Fabricio Coloccini has so far this season had a rocky campaign, although to be fair in some games he´s been composed at the back and is good at marshaling the defense, and he has also had to get used to a new partner in 21 year-old Chancel Mbemba.
Head coach Steve McClaren makes a good point in that both players didn´t play much in pre-season – in fact Colo didn´t play one minute in pre-season, but both started the first game at home to Southampton and have played as the number one central defense partnership since then.
Fabricio Coloccini – Newcastle captain
Sometimes they have played well together and sometimes they haven´t – like the second half at the Etihad Stadium as one example of poor play when we were completely at sea.
As we reported earlier today, Colo´s contract now runs out in June of 2017 and we suppose Steve McClaren´s plan is that he captains Newcastle until that time.
This is what Steve has said about his captain today and the new central defense partnership:
“Chancel Mbemba and Colo missed pre-season, came straight in.” “It’s been difficult, quite a lot of players like that that we signed late.”
“So they’ve adapted, and leadership is a big thing – composure, control.” “And you could be 21 and have that maturity to do that and that’s what these games are about.”
“What every game is about. We’ve seen that.” “If you don’t control yourself against Arsenal, against whoever, you get sent off.”
“So it’s about every game, approaching it the same way – why should this game be different?”
We’ve liked the look of Mbemba, who seems to be a very good player in the making and he´s getting good experience at the moment and has been quite a solid player for us – but we have to remember he´s still quite young at only 21 and still learning the game.
Steve also hints there in those comments that Aleksandar Mitrovic has to control himself, but we´ve seen him do that since he came back from his three game suspension after being sent off against Arsenal after only 16 minutes.
Steve took a risk on Colo in the summer making him his captain because it meant he didn´t need to bring in another top central defender last summer.
We hope it pays off as Chancel and Colo get used to each other at the back.
Coloccini could be a big player for us tomorrow at Sunderland if he can give a calm and assured performance at the back – and it´s an area we need to improve on from last time out against Norwich City – when we were far too open at the back.
Coloccini could be huge for us tomorrow.
We hope he has a great game and we get all 3 points.
Then it´s time for a celebration.