The Evolution of Captain Colo

Coloccini's cracker.
When Fabricio Coloccini joined us in the summer of 2008 I was delighted that we were able to buy such a talented player.

I had seen him play for Deportivo when I went to a Malaga game during a Spanish holiday. Colo played attacking midfield and showed his quality by setting up a goal for his team. It was clear that he was a player of immense quality. Immediately I was looking forward to seeing how he would integrate into the team.

However things did not turn out for Colo perhaps as he’d planned. Although I don’t get to many games in a season, I made up for that by watching them on television whenever I could. Colo did not look right in the Premier League. He was unsure what to do when a ball came over the top of him and he made several mistakes during a number of games that led to goals. It was unfortunate for him but it looked like we had paid a lot of money for a player who was now playing like a headless chicken.

Perhaps Colo’s worst game came in the 5-1 defeat that Liverpool inflicted on us, I watched that game on the TV and was appalled by the way that he played. He didn’t know what to do when the opposition came running at him and the Argentine looked out of place in the team.

Mistakes continued to creep into Colo’s season as the Premier League seemed not to suit him at all. I went up to St James’ for the Fulham game where a perfectly good goal for us was disallowed. Coloccini still looked out of place within our squad but, perhaps amazingly, up until the February 1st game against Sunderland, Colo had played in every single minute of our Premier League games. A surprising stat for a player who did not look confident with his ability on the pitch.



Imagine my shock when I heard that Coloccini wanted to stay with Newcastle after we were relegated. I half expected him to jump ship straight away. I was impressed; a player of his calibre was willing to stay with us to help us get back up straight away – unlike the others who promised that they would stay and jumped overboard when they heard that a Premier League club was in for them.

What a season Colo had when we were in the Championship. He had somehow rekindled his form and that may have been in part thanks to Chris Hughton and the training camp that he ran in Ireland with the whole squad.

Coloccini became the starter centre-back and partnered the likes of Fitz Hall, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson and Tamas Kadar at various parts throughout the season. Watching Coloccini on the televised games I could see the improvement that he had made. There was an air of confidence within him; he looked superb on the ball and dealt with those long balls a whole lot better than he had ever done before.

I was able to get to a lot of games during the Championship season as some of the venues were closer to get too. I went up for the home game against Bristol City and although that was a draw Coloccini played so well, stopping Bristol City from getting a goal and coming to the rescue of his centre-back partner several times.

My Dad and I were amazed at the development of his play; he seemed like a new player. I went to the return fixture at Ashton Gate were we came back from two goals down to make it 2-2. Colo played well, but in my eyes Harper was at fault for those goals.

I then went to the Peterborough game where, unfortunately, Harper dealt with a ball that he should have let Colo deal with. The upshot was that Coloccini was scissor kicked by his own goalkeeper and Peterborough scored. After that though normal service was resumed and Colo put in a magnificent performance to help us win that game.

Colo had a great time in the Championship and scored two headed goals for us, showing us his scoring ability. His improvements in his abilities were noted as he was named in the Championship team of the season.

The season back in the Premier League was one all Newcastle fans should be proud of. Coloccini’s form in the Championship followed him back to the big time and he played a fantastic part in many victories. Confidence was oozing right through him. Coloccini was made captain for the Wigan game and in the fourth minute of injury time he scored a goal to level the scores – His first goal in the Premier League. That headed effort was a captain’s effort, rescuing the team when perhaps all hope had been lost.

The goal that Coloccini scored against Spurs reminded me of the talent that I had first saw in the game he played for Deportivo. His true attacking flair was present. I remember Alan Pardew saying that he wanted to play Colo further up the pitch as he had showed his attacking abilities. It was a striker’s finish and goal that showed everyone in the stadium the improvement that he had made.

It was onwards and upwards for Coloccini as he ventured further up the pitch and supplied Peter Lovenkrands for his goal during the 4-1 win over Wolves. Pardew wanted Colo to play that type of football again and called him a ‘top, top player’. Colo had a brilliant season for us and was the rock in defence.

On the 8th July 2011 Coloccini was made club captain by Alan Pardew. An honour that shows how far he has developed into the player he is. He’s on an upward curve in my eyes and he’s shown that he is a ‘top, top player’.

No doubt we will see a lot more of that this coming season. Coloccini has since become a fan’s favourite and the ability that he displayed the last couple of years really does show that we have such a talented central defender playing for the club. Colo will be vital for us next season, both as our captain and in terms leading his defensive line.

What a difference a year makes!

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

53 thoughts on “The Evolution of Captain Colo

  1. He’s come long way has Colo and he now looks like a defender befitting the price we paid. Still nit sure he would have got the armband if barton’s future hadn’t been up in the air, but aside from Barton I guess he is the onne outstanding candidate otherwise.

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  2. Yeah he does, we seem to have got our money’s worth so far. If Barton perhaps didn’t criticise the club publicly on twitter then perhaps he may have got the armband. I’m sure that Colo will be a great captain for us next season

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  3. He’s came from rock bottom to the top, remember one of his worst peformances was Liverpool at home when they put 5 past us I think. Having a season in the Championship did him wonders. Like toonsy said I think Joey would have got it if there wasn’t all the stuff going on with his contract,

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  4. For an Argentinian international defender costing over 8 million quid he too a real long time to settle. Now he’s really delivering the goods.
    A good choice for captain, but we are pretty short on candidates anyway at the moment..

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  5. Disregard my post yesterday. I jumped the cannon.
    Deal has hit a massive snag in regards to the season ticket setup. Prospectours not comfortable with the plans in place and see too many hurdles in going forward.
    Not a deal breaker but looking highly unlikely.

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  6. I think what we paid for though was class; not short-term settling abilities. Also he went into a poorly performing team with manageral changes ect. so was it really just his fault?

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  7. I think the spainish league is completely different to the way that the english league plays. They are two different games, perhaps he wasn’t able to adjust our game and style of play. But now he looks a quality player

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  8. From Colo the clown to Colo the captain. A huge turn around by him and he deserves credit for it. He still seems a bit suspect when playing against a big strong centre forward but he was probably the most consistent player in our team last year. Love having a cb who is composed enough to play it out of defence as well

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  9. Yeah, he’s really turned it around. Probably one of the first name you’d put on the team sheet now.

    It’ll be a terrible indictment of our clubs ‘ambition’ if he is sold because of wages next season.

    And who was it said he cost about £8m?????
    I think you are forgetting the new mathematical model.
    You have to add on his agents fees and wages for the entire course of his contract!!!!
    He probably cost over £25m!!
    At least we were able to get Sol on a bargain free transfer eh?
    Lol 😯 🙂

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  10. Lol. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.
    I was just highlighting, in a whimsical way, that Colo has become a real stalwart in the team, and shown that he will be worth his wages (relatively speaking,anyway), it would be very sad and unambitious of us to cash in on him next year.

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  11. POOTLE,dont think jay meant you m8,read all the comments you will twig 😉

    think it could be toonsy me-sel 😀 😀 😀

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  12. My concern is he has a year or two left on his contract and by the time negotiations start – he will either be or very close to 30.

    That’s gonna make it very difficult to seal a new deal. Unless Ashley and co. realise defensive players can play into a later age and are more flexible with him than, say, the likes of Barton or Nolan.

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  13. Stuart I dont think he will be sold next season, but also I dont think he will be offered more than a two yr contract extension.
    Of course if he demands a 5 yr contract, he may be shown the door, who knows.

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  14. Ice there is no love lost between me and the Fatman 😉 and im sure you know that all Batty is trying to do is cover the fact that he is a fatman supporter FFS he even does work for him 😀

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  15. Sirjason (7)
    I hope your havin a laugh bonny lad. Oh the times they are a changin. Shola couldn’t do it before so how’s he gan a cope withe the captaincy as well.
    Na, time to get shot and move on.HWTL.

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  16. DAVE it could be that deal mr smith was on about that has fell though as batty wont drop his price on his deal for all the seconds 😀

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  17. Ppl so desperate to be rid of Ashley the rumours always start every transfer window 🙄
    I just don’t see the evidence that he’s going anywhere.
    They keep bangin on about 5 yr plans and what not but secretly he’s trying to sell up?
    Actually now that I think about it, it makes more sense 😆
    The day dekka comes out and says the club is not for sale is the day we’ll Defo be sold 😆 :mrgreen: 😆

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  18. Ice I missed Mr Smiths pearls of wisdom
    On Topic good write up Zoe and yes he has turned out to be a good buy and one of the best players at the club

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  19. There seems to be a little confusion by some people over this age30 policy 😯

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  20. In all fairness I agree that colo has improved, but he was never as bad as you have made out, Alan shearer didn’t fancy him and for that reason alone everybody thought he wasn’t good enough, because shearer is alway right, maybe not!! Perhaps if you had made the effort to go to more games you would have realised that colocini is one of the best defenders to ever play for Newcastle and has shown his class from day 1!

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  21. Rob, I live a long way away from Newcastle, like a very long way away which restricts me the number of games that I can go to during a season. And as it says I made it up by watching the games on television.

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  22. Harsh Rob 😮
    And Colo is still guilty of a few howlers that have resulted in goals against.
    Especially the long ball over the top. Its almost like he doesn’t like to get his head on it, and either tries to let it bounce or use his feet to trap etc.

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  23. Rob
    July 10, 2011 at 18:19

    “Perhaps if you had made the effort to go to more games”

    What a patronising prick!

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  24. Toonsy -” What a patronising prick!”
    BSn9 hasn’t commented on this thread yet :mrgreen:

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  25. Shola Ameobi has revealed talks have stalled over a new contract but hopes the situation will be sorted before the new season starts. The Magpies hitman has just one year left on his current contract and is worried about his future at St James’ Park after watching the club sell Kevin Nolan after failing to agree an extension to his deal.

    While Ameobi’s future hasn’t been as well publicised, due to an apparent lack of interest in the striker from other clubs, he has now come out and said talks with Newcastle have temporarily broken down.

    “I want to get it sorted out, but obviously the two parties have to meet somewhere and that hasn’t been the case yet,” he told the Sunday Sun.

    “As a player, you want to feel secure. You want to know what’s going to happen for the next few years but I don’t at the moment.

    “It’s something I’m trying to get sorted but at the moment I’ve got one year left.

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  26. BB- he still has his moments from time to time but he has managed to erase many errors that were present in his first season for us

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  27. I agree Zoe, he looks class most of the time, and making him captain will boost his confidence no end. I’m happy for him and feel sure he will do a great job for us.
    Does anyone know hows his english? Might need to get that sorted a tad.

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  28. BB- well my mum comes from liverpool and her family support everton. so when I was born my uncle brought down an everton bib for me. But my mum wanted me to decide who I could support. It was in Euro 96 when I was only a couple of years old did I watch the games and see shearer, apparently I loved it when he scored a goal. I liked seaman, beckham and sheringham too but I ended up following shearer and he then moved to Newcastle and that’s how I ended up supporting the toon!

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  29. Well you made the right choice then, and you are still following all these years later, despite relegation, good on ya.
    It must be in your blood by now, so that makes you a Geordie as far as I’m concerned. 😆

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  30. Haha I did make the right choice!! Yeah relegation was tough but I think it made us a better club in the long run. Haha thank you Beardsley

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  31. Good write up Zoe, Colo is just pure glass…..”I want curly hair too”……………..actually I just want hair 😆

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  32. Thank you Richie, haha I love that song. He has to be one of my favourite players. Getting his name and number on the away shirt too 😀

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  33. [email protected]….Collo wasn’t class from day 1 ….he was quite poor in fact. He has improved a great deal.

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  34. Yeah, I thought he looked like he didn’t ‘fit’ in his first year, a foreign player who couldn’t adapt quickly I suppose.. I think possibly the fact that he was quite expensive meant people were expecting more. He certainly has improved hugely over the first season and is consistent now.

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  35. Colo is like the younger, talented, hipper, cooler younger brother I never had.

    I love him, and his curly hair.

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