It takes all kinds of people to make the world, so too does it take all kinds of players to make a squad. You have the flair players, you have the enigmatic players, you have the consistent players, you have the hard working players, and then you have the players who you wonder how the hell they ever managed to make a career as a professional footballer in the first place. I am afraid that Mike Williamson falls under that last bracket.
Having signed from Portsmouth in the 2010 Championship season, Mike quickly established himself as first choice centre back alongside Coloccini following an injury to Steven Taylor. After promotion back up to the Premier League he actually looked pretty decent pairing up alongside Fabricio Coloccini, but in fairness, my nan would look decent alongside Colo. When Taylor returned from his long injury lay off, it appeared that both players were battling it out to be Newcastle United’s No 2 centre half, with Taylor eventually coming out on top. The general feeling about Williamson was that he was a decent, if unspectacular centre back, with limited ability. Many fans attributed our lack of ability to play from the back on his poor technique, and as such many fans no longer wanted to see him in the starting line up.
Newcastle United signed Mapou Yanga M’biwa in January 2013 and Mike Williamson was pushed even further down the pecking order yet he still managed to make 19 appearances over the course of last season, even if many of those came in the first half of that season.
As we headed into the summer transfer window it appeared that Williamson would have certainly be one of the first names for the exit. A 2 million pound move to Cardiff was touted but never materialised, and the club went on to sell utility man James Perch, someone who used to cover centre half quite frequently. The window has shut, Williamson is still in the squad but surely with the continued development of Remi Streete and Curtis Good, Mike’s first team opportunities are going to be at a premium.
The reality is that Mike Williamson’s presence in the Newcastle United squad is indicative of the lack of ambition that the owner, Director of Football and perhaps even the manager, have for our club. A player as sub-standard as Mike should be plying his trade at a Championship club, or a Premier League club fighting relegation. Could be famous last words though….we could yet be fighting relegation this season.
Am I being too harsh on Wor Mike? Is he a decent squad player? Should he have been replaced in the summer? Let me know what you think.