Fabricio Coloccini did one play one minute in the pre-season, and it was therefore a surprise when he led Newcastle out for our first game of the season at home to Southampton and he was partnered by new arrival Chancel Mbemba – and they had never played together before.
Fabricio Coloccini at the end of the 0-0 draw At Old Trafford
And you thought he didn’t care
Tim Krul and Colo were great that day
But that had followed the surprising news in the previous week that Coloccini had just signed a one year extension to his contract that will keep him at the club until June of 2017.
McClaren also made it clear that Colo had been pursued by several Premier League clubs in the summer, including Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace, who had offered him a three year deal to move to London.
McClaren seemed totally relieved that happened.
And given that the Argentine had not played a first team game since the last day of the season against West Ham, Colo played well – and then at Manchester United he was simply outstanding – the Newcastle defense for a change were simply terrific.
In the build-up to the West Ham game on Monday night McClaren has again talked about his captain in the Chronicle:
“I think Coloccini could turn out to be one of the best signings, strangely enough.”
“That normally happens at a football club where keeping your captain and one of your best players lifts people and I think he’s responded very well since signing the new deal.”
“I also think he’s been excellent for us in the four games he’s played.”
“Not playing a game in pre-season but still getting up to fitness and playing in all those matches at the level he has, now that has been impressive.”
“I think there’s a lot of good players here.” “I’m pleased we kept them all.”
Notice that Steve in public is always praising his players, none of the – they are not good enough and will be sold.
And so far he seems to be doing well in getting the best out of a number of our players – certainly he has Colo back playing near his very best form.
It’s a good example of the first tenet of management – you get what you expect from your people.