Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton is confident that Fabricio Coloccini will be a completely different player next season in the Premiership, than he was in his first season at the Tyneside club.
Fabricio Coloccini – different player next season
It’s a real pity that Coloccini didn’t make Diego Maradona’s final 23 man Argentine squad for the World Cup, and we’ll see later today if the defense is good enough, with Jonas Gutierrez almost certain to start at right back against Nigeria.
Newcastle paid a whopping £10M for the defender from Deportivo, but last season he looked a tremendous player for Newcastle, albeit in England’s second tier.
But Chris thinks that the Argentine player will prove his worth to Newcastle next season, when we’re back again in the Premiership.
“I think the fact that Colo had such a good season wasn’t just down to us plying our trade in a lower division.”
“It’s more a case of Colo getting used to being in Newcastle and used to the pace of the English game.” “He’s now used to the directness of the English game.”
“He’s come to terms with that, and I suppose when you look back he was thrown in at the deep end in the Premier League in a team that was struggling.”
“He found it difficult, but we’re all looking forward to him playing again in the Premier League and being a better player all round.”
Of course Coloccini wasn’t the only good European-based player that Maradona didn’t pick in his final squad, with Inter Milan pair Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti both not even in the original 30 man squad and Barcelona centre-back Gabriel Milito also missing out.
“It’s a blow for him that he’s not at the World Cup, and I was really disappointed when I heard he wasn’t going.”
“I thought because of the season he had, he had put himself in with a really good chance.” “When you look at the players Diego Maradona has left out then I suppose it was no surprise.”
“I suppose that’s to our benefit, though, as I say – we get a refreshed Colo back for the new season.”
“When you look at the international squads this summer, we didn’t have too many players away at the end of the season.”
“It was only, at senior level, Leon Best and Jonas, so we have a group and a squad that will be very refreshed from having a break in the summer and that is the same for Coloccini.”
We’ll see later today just what Argentina are like this summer, with their game against Nigeria at Ellis Park, Johannesburg kicking off in a few hours time, and former Newcastle number 9 striker Oba Martins may play in that game.
And of course it will be nail-biting time for some of us, as England start their World Cup campaign against the USA later today.