The good news for tomorrow is that captain Fabricio Coloccini returns from his week-long compassionate leave in Argentina, and Colo will be a welcome return at Craven Cottage, when the Newcastle side have to put up without having manager Alan Pardew in the stadium, as he serves the first match of a three match stadium ban.
Fab Coloccini – welcome return to the side tomorrow
Then for the four matches after that it’s a touchline ban, but at least then Alan will be able o communicate with John Carver on the bench.
But a key figure for Newcastle over the next seven games and through the end of the season is Coloccini, the Newcastle skipper, and Newcastle always seem to play better when he’s in the side, and Colo needs to step up to the plate for Newcastle, starting tomorrow at Fulham.
His leadership will be key to help settle the players down and ensure the game-plan is being carried out, but from what Colo has said on the Newcastle web-site, he certainly seems to be up for the challenge:
“The manager apologized to us for what happened at Hull and we all accepted that.” “Now we move on and it is all about focusing on the next game and the rest of the season.”
“This weekend will be a bit strange because the manager will not be on the bench. It is normal that he is there but for the next few weeks he will not be.” “However, we have John Carver, who has a lot of experience, there instead.”
“It is not just about John.” “Without the manager there it is up to all the players to step up and improve, and that includes me as captain.” “I always lead the team and give them my opinion, but now I have to help even more.”
“When I am on the pitch, it is my responsibility to pass on the manager’s instructions and lead us.” “Now, that job is even more important without the manager there. I will be there to help John and hopefully we can get some wins, starting at Fulham on Saturday.”
And these last 10 games could be Colo’s last for the club, if he decides he wants to return permanently to Buenos Aries in the summer to be with his family.
For the record, Colo has now played 201 times with five goals for Newcastle since he signed on from Deportivo in August of 2008, when Kevin Keegan was still manager, and he stayed with the club when we were relegated in his first season on Tyneside.
And Colo was one of the key players for Newcastle in the promotion season, and was selected in the Championship team of the season in 2010, and he has been playing great for Newcastle over the last few years.
And then a couple of years later he was selected into the Premier League team of the season in 2012, after Newcastle finished in 5th place.
Coloccini has turned out to be a good buy at £10.6M, and we hope for two things – one is that he has a great game tomorrow and shows some real leadership on the pitch – and the second is that he stays with Newcastle through the end of his contract, which still has two years to run from the end of June.
What do you think?