson is a tryer but he should be trying in the Championship or lower, not the Premier League…at least not at Newcastle.

To have him talking this rubbish about taking on loads of new ideas, and how this will help him and the others who are not up to the job, to be suddenly much better players is total fantasy.

Plus the pre season results and especially performances have given not one bit of evidence that Mike Williamson and the others not up to standard have learnt anything.

Mike Williamson speaking to the official club website:

“America was a good trip, the training was a good tempo, there was loads to take on and learn from the head coach and his staff.

“This is probably the most tactical work I’ve done in pre-season for a long time and his (Steve McClaren’s)  coaches have a lot of ideas, it is good to learn them and start putting them into practice in the matches.

Full of fresh ideas:

“It’s right up there because there it is a new environment and mentality, which is full of fresh ideas – it is a pleasure to be a part of it.”

“The gaffer wants to get as much information as he can across but he is not overloading us.”

A different dimension:

“Every day he (Steve McClaren) is adding a different dimension, tactic or idea. Something else is put into our heads and we are building.

“With each fixture we play we have more ideas than the last and it is all about building up for that first game of the season, when we should be at full strength, physically, tactically and mentally.”

***Tomorrow’s club exclusive – Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran explain how Steve McClaren has turned them into creative and goalscoring midfielders.

  • Dubaiexpat

    Doesn’t bother me – the club always trots out the same players for this type of PR. 

    If he’s still here this season I’m sure he will be limited to league cup games and cameos – certainly if we land another CB on top of Mbemba.

  • PhilYare

    for who? hopefully somebody else

  • JohnGraham1

    I’d rather keep willo than colo he was a calamity last season! Lacselles could develop in to a talent , and a fit again Taylor …. I wouldn’t mind another commanding CB though a winger who can play left or right , even play hadaira LM and get in a quaility LB

  • Scott Sloan

    As opposed to not being any of the above in previous seasons

  • MichaelDew1

    A million comments occur most of them unprintable… never forget that stupid sending off… unforgivable

  • Nutisbak2

    Is Mbemba’s position going to end up being centreback though? He can play and does Left Back, also Defensive Midfield and then centreback, so he brings options, the question is where will we play him.

    Obviously if Pardew was still in charge he’d be playing him up front as our main striker since Pardew had a habbit of trying to get players to play in positions they just were not used to playing.

    As for Willo well who knows, he’s got 1 year left on his contract and to be fair he’s never really had any decent coaches whilst at the club so I really don’t mind if he hangs around for another season to finish up, who knows, he might learn a thing or two and suddenly become this amazing centreback he was always meant to be lol.

    That said given his age he will still be off in the summer either way.

  • 1957

    No matter who is coming out and saying it its good to know that there has been an emphasis on tactical work, history would suggest there wasn’t much under the previous regime. I think 3 goals from corners in 2 years sums it up. I have no doubt he can understand what the coaches want but he really doesn’t have the ability to perform. He’d be a fish out of water in a team who want to lay a short passing game.
    I sometimes feel for Williamson though, he is not the worst performer we have (Obertan and Gouffran are leading contenders for me) he just plays in a position where his errors are more obvious. He is technically limited but it not his fault he is still at a PL team and because of an under investment in players he gets regular appearances.

  • ArtyH

    Yes he is a worry, still being at the club. Hopefully IMHO Mbemba will be partnered with Taylor or Collo but the problem there is will they bring the new signing down to their level, or will it work the other way? I would prefer another C.B to any other signing at this time.

  • desree

    no fan of willo but we don’t have many back up options. Taylor and Dummet are always injured and collo doesn’t care. I doubt we would get a buyer for him anyway.
    He is a decent bloke and didn’t deserve his treatment from Carver. It would be great to see him do a perchino but it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe he could play up front? the way he loses attackers, if he could lose defenders the same way he would be great.

  • prestondave

    “With each fixture we play we have more ideas than the last”. Err, are you not meant to have a certain level of knowledge and expertise in your chosen profession especially when you are a mature advanced person in your field?. Be prepared for more of the same drivel and being frustrated at some of the same under achieving players spouting nonsense. Be great if he hardly played at all. Happy with the new signings but we need more to be seen as a serious contender for anything more than a 14th spot finish.

  • People really need to get off this guys back and stop using every opportunity to take a dig at him, its getting so tiresome.

    I think it is pretty clear that ideally we need to get a couple of top class centre halves in which would mean Williamson wasn’t a regular starter but personally got no qualms having him in the squad as a 3rd or 4th choice centre half as he can come in and do a job if needed.

    Certainly not the best centre half in the world but nowhere near as bad as people make out and someone that at least gives 100% for the shirt whenever he plays.

    Find it ironic that people moan constantly about a lack of communication from the club yet as soon as someone like Williamson speaks to the website etc people are falling over themselves to jump on and criticise anything that is said.

  • Ollie Burtons Grandad

    Well he might be “physically, tactically mentally” ready he is still a bloody liabilty!

  • dude 1

    That will be a first for him then

  • prestondave

    Roberts Grey Pants -thing is they are sending the wrong person out to speak and it is made worse when they are not highly thought of as in this case.

  • Nutisbak2


    I wonder if there is any substance to this Joao Moutinho thing? Probably not however…..

    It would certainly be a very very interesting purchase, we know for a fact Newcastle were looking to bring in another midfielder and we have missed someone to boss the midfield around since the days of Cabaye so he’d certainly be right up there. Plus they did say earlier in the season that they would potentially relax the age policy too for the right targets if they combined both the right mix of ability, experience and leadership.

    Certainly if it’s true he’d be a standout candidate for captain.

    Plus given McClarren did say there were mystery targets in the offing that none of us were aware of who would be very very suprising to many fans, well perhaps this is one of them and well therefore our 4th signing is on the way.

    I have a funny feeling in my gut this is for real and true.

  • GToon

    True. Not his fault they ask him to speak up.

  • prestondave the problem is that for some reason a lot of fans need to have a scapegoat – you can guarantee that if anything negative ever happens it is either Williamson, Gouffran or Anita’s fault – look at the attempted humour at the bottom of this article for proof of that.
    Some people need to take off the blinkers. 

    Made a couple of good signings and this site is still churning out negativity and horrendous attempts at humour by the bucket load.

  • GToon

    If the new tactics limit his responsibilities and basically just have him marking x y or z then we might get a decent last season from him. It’s when the ball playing captain gave him the ball and expected him to bring it forward that he looked poor and when the silent captain didn’t organize the defense that he struggled. Not trying to shift the blame but I reckon he would do better with another partner, as they both might.

  • AndrewCowley1

    Surely some of the younger guys are as good as this guy.if I was a centre back at Newcastle and in the 21s and this guy was 1st team I’d be pretty annoyed.

  • Jimmywayhay

    That will ba a change then!

  • Nutisbak2

    GToon  It’s my opinion that when fit our best partnership has always been Colo and Taylor, however invariably either one or the other gets injured or carded so as to keep them out for a while, during which time Wilo ends up being paired with the other party and then once the injured/carded party regains the ability to play they end up playing with Wilo for some insane reason only known to Pardew and Carver I suppose.

    Whilst I believe Taylor/Colo has been one of our more consistent partnerships, strangely when Mapou Yanga Mbwia was here when he was paired with Wilo I believe that yielded good results, one might presume because Mapou was the ball playing defender allowing Willo to concentrate on the simple things.

    Trouble is Pardew and Carver didn’t like playing from the back with the ball on the ground which is what Mapou was about which led to his being shifted onwards.

    Oddly had he still been here today I think he might well be someone we would be building the defence around.

  • DownUnderMag

    Nice guy, we just need better.  Found out too many times.  I think the season when he really shone shows what he can do in short sharp bursts as a squad player, but he just doesn’t seem capable of doing it week in week out and certainly not when Colocini is along side him.  I think Willo played decent when Saylor was there being a gobshite and telling him what to do, Colo just spends his time being out of position trying to cover Willo’s mistakes and they BOTH get found out.  In fact I think what ALL of our defence needs is a strong mouthy leader to marshal them and shout at them when they get out of position.

  • Paul Fitzsimmons

    Who says you’ll even be there!

  • Marc Wales

    Im looking forward to him leaving. Useless.

  • prestondave

    Roberts Grey Pants prestondave -the 3 players you mentioned are in amongst the worst players we have. So, if they are consistantly crap then they rightly deserve criticism. A couple of good signings is great but it isnt enough to get too excited about yet. We still need quality at the back and the 3 aforementioned players can sit on the bench and fill the injury gaps or move on to lesser teams.

  • GToon my god there is actually another nufc fan that can actually see what happens on the pitch!

    Absolutely spot on mate.

  • prestondave i think constantly crap is very harsh with regards to all 3 and that is what frustrates me. Doesn’t matter how they play or how anyone else plays certain players seem to not be able to do any right in some fans eyes.
    With regards to Williamson its clear that in an ideal world he shouldn’t be one of your first choice centre backs but as backup he can do a job as long as people are not expecting him to be paying out from the back like a young Franco Baresi which alarmingly a lot of fans still expect from him.
    With regards to Gouffran and Anita I think both of them have suffered from bad management and being players that are in and out of the side and played in multiple positions.
    Think all of our players could look a lot better with some decent coaching and playing in a side that is playing with more confidence.

  • prestondave

    Roberts Grey Pants prestondave -I agree that its frustrating when your opinion doesnt match that of others.The joys of being a fan eh?.There has definately been bad management issues but we can all see the limitations of some players and when they are average to poor every season then surely that tells you something.? Its not as though he has had 3 blinding seasons and 1 crap one is it?I do agree he can fill a gap when we have nobody else due to injury but he would be a last resort for me.

  • prestondave of course everyone has a different opinion, there are players I don’t particularly rate that others do but I like to think that even with those players I can give them credit where it is due when they do have a good game. just feel that with these 3 it doesn’t matter how they play and whether or not others played worse they will automatically just get hammered which i don’t think is right.

    Look at this article – its a month before the season and they are getting hammered.

    For me a club like us at the minute are not going to have 4 top drawer players for every position so it is ok saying ship certain players out but we saw what happend last season when there was a lack of depth in the squad.

    I think Anita could be a really good player in the right system given a chance and to be honest I wouldn’t have a problem holding onto Gouffran and Williamson as back up players.

    Suppose the key point here that I think everyone agrees on is that we need at the very least 1 top drawer centre half brought in.

  • NottsToon

    Related subject, not really to do with Willo more Lascelles. At the moment the lad is Titus Bramble mark 2, and I don’t mean that as an insult. He has absolutely every physical attribute to be a top class centre half but he is remarkably error prone (check out his highlights from Forests last 2 seasons).

    When Bramble was here he had a remarkable purple patch when playing next to Woodgate who basically told him what to do for the entire 90 minutes, Lascelles will need this too. He is complete brawn and needs a brain next to him, or rather a ball playing defender, hopefully between Colo and Mbemba we have that.

  • bang on

    lets hope he not even on the bench

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    Wilo Oot !

  • GToon

    Centre halves are just the same as forwards in their need to form a pairing and not replicate each other. Two Hansens or two Lawrensons would have been not much at Lfc just like the pairing of Mountfield and Ratcliffe at Efc. Opposites on the pitch but a decent pairing, well more than decent obviously.

  • GToon

    Yep, Mapou certainly got the xxxxx end of the stick. Don’t know what he did wrong as he looked decent at centre half when he played there.

  • Andgeo

    Two words and the second one is off!!!

  • Peter Nealon

    With hartlepool hopefully

  • dav_art

    A nasty and sad article.

  • fireflyuk

    Roberts Grey Pants He’s championship quality at best.

  • fireflyuk

    Roberts Grey Pants prestondave three of the worst players over the last couple of seasons. Im hoping the McClaren style will suit Anita but as for the other two they should be gone by now.

  • Andgeo

    About an average championship defender.