The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

This Is Why Coloccini Unlikely To Start At Spurs

3:57 pm, Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 66 Comments

Both Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had very good games against Chelsea on Saturday, as they helped Newcastle hang on in that first half, and  for a change we had a little bit of luck and Chelsea missed one or two chances.

mike Willaimson mapou yanga-mbiwa

Mapou and Mike line up for a corner against Liverpool

We have always thought Mike Williamson was under-rated at the club, and he’s got to be one of the best professionals on the playing staff,. and when didn’t even make the bench in some of the early games, we didn’t hear Mike complaining.

Rather it was Alan Pardew who told us Mike just got his head down, and kept training well hoping for a chance, and he’s often talked after games that it’s always a privilege and honor to wear the famous black and white stripes of Newcastle, and he means it too.

And it’s good to see Mike  getting some praise for his good play, with Lee Ryder having an excellent article  out on the Stoke born player today – it’s worth a read.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has had a couple of rough games this season, and one of them was at Everton, when he was hauled off at half time and Mike Williamson was brought on,  and he calmed the defense down, and we got two goals back in the 3-2 loss.

And then against Liverpool Mapou made a bad mistake when he fouled Luis Suarez, and was sent off just before half  time, and that may have cost us another great win, but of course we’ll never know.

But it’s to the credit of the Frenchman, and his strong character, that he’s come back in the last two games and put in two very solid performances alongside big Mike.

fabricio coloccini looking depressed

Fab Coloccini - cheer up Fab – we won on Saturday

Fabricio Coloccini is back in training this week, and could be fit for the game at Tottenham on Sunday, but we’d be very surprised if Alan Pardew doesn’t give Mike and Mapou another chance in central defense at White Hart Lane.

And then when Steven Taylor is fit it’s a good question as to who will partner Colo at the back.

We think Mapou will be so good before the end of the season, that Alan will need to start him, and of course he can also play in either full back position, and in the last couple of games of last season, he looked top class at left back.

The form of these two defenders is only good for Newcastle, and competition tends to get the best out of players, and one good example of that is the great form of Vurnon Anita has forced stand-in captain Cheick Tiote to his best form at Newcastle for a couple of seasons – to keep his place.

This all bodes well for our future this season, and who knows we may just shock the league again like we did two years ago.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Fabricio Coloccini · Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa · Mike Williamson · Newcastle News · Steven Taylor


66 responses so far ↓

  • 1 cyprus // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    That first pic could be from any of our games. Whoever thought of the line up idea must be a genius!

  • 2 woolerbill // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Steady Willow

    I never had a good word to say about this defender, but he has made me change my mind. He is our best c/h at defending, but needs to work on what he does whither the ball. He always looks scared on the ball, that why he huffs. Sorry bigman.

  • 3 Ciaran // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    C’mon let’s be serious, sure enough Williamson has had a solid couple of games, but he is not PL quality, and certainly not good enough to be starting week in week out. He is too error prone and all he has is aerial ability. Fair play to him for sticking at it, but with a better, more ambitious owner, we’d have shipped him out and replace him long ago.

    Honest as the day is long, but not what we need at centre half.

  • 4 DokToon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    gmorning all,

    ciaran, hows things? i have a question for you… in your opinion, what is RIGHT with newcastle? im dying for some positivity outta you today :)

  • 5 Ibizatoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Dok…We have some “right” footed players, does that count?

  • 6 nufc 11 // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Willo can head the ball better than any of our cb collo needs time warming the bench yanga got alot of blame for the everton debacle but collo was just as bad and has been for a long time he is not a worthy captain imo as a player how can you respect a player that makes as many mistakes as him who plays with so little passion if ap wants to win over his fringe players he has to show that form will overcome favouritism he has a decision or two to make antia and another weather to bench collo which most fans willo tell you needs tp happen.

  • 7 Himanshu Dhingra // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM


    You leftist

  • 8 Ibizatoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    HD…You got me :)

  • 9 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Dok…Newcastle Brown Ale a is a damn good beer ;)

    …or is that the slogan for Carlsberg? lol

  • 10 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    It’s great having the competition for places this season. Sure, if Willo and MYM maintain their form in training then why shouldn’t they keep their place? It would be great to have a player like Colo on the bench and pushing for a first team start in training.

    We’ve got players like Anita, Marv, Cisse and Ben Arfa pushing to get starts at the moment and the reason they’re not starting is that other players are playing better. Fantastic!

  • 11 Ibizatoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Jesper…Would be a really bad slogan for Carlsberg if they said that Brown Ale is a damn good beer ;)

  • 12 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM


    Be honest with us here…is that last comment on Willo just to try to start an argument? If Willo is our 4th choice centre back, I challenge you to find more than 6 other teams in the PL with 4 better centre halves.

  • 13 Ibizatoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    TDSarf…What is this word “fantastic” all about?

    Truth is, I wouldn’t have thought that Willo will keep his place for long, but as you say, the fact we’re even discussing whether Colo should take his spot speaks volumes of how well he has done recently.

    Long may it continue.

  • 14 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Dok…the Animals originated from Newcastle and Sting is from the Neighbourhood as well ;)

    …there is also some Scandinavian in the local dialect…ohh you meant about the football club?

  • 15 DokToon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    well, nice to see some joy in mudville :)

  • 16 MagPieMan // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    How people can say Williamson is not Premiere League quality amazes me. Granted, maybe not top 7/8 quality, but anywhere below that and he is definantly good enough. Most of the bottom table teams would love to have a player of his quality, especially at the price we got him at. I saw countless people saying “get rid of Williamson, he’s not good enough” during the summer, and I couldn’t believe it. A player like him at fourth choice? How is he not good enough? Most prem teams would love to have him as 4th choice, or at all!

    When I see him in the 11 I have no more worries than I would with any of our current centre backs.

  • 17 Pardews Prolific Boys // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I can’t be the only one who thinks mym and willo being decent together has more than a little to do with the fact that tiote has hit a rich vein of form. Somewhat like when we went 11 unbeaten with Colo and Taylor at the back.
    I think if tiote is playing well it reduces the importance of who’s behind him as long as they’re competent.

  • 18 toonbrother // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I love Ed the guy who runs this site but this”We have always thought Mike Williamson was under-rated at the club, ” is a laughable statement. This blog and countless members completely wrote off Willo not so long ago ruthlessly scapegoating him for some of the dire defensive showings his partnership with Colocinni produced. It sickened me then and it sickens me now just how quickly he’s gone from zero to hero. He was always a good player! But NUFC fans are just too fickle

  • 19 scottoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    In many ways, I see Willo as the best second choice centre half. He provides more assurance in the box with his aerial ability. Collo for me is still first choice as he reads the play better than anyone, and he directs better than anyone. Also more assured on the ball, something Willo certainly is not. But without him in the side we seem to always be at risk of that high ball. Tayls is also a good header of the ball but for me he is too often injured and too willing to let the play come to him. He often backs into the 6 yard box. Yes he can block (fearless) but how about an earlier challenge. Yanga Mbiwa is hot and cold at the moment and so not sure he starts ahead of Collo and/or Willo.

  • 20 Pardews Prolific Boys // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    @18 Maybe ed is referring to him and his family?

  • 21 scottoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    PPB – good point about Tiote. He has been fantastic of late, and is breaking down a great deal before it becomes a threat around the box. His work rate has been incredible.

    What do others think…..keep the arm band on Tiote for a while even when Collo is back?

  • 22 toonbrother // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Hopefully colocinni enjoys a long spell on the bench and then disappears off to Argentina right after. I sure hope thats the last we see of him. We need to start looking for replacements, Chelseas’s Omeruo springs to mind

  • 23 toonbrother // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Tiote has been doing great things since he got handed the armband however he still holds on to the ball a fraction too long. If pardew gets him to cut that side of his game out, he’ll be back to his former best.

  • 24 Pardews Prolific Boys // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Scott anything to keep him in this form.

    Think Colo and willo at the back would work as mym is a bit up and down

  • 25 wolfshead@toon // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM


    absolutely he was unfairly vilified he may not be world class but he makes up for it with 101% graft and application the same coiuld be said of pards but thats another matter haha

  • 26 Pardews Prolific Boys // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    @toon brother oriol romeu?

  • 27 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:59 PM


    It’s fantastic having 4 centre halves competing for places. That’s certainly preferable compared to having the likes of Perch and Simpson filling in don’t you think?

    I just enjoy it more when we have that competition for places.

  • 28 toonbrother // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    @ 26Pardews oriol is a defensive midfielder no? I’m referring to Kenneth Omeruo. A superstar in the making

  • 29 Pardews Prolific Boys // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Ah right. Toonbrother never heard of him and romeu is a dm yeah. Hence my confusion lol

  • 30 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    It is not like I want to rain on Willo’s parade or anything cause I truely think he has done better for us since coming back intot the team than anyone could have expected!

    …but, if he were to leave in the summer he would be leaving for a Championship team like most other fringe players who have left us.

    In terms of ability he is just not that good – but I am proud and happy for him at the moment. Long may it last :-D

  • 31 scottoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Problem is we never actually have 4 centre halves competing for places. It is all a theoretical discussion because we never have 4 healthy, apart from a opening day. Then it was a suspension for Tayls, followed by injuries and next thing you know we are deputizing Dummett.

  • 32 wolfshead@toon // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:08 PM


    maybe but for for a million quid you cant complain we have bought more expensive donkeys in the past haha

  • 33 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:10 PM


    To say that willo doesn’t belong in the Prem is complete BS, sorry but for me the lads better than Taylor and could walk in to most teams from 8th down

  • 34 Scottiedog // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    For me Willo should keep his place and drop MYM for Collo. Yes Willo is not the best but he really is a calming influence for our defence and he does his job well unlike £20m + players like David Luiz!!

  • 35 scottoon // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I haven’t been too impressed with Sissoko the last couple of weeks. He seems not to play to his immense strength and fades into relative obscurity. For me, Anita could come in. Better distribution, better link up play makes up for the missing grit. Not sure I would say this if it weren’t for the vein of form that Tiote is in, but I think Anita has shown he deserves a spot.

  • 36 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:18 PM


    Totally agree regarding Willo. I wouldn’t always have rated him about Saylor but I do these days. Saylor just doesn’t seem to be able to string games together due to injuries and Willo seems much better able to come in and just perform rather than needing a string of games.

    It seems that some fans can’t have balanced views on our players. Not long ago Tiote should have been sold, Dummett should have played displacing Santon, Ben Arfa needed to play every game etc.

  • 37 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    wolfs…that may well be true :-D

    tads…that might be your opinion – I am not going to second guess that, but the question is still would he walk right into any team outside the top 8?

    I still believe he will be a championship player when he leaves us – just like Perch and Simmo.

  • 38 Mister Tuff // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    might be a good time to play Spurs -as a few other have posted. They are not quite”clicking” yet and Soldado has not yet found his feet. Also I think they are yet to find a magic formula -post Gareth Bale. So you never know -if we play well we could get a result.
    As for Willo -give him his due -he’s had a couple of very decent games – this does not suddenly make him a top class defender – he has limitations. We need a big centre half -and as pointed out our four central defenders are rarely all fit.

  • 39 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    As with your views TDS which unlike others are balanced?

    …just think some might think the same about you and some others on here ;-)

  • 40 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Have said for a couple of season that Taylor a) is simply not dependable enough to have in your plans going into a season and b) he’s that player nearly every club has were you wait and wait thinking this lad has got huge potential then suddenly that becomes Shane that lad had potential! For me he’s never got close to his hype and never looked a solid CB

  • 41 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    This is the table outside the current top 8, think nearly everyone of them would take Williamson

    Hull City

    West Brom

    Cardiff City

    Swansea City

    Aston Villa

    West Ham


    Stoke City

    Norwich City


    Crystal Palace

  • 42 Mister Tuff // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    If he’s fit I think Percy will start with Mr.T. He has been playing exceptionally well. He never gives up – his effort is second to none. Interesting if Percy tries to replicate the tactics of the Chelsea game – by bringing on Anita – as he does drive the team forward. Also does he break up the current CB partnership to accommodate Colo. Some very good tactical conundrums for Percy to sort out.

  • 43 davis_toons // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    The problem with Williamson is that he is too scare to make a simple pass forward or side ways.

    He will pump it to the opposition half and let them have the ball possession and create attacking chance again.

  • 44 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:54 PM


    People can think whatever they like about my views but I’m confused if anyone things my views aren’t balanced and considered. I don’t hop from one extreme view to another like some.

    I just find it funny that some have been writing off the likes of Willo, Debuchy and Tiote and raving about the likes of Ben Arfa, Marv and Dummett.

  • 45 Toon Tang // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    welcome back davis toons

  • 46 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM


    The thing with Saylor is that I think he almost tries too hard for us. He’s a local lad and I think he take on so much responsibility that he is actually too tense and makes mistakes. I think he’d be a better defender at another club.

  • 47 USAGEORDIE // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I still don’t understand the Vermaelen move. We need a big CB with size not a CB exactly like Colo and MYM as they have proven that they don’t work great together. The whole Williamson experiment has shown that a big physical center back works well with either Colo or MYM.

  • 48 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    I seriously don’t think there will be a Vermaelen move. 28 years old, bound to cost a large transfer fee and wages and there are plenty of CL clubs around Europe who would be interested in him surely?

  • 49 Yohan Kebab // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    we just need a big dench psychopath dude to compliment colo/MYM

  • 50 Ian Toon // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Where Williamson noticeably scores over Saylor is that he knows his limitations. He is a steady if unspectacular CB and often now looks to keep it simple when in possession with a short pass to a more creative player.

    On Sissoko I read earlier someone saying that he should be dropped as he has been poor recently. Well try telling Ashley Cole who was given a torrid time by Sissoko.

    Part of Chelsea’s problem was that in Mata, Hazard and Oscar though gifted players they are too similar to play together. We need a balanced
    midfield which against Spurs:
    Cabaye. Anita
    Sissoko. Gouffy

    With Remy up top.

  • 51 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    TDS…I am not saying I think your views are unbalanced; just think it is a bad unfair to set yourself apart from others?

    tads…I would think most of those teams would think Willo would not improve on that they got already – just like we would think of most of their fringe players. But three of those teams you have mentioned will probably be relegated so maybe Willo would go to one of them in the end ;-)

  • 52 JackButler // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    As it stands now Willo and Mapou look solid and have earned the right to keep their place in the starting 11 and a fit Colo or Saylor haven’t exactly been stalwarts at the back when they’ve played.

    It’s an unlikely pairing but one that’s working for us and if Pardew wants to get us to be more consistent then he needs to stick with a settled 11 as much as possible and not change things for the sake of it

  • 53 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Two clean sheets excluding extra time in the cup – to me does not make sense in changing centre backs. Keep the back four together playing well as a unit at the minute.

  • 54 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM


    Not saying it’s just me that has balanced views! Just saying that I’m happy that most of the more unbalanced views are now being shown up… :-)

  • 55 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Is anyone watching CL tonight?

  • 56 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    TDS…there does seem to be a tad of hypocrisy on the blog at times I’ll give you that ;) motions are running high at times mate!

  • 57 JackButler // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM


    No chance of me watching CL tonight as the kids have hijacked the TV to play COD Ghost’s :(

  • 58 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    JB…mine is still only 3 so the TV is all mine :D lol

  • 59 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    If anyone wants to know how good our reserves are, this is how good:,,10265~3525173,00.html?

  • 60 JackButler // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:58 PM


    Enjoy it while it lasts mate, my daughter has taken over the down stairs with Assassins Creed and my boy has taken over up stairs with Ghosts :(

  • 61 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Nov 5, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    JB…you need your own basement or shed or something?

    …mind you with a fridge, Wifi and a TV of course :D lol

  • 62 Jail for Ashley // Nov 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    I’ve always stated that Willo is a good enough fourth choice CB, how many teams have four intenational CBs in the squad, if anything it is ten game a season
    STaylor that should be upgraded.

  • 63 Ian Toon // Nov 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    ToonDarnSarf- Your often too dogmatic. But unlike so many you make a realistic football case that I find more in keeping with my own thinking. You also take a positive rather than negative view on the state of the club, players and finances. I used to make an effort to catch up on posts but so many post continually, with the same political drivel are best fast forwarded. I am sure that approach applies to many who used to feature more regularly on here.

    Some posters don’t seem to get any pleasure when we play well and actually criticise Ed because he’s still talking about the Chelsea win on the Tuesday. Well in my world well doubtless be talking about the game and likely line up on Sunday this evening in the pub.

  • 64 Jail for Ashley // Nov 5, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I’m as chuffed as anyone over Saturdays win but all this talk about the future boding well is very premature, if we carry on this form albeit inconsistent there will be no January signings and it is such a saving grace we have a WC at the end of next season as it gives our beleaguered French stars at least something to play for.

  • 65 GeordieTwo // Nov 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    G’day mates. Looking forward to seeing both Man teams beaten today in Champs League.

  • 66 GeordieTwo // Nov 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Tosic you tosser!

previous post: Amazing Stats Of Sunderland’s Last 16 League Games

next post: £20M Bid And This Newcastle Player Is Gone in January