Coloccini’s Leadership is Crucial for Newcastle
Fabricio Coloccini has looked a shadow of his former self at Newcastle this season, but his decision to commit his future to the club and say 'I'll be here next year' could well be the most positive news in another season to forget.
May 9th, 2014
Fabricio Coloccini has looked a shadow of his former self at Newcastle this season, but his decision to commit his future to the club and say ‘I’ll be here next year’ could well be the most positive news in another season to forget.
One of my biggest concerns in recent times has been the lack of on-field leadership at the club. Since Alan Shearer called it a day in 2006, we’ve struggled to replace him with someone who can guide players on the pitch. Scott Parker, Nicky Butt, Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton provided steel and resolve as skippers every so often – but you can’t replace a figurehead overnight as Manchester United have found this season.
We’re all set for an interesting summer at Newcastle and the need for change is evident. Aside from the questions about Alan Pardew’s future, Coloccini’s involvement in the set-up has also been widely discussed. After the defender’s announcement that he will be at the club next season, plenty of fans are wondering whether that’s a good thing. Their scepticism comes from the fact that captain Coloccini has largely been anonymous in this campaign. Injuries to personal problems aside, Colo’s commitment to the cause has been questioned. On the pitch, Yohan Cabaye and then Cheick Tiote deputised well in the Argentinean’s absence and upon his return the results weren’t so great.
I see the news about Colo as nothing but a major boost. At 32, he has plenty to offer not just on the pitch but off it too. In all likelihood, he’ll probably end his career on Tyneside now – loyalty which in this day and age is rarely seen. As Shola Ameobi brings down the curtain on his Toon career, the need for experienced and wise heads needs to be reinforced. Newcastle’s transfer policy doesn’t really cater for bringing in established players – but only young and experienced. In such a setting, having someone who understands the club (has been at Newcastle since 2008) is a massive positive. Here’s hoping this is the start of more good news to come in the months ahead.
I’d like to make a quick point about last weekend’s fan walkout during the home game against Cardiff City. Opinion in the social media circles was divided as to the impact of such a walkout – and whether it’s the right thing to do. However, it is important to understand that with such a large and diverse fan base, you will never get everyone to agree on an issue. In an ideal world 50,000+ walking out of St James’ Park in the 69th minute would sent a statement to Mike Ashley – but that would never happen.
My stance on the anti-regime banners and walkouts is fairly simple. Well done if you walked out in the 69th minute, and well done if you didn’t. You have everyone right to make that decision for yourself and no one should tell you do otherwise. Several of my Newcastle-supporting friends have given up their season tickets in protest, but many others will continue to go. No one should be victimised for the decision they made on the day because ultimately, the decision they are making is in their view for the betterment of the club.
Howay the lads!
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk