Magpies’ Defender – The Newcastle Dream Still Alive

Mike Williamson came in for the injured Steven Taylor in December and has fully played his part in Newcastle’s terrific resurgence this season.

Mike Williamson challenges Pablo Zabaleta on Sunday

Mike was a little rusty when he came back into the side, which was to be expected after being injured in the Carling Cup tie at Scunthorpe United last August, but he quickly regained form and has been part of the Newcastle defense that has claimed 11 clean sheets since then, and 15 in all this season.

We have to hope the lads can get another clean sheet on Sunday, because if the team can be steady again at the back, we would expect Papiss Cisse, Ben Arfa or Demba Ba to be able to get at least one goal up front for the win.

Arsenal are at West Brom, in Roy Hodgson’s last game in charge at the Hawthorns, and Tottenham host Fulham , who are in excellent form, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that both those sides could lose, and a win would propel Newcastle into 3rd place in the league table.

That would simply be fantastic – but it’s possible nevertheless.

28-year-old Mike Williamson, bought for just £1M from Portsmouth just over two years ago, is right when he says the Newcastle dream is still alive, as he had this to say to the local press this morning:

“The dream is still alive and we’ll keep fighting until it’s over.”  “If we can get in the Champions League it would be historic stuff. The lads and the manager will have achieved something fantastic.”

“We’re just going to go to Goodison Park and concentrate on what we’re doing. We’ll make sure we apply ourselves and do what we have done all season.”

“Whatever fate has in store for us we’ll find out at the end of 90 minutes. We’re just looking to turn up and put on a display like we have been in recent weeks.”

“We still have a chance of finishing fourth. So there is still a lot to play for. But generally we just want carry on with the momentum we’ve got and finish things off nicely.”

“It’s been incredible,” “The lads though have done it consistently from the first game of the season. They need a lot of credit for that.”  “The whole squad has been fantastic and everybody has came in and played a part.”

“They’ve all worked tremendously hard, it’s been great to be a part of. We want to finish it off well and everyone will go away for holidays happy.”

In fact Mike says we have a chance to finish 4th, but we can even finish 3rd top with some help from Arsenal and Tottenham.

But the Newcastle task on Sunday is very simple – t0 pick up the 3 points – and if we can do that we’ll be very happy – whatever the Arsenal and Tottenham results.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    May 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #1

    willo wont get a game if we qualify for UCL, so he may be praying in the opposite directioon

  • Jim@Goldspink

    May 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #2

    Williamson has had a good season. Remember last season at home when we beat Wolves 4-1 at home, Jonas scored at the end.. Williamson was a nervous wreck even in such a comfortable game for us. Whilst he isn’t as good as Stevie Taylor he has still come on leaps and bounds and we have relied on him in the latter stage of this season.
    He typifies our season, being a success story that nobody expected. Well done and keep it up. He is definitely having far less shakey moments at the back. You can see he is playing with so much more confidence. Focus on the positive rather than the negative.

  • yorkshire_magpie

    May 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #3

    Yeah i think williamson is pretty average. Although he has had a decent season. We really need to replace him. BTW im not hating just making a point.

  • Graeme

    May 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #4

    All we can do is beat the team in front of us, NO disrespect to Everton.

    If that gets us a CL place, it will be truly amazing. If it doesnt, then we have still had a season beyond our wildest expectations – as far as I can see its a win/win situation with NO downside.

    No pressure, just a game of footy to enjoy lol

  • Jim@Goldspink

    May 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #5

    Yeah thats fair enough, I think to progress he does have to be replaced. I just think he has stepped up when called upon.

    If Simpson goes(likely) Santon can go RB.
    If we bring in Pieters and Douglas then our back line will be considerably strengthened.
    santon collo douglas pieters
    perch s.taylor williamson r.taylor

    I think realistically that is what we could see next season which would be good enough.

  • KevinHann

    May 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #6

    @ Ed


    Let’s analyze those figures. It’s easy to find the going rate of £ to $ since we have roughly the same chart over here:

    (note – scroll down a bit and you will see it, sadly it doesn’t give us the overall wage bill, but the rest of the numbers match. Take into account the survey obviously looks at different clubs in the Guardian article, hence the slight difference in Rank)

    Comparing the two charts we see that the conversion rate is $1.6502 for £1.

    Doing the math we get the following results from the chart for the top clubs:

    Club – Payroll £
    Manchester City – 112,164,500
    Chelsea – 102,955,680
    Manchester United – 83,647,780
    Arsenal – 79,991,940
    Liverpool – 79,240,770
    Aston Villa – 61,620,768
    Tottenham – 57,712,340

    Newcastle – 33,932,371

    Are these numbers real?

    Absolutely no, by a mile.

    Manchester City’s actual wage bill is around £174m, a shocking 114% of their turnover! It was £133m last season already.
    Manchester United’s wage bill is strictly kept within 48% of their turnover and was £131.7m last season.
    Chelsea’s wage bill was a staggering £172.5 million last season (82% of their turnover).
    Arsenal spent £110million on wages last season, a healthy 49% of their turnover.
    Liverpool’s wage bill was at £121million, but I’m unsure if that’s for last season or the season before.

    You can easily notice the difference. Our wage bill is NOT the measly 33,932,371 and our ratio, while substantially healthier than relegation season, is yet to match that of a carefully run club like Manchester United.

  • catchy in norway

    May 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #7

    i think williamson is twice the player he was, but, he still isnt what you need at the top, or in europe, its his pace more than anything,

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Williamson is the weekest link. Has no place in a starting 11 within the top half of the table. Wouldn’t even stand out in the championship IMO.

    He has had a couple of “okay” performances but he panicks, rushes, either gives it back to Krul or boots it as far as he can. Hates receiving the ball, hates passing it along the groud and looks like he ALWAYS lacks confidence.

  • KevinHann

    May 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #9

    I am by no means trying to spoil the good news, the only reason I posted those numbers is to clarify how things really are and that we should not be misguided by incorrect stats implying we are spending well under 40% of our turnover on wages. It is safe to assume we are currently operating at a ratio of around 60% (even though I don’t have the numbers to confirm it and it is dependent on possible increment in our turnover this season) – still quite decent!

  • KevinHann

    May 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #10

    Of course, that comment is awaiting moderation 🙂

  • yorkshire_magpie

    May 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Agree with toon_tom on the point that he always panicks when he receives the ball. We need a defender that plays the ball out instead of “Hav it!”.

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #12

    Lets hope Saylor comes back full of beans!!!!

  • Owldman

    May 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Anyone heard any news on Saylors progress,injuries like his take time to get over

  • Toon-Army

    May 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #14

    Have a look at this.

    (ben arfa taking about life in newcastle-best use google chrome translate as its french)

  • woolerbill

    May 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #15

    Mike always gives his best, but i’m sorry it’s not goo enough for the top flight.

  • tomtoon7

    May 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #16

    Without Willo where wud we b in league,e may not b the best but e’s done a decent job!! Hope staylor recovers in full health,fightin fit! No worries Indian,njoy the banter.

  • check the toastie

    May 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #17

    Anybody care to name me any 1 million pound CB’s that have added more value to their team this year in the premier league than Willo. Think people will struggle, well done Willo, one last gud game next to your buddy Perch may see us reach the promised land of CL footy. WOW.

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #18

    woolerbill _ totally agree mate.

    I would try my best in the shirt but quite frankly not good enough.

    To keep pushing forward in the league, get a good cup run and pick up some silverware we need a better stand-in than Williamson

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #19

    tomtoon – understood, but my point being if we had a more experienced/stronger/confident CB to step in after Saylor’s injury then we could even be in a better position – sitting comfortably in 3rd maybe???

  • Indian Magpie

    May 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #20


    Lucio to Bayern for Free, we signed Caludio cacapa for free

  • mondziu

    May 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #21

    I think you’re a little overcritical about Williamson. He is a decent no-nonsense defender. He lacks pace and doesn’t look as comfortable on the ball as Collo, but his height and strenght are very useful and he usually plays it safe which is a good thing. He is quite humble and accepts the role of team player, has a long-term contract on rather modest terms and qualifies as a homegrown player.

    Although I agree we should sign a top CB to improve the team, I honestly believe Mike is among those squad players we should be thanking heavens to have! The likes of Perch, Raylor and Mike are unsung heroes of this magnificent campaign and we should keep them and respect them more. Even if we need better players for the first XI, we won’t get much better squad players than them.

    On another note, many of you think Douglas will improve us significantly, but as far as I know from watching him just a couple of times, he looks similar to Mike in terms of passing and technique. He is no Vertonghen, playing one-two’s and passing his way out of trouble, he just kicks it far from his own goal (exceptionally well I might add).

  • dannyboy

    May 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #22

    i think everybody accepts aul willy isnt good enough for us next season but imagine were wed be without him? he along with perchino could be are most improved players based on previous opinions,he kept torres and that hateful ba***d drogba quiet recently. need to show respect, but yeah bye bye next year. i believe him and simpson are our hit(hoof) and hope players, not great on ball but fairly consistent , needs replaced but cant say a bad word about them, fought for the cause

  • cadete

    May 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #23

    off the top of my head ashley williams is definately 1 that has added value

  • tomtoon7

    May 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #24

    Lets hope we can get douglas,i believe that’ll b on a free but not until August,something 2do with his dutch citizenship?Nice name tom HWTL

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #25

    Perch and Raylor have both dramaticaly improved this season – Williamson seems to have gone backwards.

  • ToonDownSouth

    May 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #26

    Just because a player isn’t Champions League quality, does not mean he’s not good enough for the top flight.

    What the fcuk is wrong with some of you?

    Why do you always need a scapegoat to bash and pick on?

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #27

    dannyboy – i agree that Simpson and Willo are both hit-and-hope guys and are both consistant…………….

    However Simpson (IMO) is consistantly average/above par whereas Williamson is consistantly worrying!

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #28

    TDS – im not bashing Williamson i am just stating that if we want to progress and push forward next year then we could do with a better/more confident/stronger CB as stand-in for any injuries.

  • Wor Shearer

    May 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #29

    @13 Toon-Army

    Thanks for the link. Great read!

    For those that can’t read French, you really should translate it…’ll worth the little effort that it takes.

  • Wor Shearer

    May 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #30

    Martinez and Mancini have both won Manager of the Week awards for their respective wins over us…..does that mean we’re the hardest team to beat?

  • ToonDownSouth

    May 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #31

    Toon Tom

    I wasn’t aiming it at you, you didn’t claim he’s not top flight standard lol.

    Catchy’s comment sums it up best

    “i think williamson is twice the player he was, but, he still isnt what you need at the top, or in europe, its his pace more than anything,”

    He’s also a little bit of an accident waiting to happen, and bizarrely appears to be much more dominant in the opposition box than our own!

  • Wor Shearer

    May 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #32

    Villa are apparently interested in Besty….HAAAHAHAHA!

  • yorkshire_magpie

    May 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #33

    Everytime the ball falls to williamson in defensive areas… my heart starts pounding!

  • tjrowe89

    May 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #34

    this guy is the white titus bramble, imo he is the weak link in our defence not simmo! would love to see 2 CB’s come in who would be pushing taylor for starting CB although i really rate the saylor colo CB pairing

  • Toon_Tom

    May 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #35

    haha Yorkshire – i have to agree!

    And TDS makes a good point that he is more dominant in the opposition’s box.

    I have to say that he has provided cover and hats off for that (without him there would simply be nobody) but i stand by my point that in order to keep pushing a progressing we need better cover

  • toonincheek

    May 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #36

    yorkshire –

    Better than your heart stopping, eh?

    (wow, good thing I checked the spelling – nearlt typo’d yorkshite!)

  • Oleg G

    May 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #37

    Hi lads.

    Please help me out for 30 secs. answer these questions. Help us decide our future boy’s name.
    (and sorry for not having there some names that are connected with the team, you know wifes are, she thinks HBA isn’t a real name, go figure 🙂 )

  • yorkshire_magpie

    May 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #38

    Toonincheck learn how to spell “nearly” and “type” before attempting to spell yorkshire!

  • HKTP

    May 11, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #39

    Williamson was horrific when he first came back into the squad. He looked a bag of nerves everytime the ball was near him. However over the last 10 games or so, he has been fairly decent. Credit where due.

    I dont think he will be a starter next year, would also like to see another CB to challenge. Williamson aint great but he is a decent enough squad player. I just hope he doesnt take that long to get up to speed each time.

  • HKTP

    May 11, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Comment #40

    Grant Hanley would be a decent buy


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