Steve McClaren has insisted that despite the rumours he wants Fabricio Coloccini to stay at Newcastle and that the only reason for his absence from the team so far, is that he has a ‘niggle’ which the Head coach understands he gets each season.
McClaren goes on to say that after looking at his other options, Coloccini is one of his best players.
“We want him playing but unfortunately he has got a little niggle, which apparently he has every season – that has got to be taken care of. He is working on his conditioning and in America he was out most of the time but because of the (artificial) surface he didn’t play in the last game, he has got a little niggle.
“He needs a good week this week and needs to play Sunday, we need him in the team and if he can get that (a good week’s training), then I think he can be available for Southampton.”
“They told me to assess the squad and I have been delighted with Colo’s attitude, in training and the way he is around the place – that is all great but we need him on the field.
“I hope he has (a future at Newcastle) and I have looked at the squad, I have looked at Coloccini he is one of our best players. I know things were difficult last season but I want him out on in a Newcastle shirt playing for the team and I am confident that he will be.”
Well having looked at the five games so far in pre season, it would be very hard not to identify centre-back as a crisis area.
So far, Williamson, Taylor, Lascelles, Satka, Good and Ferguson(!) have all played there and there isn’t a Premier League pairing between them.
Coloccini was invariably poor last year and McClaren acknowledges the Argentine defender had a ‘difficult last season’.
Hopefully the FA panel that meets on Thursday will back Chancel Mbemba’s work visa application but you can’t expect him to sort all of Newcastle’s defensive problems on his own, especially in the short-term.
Coloccini is desperately needed, even though being honest he has gone from being top notch to the best of a bad bunch, in a position that has really really suffered through chronic lack of investment ever since…Mike Ashley allowed Coloccini to be bought.
The centre-back has had a really easy ride from the supporters considering his lack of form over the last two or three years and especially the fact he tried to walk out on the club in the middle of a relegation battle in January 2013.
Obviously you are sympathetic to anybody’s personal circumstances but you can’t have it all ways – as Newcastle Captain and the club’s highest paid player, you have a professional responsibility that he attempted to pass up.
Arguably, Newcastle United’s need is even greater at this moment in time, as after yet another near relegation the club has to try and claw its way back after years of failing to invest properly in the squad.
The signings of Mitrovic and Wijnaldum (and hopefully Mbemba) are significant signs that the penny has finally dropped for Mike Ashley but Coloccini is desperately needed, to help this (fingers crossed) transition to being a normal football club and he needs to earn his money in this final year of his Newcastle contract.
As fans we don’t know what is really going on with the Newcastle Captain and it is hard not to suspect that there is more to it than Steve McClaren is putting in the public domain.
Maybe Coloccini thinks it unfair that he got stick on social media yesterday when this snap below of him in a Jesmond bar/restaurant was taken and put on Twitter whilst his teammates were struggling down at Sheffield United.
However, that comes with the territory when you play for Newcastle United and earn massive money, especially when you are club captain.
Would be great to think that Coloccini can respond in the best possible way and have a last stand out season playing alongside Chancel Mbemba and help turn the defence into something that isn’t a disaster area, such as last season when only rock bottom QPR conceded more goals.
— David Raine (@raineydave) July 26, 2015