Ever since Mike Williamson arrived on Tyneside, we always thought he was a very good defender, and he’s also a smashing lad and a top class professional.
Mike Williamson – great game against Manchester United
And with players like Demba Ba, Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye getting most of the plaudits for Newcastle’s terrific win over Manchester United, Mike probably didn’t get the praise he deserved.
It was clear that he has come in and formed a good understanding again with captain Fabricio Coloccini, and Newcastle’s new back four of Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson and Santon looked very strong against the Red devils.
We were really impressed with young Davide Santon who looked good and will be learning big time with the run he will surely now get in the Newcastle first team.
And if he stays in the Newcastle first team and keeps up the form he showed on Wednesday night, he could make the full Italian squad for the Euro 2012 tournament in the summer – and certainly Newcastle’s win will have received full press coverage in Italy.
We also thought that Ryan Taylor looked good out on the right wing, and he can certainly put those good centers over, and he also has a very good throw-in, which Newcastle may now try to use to their advantage, as Stoke City do.
Ryan has proved this season he is an excellent squad player, and is valuable to Newcastle because he can do a decent job for the club in many different positions, and Alan Pardew seems to have brought the very best out of the former Wigan player.
It’s not going to be an easy game for Newcastle tomorrow afternoon against Blackburn Rovers, and Alan Pardew has already talked today about stamping out any complacency that may creep into the side, following the historic win on Wednesday night.
It seems that Mike Williamson is taking nothing for granted and this is what he told the local press today:
“It’s nice to be sitting pretty in the league, but it’s always about the next game, and we’ve got the FA Cup now,”
“The gaffer wants to do well in every competition. It’s a fantastic competition. Blackburn will bring a different threat.”
“It’ll be a break from the league for them, and it’ll be a different test for us. They’ve got Chris Samba, and a lot of threats through the middle.
“If the lads show the effort and determination we did against Man United, we should be OK.”
“It was hard work on Wednesday,” “They’ve got class throughout their side.”
If our lads at the back can put in performances like they did on Wednesday in the following few games, there’s no reason at all that we cannot go on another good run again.
We’ve now got 8 points from the last nine games, but it’s also important to realize that in the last five games we’ve had three clean sheets, and that bodes well for the future.
But the challenge for the next five games or so at Newcastle is who will score the goals now, with the fabulous Demba Ba away at the African Cup of Nations with Senegal.
Shola Ameobi, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Ben Arfa are four players who immediately come to mind.