I think we’ll all agree that Fabricio Coloccini has been one of the outstanding performers of the season so far.
He isn’t faultless, but at times he has been bloody close to it and has turned in some fantastic performances that are befitting of a player that cost a shade over £10 million around two and a half years ago when he arrived from Deportivo la Coruna.
In fact in a recent poll conducted here on NUFCblog.info, it was Colo who came out on top, by some margin, when you guys were asked to vote who you thought was our best central defender. The 29-year-old Sideshow Bob lookalike managed to bag 86% of the vote, and quite rightly so in my opinion.
With that fresh in my mind, and with Alan Pardew’s recent effusive praise of the Argentinian, it has kind of left me wondering just where you would rank Colo compared to some of our other defenders from the Premier League era.
I’m using the Premier League era as a reference period as there had to be a cut off point or else you could go all the way back to the days of Bobby Moncur, or beyond if your memory is up to scratch.
Realistically though, it was a very different game back then, so trying to compare players between the two different era’s would be a tough call to make, and it’s one that I don’t fancy making. Of course, if you guys wish to then I won’t stand in your way.
So just who is it that Colo is up against then? Well there isn’t that many that measure up to him in my opinion. Barry Venison was on his last legs when he joined. Steve Howey was good, but fitness was his issue, and it was the same for Jonathan Woodgate. I never really rated Darren Peacock to be honest, and don’t get me started on the likes of Titus Bramble, Jean-Alain Boumsong and David Rozenhal.
I’m fact, looking back, there is only one Newcastle defender from the recent past that I can compare Coloccini to, and that man is Philippe Albert. Of course, it would be rude to mention Philippe and not show this clip of him at his best.
Of course Colo scored his own belter in the last match against Tottenham, but when you put it up against Philippe Albert there is no comparison and the Belgian wins hands down every single time. Colo is good, but Albert was something else.
However, if Colo can continue his fine form then there is a possibility that he could overtake Albert and become, in my opinion, the best central defender that Newcastle have ever had during the Premier League years.
To be honest, the fact that I am writing this is in itself a testament to Fabricio Coloccini. Personally, looking back 18 months ago, I could never have envisaged myself writing a piece about Colo let alone comparing him to the great Albert, which shows just how far he has come in such a short space of time.
He’s not the best we’ve had yet, but he is’t far off!