There’s one player in the Newcastle camp who seems to be on cloud nine, as he enjoys his first few games ever in the Premier League.
Mike Williamson challenges Rooney on Monday night
That player is our £1M signing from Portsmouth, Mike Williamson (what a deal!), and the center-back had an encouraging first game against Manchester United on Monday night, and he really seems to be enjoying the experience of playing in England’s top division, as he told the Journal today:
“I’m really enjoying my football, without a doubt,” “To make my Premier League debut was an unbelievable achievement for me personally.” “It’s been a good rise for me in a short amount of time.”
“I’m looking to take it in my stride and prove myself. We’re realistic with our targets. We’re not going to get downbeat and negative about losing to Manchester United at Old Trafford.”“We’re going to take the positives out of it and move on.”
“In the Championship, the onus was on us to win every game. We want to keep the winning mentality. There’s no chance we’re going to get down ourselves because of that result.”
Williamson joined Southampton in 2001, but before he left the Saints for Wycombe Wanderers in 2005, his only first team appearances came during two loan spells at Torguay United, where he made 18 appearances.
Mike then joined Watford in January of 2009, when Newcastle first became interested in the player, but he then ended up on September 1st last year at Portsmouth, where he didn’t play one first team game, mainly due to Portsmouth owing Watford if he ever made his debut for the south coast club.
But then Newcastle signed him last January and he’s hardly looked back, as he’s looked a very solid defender for the Magpies.
Playing in the Premier League has been one of Mike’s goals and he’s finally achieved that with Newcastle:
“I’ve been at Premier League clubs before and had to work my way down,” “I’ve been up and down, a bit of a yo-yo. But it was worth the wait to make my Premier League debut because it was a special occasion for me to walk out at Old Trafford.”
“Walking out in front of the Newcastle fans will add an extra element of specialness.” “You get punished more for mistakes in the Premier League,” “You only have to look at the Man United game – we lost the ball twice and within two passes, it was in the back of the net.”
“When you play against that better quality, they punish every mistake. Even when you don’t make a mistake, sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and say it was a brilliant, fantastic move you couldn’t do anything about.”
“A handful of mistakes cost us the other night. That’s what we need to sort out if we’re going to survive in the Premier League.” “Aston Villa have got a lot of guys up front who are big, strong and quick. But that’s why you want to be in the best league in the world, to test yourself against different types of strikers.”
It’s just fine to be confident and positive about things, but that has to be accompanied by realism, otherwise it’s all pollyanna.
And it seems like Chris Hughton has managed to keep the lads positive, but they also realize they will have a tough time of things, and will certainly lose a lot more games this season than last – when after all, we tasted defeat just 4 times in the league.
“It’s a new era now,” “You could feel the emotion from last season. You could see the achievement in some of the lads and it meant a lot to the whole team. But it’s just another chance to get points on the board and we attack it like any other game. We’ll be positive and we want to win.”
“You can look at the stats, the fixtures and the results and things like that, but we know what side they are. We’re not going to underestimate them. We’re not going to show them too much respect – we’re going to try to play our own game and get the three points. It’s paramount when teams come here we make it a fortress.”
“It’s important for us to play good football here and to play as a team.” “I knew coming into any Premier League club, especially one the size of Newcastle, it was always going to be healthy competition,”
“Being around Sol Campbell and Colo is only going to make me want to work harder. Day in day out, I’m learning something different.” “When there were rumours linking Sol’s name with here, I was really excited because I wanted to learn off him.”
“He’s going to be very influential. I’m looking forward to being around him.” “I’ve got the shirt so I’m looking forward to the next game. I’m going to do everything I can to keep the shirt.”
It’s always good to have a healthy competition for places at any club, and with Sol Campbell returning to fitness quickly, and likely to be available for next weekend’s game at Wolves, the game for Mike tomorrow afternoon will be important.
However, another display like he gave against the Red Devils on Monday night, should keep his place safe – at least for the Wolves game.