Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear has today challenged Argentine International Fabricio Coloccini to show that his very poor performance against Liverpool on Sunday was a one off.
Fabricio Coloccini – off day against Liverpool
Coloccini is usually a big game player, but he was way below par on Sunday and just couldn’t handle the heading ability of Liverpool’s Sami Hyypia.
Newcastle United’s defense were torn apart time and time again by the Premier League leaders on Sunday, and the Newcastle defense were surprisingly weak at set pieces, of all things.
Coloccini struggled to contain Liverpool’s 6’4″ Sami Hyypia, who seemed to be able to win headers at will, and scored one after 36 minutes, and could have had more on Sunday, but for the brilliant Given.
Steven Taylor, David Edgar and a hardly fit Jose Enrique, who at least gave it a go in the first half, were hardly good enough in a disappointing defensive performance, for what looked like a decent back four before the game.
Joe Kinnear has blamed the enforced changes from the Wigan Athletic game, with both Habib Beye and Sebastien Bassong missing, but he will be disappointed by the perfomance of his defense, as they just weren’t good enough – by a long way.
Kinnear told the Shields Gazette today:
“Fabricio was below par because we had two of the normal back four missing,”
“That’s why it’s so important to have a settled back four. We must improve. We’ll learn from this, but we do need some reinforcements.”
“Normally he’s Mr Reliable. He was below par, but that’s also probably to do with the quality of the team we were playing against.”
“However, the last thing I would have expected was for them to beat us in the manner they did.”
Kinnear will have 22 year-old Sebastien Bassong back for Saturday’s third-round FA Cup tie against Hull City at the KC Stadium, and his presense will bring a calming stability at the back, which shows just how well the youngster has been playing this season – a fantastic buy for the club last summer.
The 22-year-old has now served his one-game suspension against Liverpool after his dismissal at the JJB Stadium for pulling down Wigan’s very experienced England striker Emile Heskey – an experience the youngster has vowed to learn from.
It will be good to have him back in the back- line on Saturday.
Even though Coloccini is an Argentine International we feel that both he and Bassong are still imporving, and their partnership can become a keystone in Newcastle’s defense. Certainly they seem to complement each other, but we missed Bassong’s heading ability on Sunday.