One of the players that came through big time for the famous Newcastle United club last season was 28 year-old Argentine International Fabricio Coloccini.
Fabricio Coloccini – he mustn’t have received the combs we sent him
We had followed Fabricio ever since we saw him in the World Cup in Germany in 2006, playing for Argentina, where he looked like he would make a very good player for Newcastle.
We were delighted when he signed on at Newcastle for a little over £10M, from Deportivo, in the summer of 2008, but had a disappointing first season in the PL.
But Fabricio will be motivated to do well next season, with Newcastle back in the Premier League, and surely can expect a quick recall to the Argentine side, after their big weakness this summer in South Africa was central defense.
Coloccini seems so much better than the Bayern Munich center-back, Martin Demichelis, who played every game for Argentina in the World Cup, and made several mistakes.
But Chris Hughton has said Coloccini has been able to get a good rest this summer by not going to South Africa, and news today that Coloccini has had to endure some barbs from some players in the Newcastle squad, over Argentina’s 4-0 beating by Germany – although none of the players doing that could be English, surely.
Chris Hughton, a good man-manager if ever we saw one, has talked about his top defender today:
“I felt for him not being included in the World Cup squad.” “What was Jonas Guiterrez’s joy was Coloccini’s disappointment.”
“That was a shame, but the benefit for us is he will be fresh after the summer.” “There was not a threat of injury, and that can only be a good thing for Newcastle.”
Coloccini took a lot of stick from some pundits last summer, after Newcastle’s embarrassing relegation to the Championship, and we have to admit we were among those who leveled big-time criticism at the Argentine.
But he showed us all what he could do last season, and what a great and strong personality he is – and gained the respect and admiration of the Newcastle fans with his total commitment to the Newcastle cause.
He proved us wrong, and we’re only too willing to put our hands up when Newcastle players do that – which is what we were hoping for too, of course but in truth Fabricio took the criticism like a man, and it was probably over the top, too.
And when he was omitted from the Argentine squad, and not even told the news before it hit the papers, he gave a great example of what a perfect gentleman does, and he accepted the decision with grace.
He said he would be supporting Argentina big time in the summer, and that it had always been an honor for him to represent Argentina – where’s that handkerchief?
Chris Hughton now feels the player can go from strength to strength and prove his worth to the Newcastle club, back in the Premier League:
“He’ll be very much looking forward to it. He’s been here for another year, and he has more knowledge of the English game.”
“He’ll be a very important player for us next season, as he was last season.”
Fabricio is now a cult-hero on Tyneside, which shows just how fast things can change at Newcastle, but when you show the guts, courage and character that this player has showed us in the Newcastle colors over the last 10 months or so, it’s little wonder he has that status on Tyneside – and he’s earned it.
Long may it continue.