We have to say one of our favorite players at Newcastle is Mike Williamson, and it’s not just because he’s one of the best buys made by Newcastle over the last three years or so, when Newcastle paid peanuts for him (we use the word from Joey Barton’s vocabulary) – £1M to be exact – when we signed him from Portsmouth in January of 2010.
Mike Williamson in action against Man City’s Pablo Zabeleta last season
And at the time it was great acquisition for Newcastle, because Steven Taylor had just damaged his knee against West Brom and Mike came in and did a superb job alongside Fabricio Coloccini, to ensure Newcastle easily won promotion, and won the Championship by a massive 11 points in the following May.
Indeed in his first game, he hadn’t played a first team game all season, and yet he played a great game on January 27th of 2010, and was the Man of the Match against Crystal Palace in our 2-0 win.
Mike has managed to rack up 72 appearances at Newcastle, but has still to score his first goal for the club, but Steven Taylor is now back, after recovering from his Achilles injury, and the likelihood is that Newcastle will bring in another center-back – Douglas of FC Twente – if no other top club comes in with a bigger bid than £5M for him.
Mike got married over the summer, and he’s a down to earth lad, and is well aware he will have to fight it out for his place alongside captain Fabricio Coloccini next season, and he had this to say to the Newcastle Journal this morning:
“The manager is going to try to strengthen in all areas and centre-half is going to be one of them.” “The fact is I’ve already got Steven Taylor and Colo – and there’s a few young lads who are coming through. That is the competition and is big competition but it will bring out the best in me.”
“I feel that I’m an established Premier League player now. I’ve felt like that since the first season I got under my belt, now it is about progressing and showing I can get better and hopefully be a key player. I’m looking forward to another campaign and what it might bring.”
On last season’s form Steven Taylor will probably ease past Mike to play alongside Fabricio Coloccini, but of course if Douglas comes in, we’ll have four good center-backs fighting it out for two positions, and that’s what Newcastle need to get to the next level.
Newcastle now need top players fighting it out for every position in the field, if we are to progress further from our great 5th position last season.
It seems Mike Williamson is very willing to fight for his starting place on Tyneside.