Newcastle United’s captain has been a rock at the back of our defence since our Championship season in 2009/10. The Argentinian suffered a tough introduction to English football following his move from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2009 but following relegation to the Championship, the curly-haired maestro has become something of a cult hero with his assured displays proving to be vital following our return to the Premier League.
However, personal issues off the field affected Coloccini last season to such an extent that he wanted to return to Argentina and leave Newcastle United in the January transfer window of this year. The issue somehow resolved itself and Coloccini has remained in the North East of England, and hopefully this is for the foreseeable future.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has been talking about how important Coloccini is to the stability of the back four, this is what he had to say,
“I don’t know how to put that into words, really. He is very, very important, a very steady, calming influence.
“Last year when he wasn’t playing, there was something missing from the team.
“That’s why it’s so important that he stayed – and hopefully he will stay for a lot longer than this year as well.”
Without Coloccini in our defence, I would argue that the other individual players we have there do not look as assured or as united at the back. While Coloccini may not be one of the most vocal of leaders on the pitch, the way he silently marshals the rest of his back four, on top of his own excellent reading of the game, means he is an essential part of the United back-line.
At 31 years of age he may not be one of the younger players in the team, but when you look at the performances of Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, there is no reason to believe that Coloccini could not remain a key part of our defence for years to come.
What do you think? Is Coloccini as crucial to our defence as Pardew seems to think? Do we have better options back there? Who would be your starting centre half pairing? I’d love to hear your views.