We hadn’t realised that Mike Williamson is very good friends with Adrian Mariappa of Watford.
Adrian Mariappa – not coming to Newcastle
We knew that Mike had played with Mariappa at Watford when he was there in 2009 for nine months, before he moved to Portsmouth, but Mike has said he’s disappointed the move didn’t finally materialize, as Watford and Newcastle were unable to agree on a fee.
But it was clear Adrian wanted to join Newcastle, and on the last day of the transfer window he refused to join Wigan, after the Lancashire club had met the asking price for the 25 year-old.
Mike was asked about the move that didn’t happen:
“To be honest, I was disappointed more than anything when it did not materialise,” “Adrian Mariappa is one of my closest friends – we were together at Watford and he really wanted to come here. He turned down the move to Wigan, too.”
“I wasn’t thinking of myself because I think competition is healthy so I spoke to him a few times on deadline day to see what was happening.”
“I don’t think he knew what was going on and in the end I was just disappointed for him on a personal level because I knew how much he wanted to come.”
“But I know Watford are in a position where they are still battling to stay in the Championship. I think they were more concerned about their own survival.”
“Anyone who comes here, it is outside my control. If he had come, I’d have welcomed him and just tried to play the best I can to stay in the side.”
“I’m sure he will get another chance. Adrian is a very good player – very similar to Colo in that he is quick and good on the ball.”
“But I have got the jersey at the minute and that is how I see it. I have just got to train and play hard.”
It’s unlikely now that Mariappa will join Newcastle, as they will go after bigger targets in the summer like Brazilian Douglas at FC Twente, Ajax center-back Jan Vertonghen, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwam of Montpellier and even James Tomkins of West Ham.
And with Steven Taylor returning next season from his Achilles injury, the competition for places in central defense will be huge – and that’s the way it should be.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle sign a left footed left-back in the summer, as we only have young Shane Ferguson at the club who plays that position, and is left footed.
The two players who have played left back this season, Ryan Taylor and Davide Santon, are both right footed.
And it wouldn’t surprise us if Newcastle go after Dutch International left-back Erik Pieters of PSV Eindhoven, since the news is that a number of officials at Newcastle still like the 23 year-old.
Whatever happens it looks like the summer transfer window will be an exciting time for Newcastle fans – especially if we can qualify for Europe next season.