Do we stand a chance without Colo?

Newcastle United's captain

Newcastle United’s captain

It has been one of our Achilles heels for a long time. Newcastle United have rarely had a very stable defence. However, in recent seasons, when we have looked assured at the back, it has usually been down to the exploits of one man – Fabricio Coloccini. While I may slate many players in our squad as not being good enough, this man escapes all criticisms as far as I am concerned. He is a man mountain. He may be losing his pace a little, and has made some uncharacteristic errors this season, he is far and away our most assured defender. When Coloccini is playing, our defensive unit looks more solid. When he isn’t, well, you get the picture.

Colo was withdrawn from international duty with Argentina, with the Argentinians claiming he was suffering from a calf strain. Reports stating that it may only have been a precautionary measure is the only solace Newcastle United fans can take. We will probably not know the full extent of Coloccini’s injury until later on today when he gets assessed by our own physios, but I don’t even want to consider the possibility of lining up on Saturday without our man main marshalling the defence.

I know I harp on about it from time to time, but this patently shows that we have a serious lack of depth in the squad. If Coloccini is injured, we have 3 other centre halves to choose from. On first inspection, that seems pretty decent. M’biwa should be a nailed on starter so it is a matter of who we decide to partner him with.  Steven Taylor has only recently recovered from his own injury and is not up to match speed. Throwing him in at the deep end could be disastrous given the speed and sharpness of the Liverpool attack. Which would only leave Mike Williamson as our other recognised centre half. Some people think he steadied the ship against Everton, and while there may be some truth in that, he also shown his lack of ability when he was largely at fault for Cardiff’s goal in our last game.

The sad fact is, a situation has developed where Mike Williamson isn’t the best option, but is the only option. Not so long ago, Pardew was referring to Williamson as “the other guy” and now he is seemingly relying on him? Only at Newcastle United. With better investment we would have more options to choose from and while he was unspectacular, James Perch was an excellent utility player who gave us an added option at centre half – once more exposing the lack of foresight from our illustrious Director of Football Joe Kinnear.

To tie up the article by pulling it back to the question – do we stand a chance without Colo? I’d have said we were in for a tough time with Coloccini. Without him we are facing a mammoth task. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

What do you think? How important is Coloccini to our defence? Are you content with Taylor or Williamson stepping in for him? Maybe you’d play them both and drop M’biwa? I’d love to hear your views.

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18 comments

  1. Are you implying that WITH Colo you think we actually stand a chance?

    Our defence looked solid when we were in the Championship, because we were playing against Championship teams.

    When we finished 5th, yes it was down to one man but it wasn’t Colo, it was Krul.

    Last season we were VERY bad in defence and we are no better this.

    Colo is setting his stall for an early return to Argentina. I was surprised that M’Biwa was taken off against Everton as I thought that Colo was disastrous.

    Unfortunately Colo and M’Biwa don’t fit together well, Taylor is struggling and Williamson, regardless of what we think about Everton, should either be playing in the Championship or appearing on Dancing With The Stars. His hesitation against Cardif cost us the goal and put the pressure on, and his grappling in the box will cost us.

    While we have a midfield and frontline that on it’s day can create chances our defence is still nowhere near good enough.

    It’s about expectation management.

    Realistically we could make top 10 but if we over react to the inevitable defeats and start demanding transfers and heads we’ll be fighting relegation again.

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    1. Colo was instrumental in our 5th place season. It’s not a case of either Colo or Krul were important, we got top performances from all our key players right through the team.

      Colo was disastrous against Everton, but so too was Debuchy, so too was Santon, so too was the entire team. A case could have been made for benching anyone. I disagreed with benching M’biwa, but I wouldn’t have benched Colo either.

      Willo is not a PL standard defender I agree, Taylor is average at best too. However, it is the lack of investment from the owner that has left us in this situation.

      We are 1/2 injuries away from having a non-existent forward line as we are so threadbare up top too.

      My expectations is that we finish outside the top 10. I will still get angry when we lose, I will still demand for heads to roll, but the head that I want to see roll is Mike Ashley’s. If we are fighting relegation, it will not be because of the fans, it will be because of Mike Ashley and his failure to invest in this football club.

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    2. Thank you for that Archie, at times trying to get people to ignore the Colo hype and watch the player can be frustrating, I agree with the Everton game as well, yes Mbiwa was poor but Colo was just a spectator standing watching as Everton ran unchallenged through our defence, there was one piece of commentry which I will never forget against Everton, the commentator said the ball has gone out for an Everton corner after hitting Colo’s back, this sums him up, when we have to fight and battle, he turns his back and disappears.
      I also agree about Colo and Mbiwa, both of them need a powerful man mountain alongside them, someone with height and strength, this is why Pardew was wanting Douglas, he fits the bill perfectly, come January the chances are that Lescott will be on the City bench but will still be hoping for a spot on that Brazilian bound plane, but he won’t get it from the City bench, we should go for him in January, especially when you consider that he plays on the left of the centre back pairing, which is where Colo plays.

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  2. I’ve answered this question on the previous thread, we have a better chance without him than what we do with him, the boy is hopeless, slow, weak and he lacks any bravery of any type, ignore the hype which surrounds him and watch the player and what you see is a very poor player.

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  3. Ciaran, a few weeks back I asked you to give Colo 15 games where you really concentrate on him and then make a judgement over that period of time, since then when have we been under pressure which has been survived due to Colo taking command and taking the sting out of the opposition, you have not seen that happen because it never does, Cardiff was due to Tiote and Sissoko dominating the midfield, and even when they improved after the break we only withstood the pressure because Cabaye dropped back to assist Tiote and Sissoko which releaved the pressure and brought us back into the game, against Everton we didn’t have Cabaye so it was left to Colo to use his experience and captaincy, and what did he do, he hid, when the going gets tough Colo hides, he always has, I really am surprised that you cannot see that.

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    1. Spoof

      You said give him 15 games, so far he has played under half of that in the league. I accept against Everton he was terrible. However, you are claiming that his performances now are as they have always been, which is not true,

      In last season’s 1-1 draw with Sunderland, Coloccini was unstoppable. He put on the greatest defensive clinic I have ever seen. He is no longer the player he was – the player he was was one of the best defenders in the PL. I am really surprised that you cannot see that.

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  4. Touche,
    I’m afraid they always have been, his first season here was a disaster for him, but that is his standard, but for some reason people believe that his second season is his true standard, that was in the championship, but in the Premier league he is awful and always has been, yes against Sunderland and at times against other teams he has looked a world beater, but that only ever happens when we are totally dominating and in complete control of the game, he is cultured and very comfortable on the ball when he has the time, but I would gladly swap his cultured football when we dominate for an ugly boot it anywhere defender who could have prevented us from being 3 down at half time against Everton, 3 down your goosed, 1 or 2 down then the next goal is vital which gives you a chance, ultimately he is a defender and should be judged on his defending which has always been poor, would you play a striker whose only asset is that he is good for us when we are defending against corners, no you wouldn’t, so why play a defender who is only good when he does not have to defend.
    I’m surprised you cannot see that ! lol

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    1. Spoof

      To say he has always been a disaster in the Premier League is just plain wrong. Criticise him for not being a vocal leader, or by perhaps shying when the chips are down at times, but he has been a rock in our defence for the best part of 4 years.

      If it was a question of Colo or Willo I would have Colo every day of the week and twice on Sundays. If you want to pick on defenders who cannot defend, I would suggest you take a look at Santon, Williamson and Debuchy before you turn your scrutiny on Coloccini.

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      1. Ciaran, this discussion is about Colo and not our other defenders, I am still hopeful that Debuchy can turn things around, as for the others yes I agree with you, but as I say this is about Colo.

        Putting that to one side you have hit the nail on the head, a good defender cannot afford to shy away when the chips are down, and as your good self has seen that is exactly what Colo does, put him in a defence with 3 good strong defenders then he would be great as he is cultured, the same could be said for Debuchy and Santon, one out of 4 whose defensive attributes aren’t great can be gotten away with, but not with the 3 of them, as I said earlier with Debuchy I am yet to decide either way, but with Santon as we have discussed and agreed upon in the past, he is not a defender for the simple reason he does not know how to defend, Colo is exactly the same, thats why Pardew wanted Douglas, he is an ugly b—–d but he stops teams from scoring, the nearest we have to an ugly defender who clears and protects is Saylor, as much as I like the lad, I’m not sure if he is good enough, but he is certainly better than Colo or Willo.

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        1. The one thing that Colo does that none of our other centre halves do is he marshals the back four and keeps them in line. Our defensive shape has been iffy for a while, but it is awful when he isn’t playing.

          Colo is not the same as Santon, Colo knows how to defend. He hasn’t been the same player as he once was, but at his best he was one of the finest defenders in the league, whereas Santon never has known how to defend, nor will he ever know how to defend. You’re comparing chalk and cheese here.

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  5. @ Ciaran Donaghy says
    Colo was instrumental in our 5th place season.

    dint make me laugh bud guess you missed how many saves krul was haveing to make a game when we finished 5th

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  6. Ciaran m8, he does not marshal the defence when we need him to, he does it when we are comfortable but when under pressure he vanishes, he is never there when we need him most, get rid of him and get a Lescott type of centre half to play alongside Mbiwa then we may have a decent pairing, I say may because I have doubts about Mbiwa, but give Mbiwa some height and strength alongside him then he could well flourish, but we should never play Mbiwa and Colo together, far to lightweight and far too weak in the air to ever be a long term success.

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  7. @ Ciaran Donaghy says
    Like I said, it’s not a case of one being more influential than the other. They were both exceptional.

    if thay was the casr bud then why was krul making 2 or 3 match saving saves per game, tells me collo wernt exceptional as you and some others seem to claim.Or im i missing something here bud lol

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