No one minds a frantic transfer window, especially if you are a Toon fan, and more importantly if the rumours link you to some of the most promising prospects of recent times.

Gini Wijni is done, and by the time this article sees the light of the day, Austin will be done, 48 hour deadline to Mitrovic will be over and Daddy Ivica will most probably be convinced, and then the icing on the rumours cake will be the new defenders we are targeting!

What a build-up to the season! (Yeah I will get my head out of the clouds now).

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Somehow Steve McClaren has got hold of the management and the players in a different way than we have seen to date under Mike Ashley. There are also some recent innovative PR tactics which differentiate the current state of affairs from earlier, notably the club’s #Magpies24/7 video thing.

I don’t know about my fellow Toons in Newcastle, but as an Indian fan I cannot express how delightful it is to see the Club, the players, the staff, the training, and all about NUFC in this amazing video series! Kudos to Steve McClaren, or whoever churned this PR stunt. It works.

Time to repay these folks with some of our own insights.

I was reading a recent Mag article on who should be wearing the Newcastle Captain’s armband in the coming season.

Let me throw you my shortlist of probable candidates and then please vote at the end:

Even though the position of a Captain on a football pitch has been seriously underrated and loosely thought about, especially since Big Al hung up his boots, I expect Steve McClaren and his new staff to bring back some credence and some more belief in the role for the new season.

So, take your pick and hold that thought. Now, let’s look at it one by one:

The Old Guard – Fabricio Coloccini:

Not my favorite, even when he WAS wearing the armband last season. I have the highest regard for him for all he’s done and achieved with the stupendous mediocrity around him over the last 6 years or so. But, the time has come for him to pass on the burden, for the good.

He is not getting any faster, any sharper, any louder with each passing day. He even seems to have a mystery Achilles which has kept him out of our pre-season friendlies. So it’s weird for SMC to come out and say “…if Coloccini plays, Coloccini is captain.” Time for change and change it must.

newcastle captain

The Crowd Favorite – Daryl Janmaat:

International quality, probably Player of the Season for many, Daryl embodies the true image of the hard work and industry Geordies crave. With more recruits from just across the Channel (and I’m adding Mitrovic from PSV too…), Daryl fits the bill perfectly as the common thread on the pitch so to.

But not all full-backs can live to be the Lahms or the Leighton Baines, and I would rather not see him take that extra burden which may restrict him to make his adventurous forward runs.

Remember that adage – “with great power, comes great responsibility”? Would hate that extra weight on his shoulders and let him not be himself more often, eh?

The Geordie Spine – Jack Colback:

Another crowd favorite, our own Ginger Pirlo. Jack is the star on the #Magpies247 and has been around more press conferences than most recently. Quite frankly, a central defensive midfielder, as well as being a Geordie, wearing the armband gives that extra lift to the 52000-strong SJP environment any given day.

Don’t be fooled by his size, I have little doubt he can give you the loud commanding presence in the centre of the park which we have been missing quite often.

Add to that little bit more controlled aggression and the guts to go for those tactical challenges when needed. And we have that flair and openings in the front now for him to distribute better from the back. So, why not?

The New Core – Siem De Jong:

I have always been a big proponent of a strong “Core” for our team. It has been amiss for ages now, again you can track that to the Shearer days. Pardew did try that with Cabaye, and it did work wonderfully briefly and sporadically, but that was that.

De Jong, if fit, can provide SMC with an opportunity to build a team around that man. He may not be that strong in communication, or may not be that well in organizing the defense, but what he can bring to the table is his maturity in the game.

Someone the youngsters can look up to, his skill on the ball, that extra bit of vision and insight to crack the opponent’s strategies, that attack-mindedness in our team to get the goals upfront which we sorely missed during last season. But the question remains – will he be fit enough, ever?

The Marquee – Georginio Wijnaldum:

Feel a bit strange to not discuss Sissoko or even Tiote and directly go for Gini. Well, for me, even if we land Austin or Mitrovic or Matip, Wijnaldum will remain our Marquee signing this window.

His transfer reflects truly the transformation NUFC want to achieve under SMC, and for me his form and his performance in this season will reflect NUFC’s season.

Again the perfect candidate to build the team around, and that team will be an ambitious, attacking, forward-looking team, which can take on its opponents with that bit more guile, catch them off-guard with that bit more speed and sharpness.

If he is wearing the armband it will be a statement from SMC and from NUFC. But will the PSV magic work here? How quickly will he settle down to English conditions and the game? Isn’t it a little too early? I say NOT.

newcastle captain

So, there you go. Look at the options again, with the evidence and the analysis above with your own inputs, and give the poll another try. Did you choose differently? Let me know also below in the comments.

Vote here now:


Yours sincerely,

Rishiraj Lahiri

(Now from New Delhi after having just moved 1,336 miles from Bangalore)

If not for the wonderful Black-and-white and Alan Shearer, I would have never got stuck with Newcastle. But then I fell in love at first sight, and the affair continues…. long distance….And one day, I will be there at SJP and I will cheer you on lads…



  • Shaker_Shakrah

    At the end ,,,,,, it will still be Coloccini :| 
    But Janmaat would be my choice .

  • ArtyH

    Daryl Janmaat for me. Choosing Colback just because he is a geordie is a flawed logic, well its certainly not for his footballing ability, is it?

  • wor monga

    It won’t be Collo…his time with the armband is over, but McClaren
    will take it away in a fair and reasonable manner…

    …as a Tynesider born and bred I’d
    say Jack (in the spirit of the great  Stan Anderson who came the same way out of the
    Mackem sludge)…

    …but the club is totally cosmopolitan now, and so I voted for the
    man who earned the honour of captaining the great European footballing side Ajax,
    and would command respect from all of our players…Siem De Jong…

  • SteveSmith16

    What happened to letting the players vote for their captain?

  • TaylorScottKey

    Colback was one of if not the most consistent players last year, and tied for the third most goals on the team from his defensive midfield position. His footballing ability was top class last season and just complements the fact that he’s a Geordie.

  • Paul Patterson

    Can’t see past Colback for me.
    I also see him as a Paul Scholes (And not just because of the hair) as he should be getting Paul Scholes types of goal.

  • PhilYare

    Paul Patterson mind I never thought we’d have a captain choice so popular that mocked us when the mackems beat us 0-3. sign of the times

  • PhilYare

    4 reasons why colback should NOT be captain of this football club. in fact it sickens me. But I suppose many of us will forgive ashley for all the s**t hes done

    our standards have fallen hideously low

  • PhilYare

    ArtyH hes an ex-mackem clogger

  • NottsToon

    Colback, oh hell no. I’ve only just got used to seeing him the shirt.

  • Shaker_Shakrah

    TaylorScottKey Colback is average , not every one score few goals become 
    ” Top class ” for you , have you seen how he defend ?!
    I’d rather have Banega or Fer in his position so you can see how goals they will score
    and how they will defend !!!!

  • v0ices

    wor monga cant have a player who never plays as captain, give it to Janmaat fantastic player.

  • alreet

    Colback is first choice for me but it would be close between him and janmaat mainly for contribution and workrate. Yea jack was a scummer for a while but the lad is getting clean and working hard. Nowt more endearing than a hard working ginger geordie.

  • DownUnderMag

    Colback has to get the armband.  He is one of a few players who can hold his head high from last season and he knows the club and I think has earned the respect of most fans (obviously cant please everyone).
    Colocini for me bottled it completely last season and shouldn’t be captain again.  We need someone who can stand up and be counted and Colo just isnt that type of figure for me.
    Janmaat would be a good call but I would opt for him as vice captain as he deserves some recognition of last seasons heroics, but Colback edges it with the local lad view.
    The likes of De Jong and Gini may end up being great players for us, but giving them the armband just of reputation is not a good idea.
    My view would be Colback as captain with Janmaat and maybe either Steven Taylor and/or Sissoko as joint vice captains (hoping that the vice captaincy settles Saylor down a bit and helps given Sissoko the incentive to influence games more often).

  • Michael Maximus Moose

    If Tiote stays and regains form Colback will have a fight on his hands

  • BONESNUFC

    colback still has a lot of making up to do, showing us 3 fingers then telling us to hush, noway does he deserve the the captain armband not until he at least scores against the mackems  the only man worthy of it is janmaat

  • BONESNUFC

    DownUnderMag colbacks got a lot more to do if he wants to hold his head high scoring against us when he was playing for the mackems and posting pics mocking us about getting beat 3-0 he wont never be a true geordie and isnt worthy of the shirt so why the F##k would you make him captain

  • BONESNUFC

    PhilYare totally agree mate

  • MiPr01

    BONESNUFC When did Janmaat score against the Mackems (since it obviously is a requirement for captaincy now….)