Can Mike Williamson keep his place this season?

The dream defensive partnership?
Mike Williamson joined us from Portsmouth on an emergency loan deal to enable him to play for us that night against Crystal Palace in what was thankfully our brief spell in the Championship.

Williamson played the full ninety minutes of football and impressed many with his performance after a slow start; thus gaining the man of the match award.

He became a big part of the squad during that half of the Championship season helping us on our way to the title and he cemented himself a strong partnership with Fabricio Coloccini and put in performances that displayed his ability.

We had been chasing the player for some time and the club tried to encourage him to join us, but the lure of Premier League football at Portsmouth for Williamson was key. However his time at Portsmouth was not as fortuitous as first thought. He made no appearances for the club and there was a problem with the financial situation between Watford and Portsmouth. If Williamson had played in a game then Portsmouth would have had to pay Watford more money in transfer fees. Portsmouth could not afford this and Williamson never played for the club.

Mike Williamson started out life back in the Premier League as a first choice centre back with our new captain Fabricio Coloccini. He made his long awaited debut at Old Trafford for our first game of the season and although we lost Williamson showed that he was not afraid to tackle the likes of Rooney and co.



The Coloccini and Williamson partnership was, in my opinion, our strongest centre-back partnership. They both seemed to know how he each other played and each of their styles complemented the ways that they played. The partnership always looked solid and whenever I saw the two of them play together I felt safe with the way they dealt with the oncoming opposition.

However when Colo was suspended he put in stellar performances to stop the opposition from gaining any advantage over us. He was particularly key in the Arsenal game where we won 1-0; he was a rock in defence, dealing with the balls that Arsenal tried to break through our defence with.

The only feat that Williamson hasn’t managed yet is scoring his first goal for NUFC. He has come close many times and is dangerous from set pieces due to his 6ft 4in size. No doubt he will break his duck soon.

Unfortunately Williamson’s season was curtailed by injury. A freak training ground injury sustained whilst in the clubs gym facilities meant that the defender required an operation on a broken forearm. It meant that Williamson missed the last three games of our season which, for a player that had played such a big part of the season, left many wondering just how we would cope without him.

However Steven Taylor had a renaissance in Williamson’s absence. He had his opportunity to prove to Alan Pardew that he could become a regular starter for the team. Although he put in some fantastic performances, the ability of scoring in all of three of his starts clearly shows that he wants to cement that first choice centre-back place down.

However Taylor has had his faults over a numbers of years. The most iconic being when he went down as if he had been to shot so that he did not get sent off. That didn’t actually help and he was subsequently sent off anyway. Taylor also seems to like the theatrics whenever he heads the ball, doing a diving header when it is not necessary. For his faults there are times when Taylor can play brilliantly. The only other thing I’m not sure on is his partnership with Coloccini – it just doesn’t look right at all.

Although it’s not goals that win you a place in a team it’s how you perform when facing an opponent and that’s where I have my worries with Taylor. Yes he’s scored for us but is he a better defender than Williamson? I’ll leave you all to debate that but in my opinion I think Williamson edges it for me. His positional play is better and his height gives him a great advantage.

Pre-season will give us a chance to see how both of these centre-backs perform. Coloccini will always be the starter but the conundrum is who partners him in defence. It’s exciting to see them compete but only one of them will gain that starting place. We will have to wait and see who is able to show Alan Pardew that they are the player who should start with Captain Colo.

It certainly should be an interesting pre-season!

About Zoë Vicarage

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

70 thoughts on “Can Mike Williamson keep his place this season?

  1. It depends on Steve Taylor. If he stays concentrated for the full 90 minutes every game, he is a very good player. It’s the Bramblesque lapses that cost him his place in the side.
    Williams is fairly reliable, but ability wise he is no match for Taylor.

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  2. Oh also… Interestingly enough we scored a lot of goals last season considering our forward line is so ‘aweful’. Our downfall in the league was our defending. We shipped a lot of goals… This suggests our defence was not as reliable as we perhaps believe…
    Simpson is overrated, but defo a good squad player. Hutton would be nice?
    Maybe are center backs are overrated too?
    No depth at left back.
    This should be addressed if we are to improve next season substantially.

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  3. My thoughts are hopefully not. CB is a position I would like strengthened. I think Kadar has a good shout, but I would like a CB brought in thats better than Saylor and Willo. If that doesnt happen then I guess Willo is the safer option

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  4. I think Taylor has the shirt at the minute to be honest. The last three games last season saw to that. It’s now up to Williamson to either get it back, or wait for a chance like Taylor had to.

    Personally I don’t think there is much to choose between them.

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  5. Steve Taylor is a much better centre half than Williamson. WIlliamson makes to many mistakes for me but has been a real bargain buy. CB seems to be the one area where we are fairly strong. Worried about where the goals are going to come from

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  6. Was solid in Championship and had a good season last year.
    Hardest position to play in football, needs to be a bit tougher.
    I think he’ll surprise a few people this season.

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  7. Paul, I wouldnt say it is the hardest position, it’s just you normally get caught out for your mistakes, because it normally cost’s a goal.

    As for Taylor vs Willo, I like both of the lads, but Taylor thinks that he is somthing he is not which annoys me.

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  8. hopefully kadar fergie raylor and tavernier will be challenging well for our defence this season.i recon weve got a good defence with all the backup
    😉

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  9. 1 Man Utd 78 37 41 80
    2 Chelsea 69 33 36 71
    3 Manchester City 60 33 27 71
    4 Arsenal 72 43 29 68
    5 Tottenham 55 46 9 62
    6 Liverpool 59 44 15 58
    7 Everton 51 45 6 54
    8 Fulham 49 43 6 49
    9 Aston Villa 48 59 -11 48
    10 Sunderland 45 56 -11 47
    11 WBA 56 71 -15 47
    12 Newcastle 56 57 -1 46
    13 Stoke City 46 48 -2 46
    14 Bolton 52 56 -4 46
    15 Blackburn 46 59 -13 43
    16 Wigan Athletic 40 61 -21 42
    17 Wolves 46 66 -20 40
    18 Birmingham 37 58 -21 39
    19 Blackpool 55 78 -23 39
    20 West Ham Utd 43 70 -27 33

    As we can see, only 5 teams in the league scored more goals than us last season. If he stays fit and is the same player as before then Ben Arfa will replace the Nolan goals. Ba and whoever we sign up front will replace the Carroll goals so we can expect to score a similar ratio again this seaSON.

    People keep going on about how good our defence was last season. Only 7 teams shipped in more goals than we did, and that is with Tiote protecting the back line. If it was not for our defence, we would have had a very good season.

    A question for me is this – Are Taylor or Williamson actually good enough to be 1st choice or should we be looking to invest well in this area?
    Right back needs addressing too. I’m a tad concerened that the manager nor the press seem to be indicating that the defence is not an area we appear to be wanting to strengthen…

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  10. shamrock ben arfa will replace nolans goals 😯 😯 your joking arnt you ben arfa has scored only 17 goals in 131 games

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  11. Batty, he has played on the wing for alot of his time playing. I would also expect Cabaye to chip in with some goals to.

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  12. Yes Batty, we ae lead to believe that he will be playing 2nd striker in the Nolan role. He has two good feet, lots of pace, tricks and knows how to finish. If he is the same player prior to injury, he will replace those goals.

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  13. ALAN PARDEW says he has not received an inquiry for Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote. Reports in London yesterday suggested Chelsea had enquired for the African star, but Pardew said today: “There has been no communication with Chelsea.”

    Pardew was also asked again if the £35m from the sale of Andy Carroll will be spent and told reporters: “Our wage bill has gone up by some distance.

    “I’m not going to go into detail, but all the money is going to go back into the club.

    “The finances are well documented, but we cannot compete with the big boys at this time.”

    <<< ide like too know how our wage bill has gone up by some distance 😕 😕 carrol nolan cambel and kuqi gone

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  14. I think Taylor is ahead of williamson at the moment in Pardew’s thinking and i agree. I’m most interested to see what Kadar and Taverier provide this preseason since both will probably be relied on this season.

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  15. Wages may have gone up due to yearly increments and possibly a bonus for staying in the Premier League. It is concerning how we keep hearing precursors for not spending money though…

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  16. I think both Saylor and Willo have their job to do next season; it’s down to Pards and how he wants to take on each game. I think Willo has good skill but is no attacker; Saylor always carries a risk of a red card or penalty but will get foward and score goals. He also thumps a ball well clear better than anyone, including Colo.

    I think with Kadar too (big fan of him but he’s not cooked yet) we’re ok for CBs. We do need to tighten up at the back (ooer) but I don’t think it’s particularly down to personnel, with the possible exception of RB, and Simmo’s still improving.

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  17. I don’t give a flying feck what money’s spent as long as we get a good team. So far, so good. Yes, the bosses make a lot of daft excuses, but that has no bearing on the fact they’re doing pretty well in this window so far.

    So shut up complaining, unless you seriously want the club to go hand a stupid amount of cash to the first striker who’ll come. Like Liverpool did, and Saylor scored twice as many as Carroll. Great investment, Souness. 😈

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  18. DamianSpellman Damian Spellman
    #nufc Pardew insists cash still available for striker of “right ilk”, but admits defeat in N’Zogbia/Taylor pursuits

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  19. WHUMPIE we are lead to believe our signings so far are great business. In truth only Cabeye looks like the real deal. Marveaux spent all last season on the treatment table and hardly any of us knew who he was until he was signed. Ba looked good at the Hammers but may be another injury crock in waiting. The French league is much weaker than ours too, these players may not adapt, or may not be as good as they are billed.
    On the face of it we are doing ok, but we wont know how good these players are until at least half way through the season. Years of lies and spin entitles us to be pessimistic.
    No one is saying they want all our money thrown at the 1st player that comes along, they just want to see some real intent from the club as promised in Januray. Nothing wrong with expecting what you are promised.

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  20. I think Williamson only ‘kept’ his place because Judas broke Saylor’s jaw when he was just about to come back from a lengthy injury. It was never his to keep – it just so happened Williamson seemed to strike an effective partnership with Curlo.

    I’d probably prefer to have Saylor back in. Mind you, not a bad dilemma to have – they’re both decent. If only we had the same dilemma upfront. Hey, hang one, Saylor can score, started off as a CF in fact – maybe he’s out Carroll replacement?

    😀

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  21. I think a few people are a bit misguided. Our defence is not that good and our strikers are better that we think. Last seasons stats tell us that.

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  22. Batty, I think cabaye and marvux (sp?) are on a fair amount of dough, I bet Ba is for that matter.

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  23. Shamrock: I think being mid-table on goals conceded is not so bad for a mid-table team, and given our goals scored was so high, we shouldn’t be so hard on the defence. That doesn’t mean we can’t improve; I just don’t think we need to go mad in that department, just keep doing what we’re doing with what we’ve got and we’ll be ok.

    Batty, I think if we signed Messi you’d find a negative spin on it! If you want to go spending £20m on a ‘proven prem player’ fine – but I believe we’ve been down that road and crashed badly. A lot. And it’s not just us – look at the massive strike rate Carroll and Torres have delivered since their moves. £85m well spent?

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  24. 29 PL goals between 4 strikers ain’t that good by my standards, Shamrock. Plus, practically half of them were scored by two players we ain’t got any more (Nolan and Carroll)

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  25. Willo has done well and will be even better as he get more premiership experience. Taylor already has that but has not had a descent run in the team for a couple of seasons. If injury free he is the best CB at Newcastle by far. Colo, for all his style and polish, is too easily pushed off the ball and drops off under pressure. There were too many goals conceeded last year and even if Willo/Colo are perceivd to be some sort of good partnershio I think Taylor and Willo are potentially the best CB pairing as they have the same style and both attack the ball. Colo drops of and picks up the pieces – nicely – but I think that spoils the line at the back. Kadar has the same style as Taylor/Willo and if a team needs a consistent style then Taylor/ Willo for me with Kadar etc to fit the same style. HWTL

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  26. People are making a lot sense here 😯

    Having 3 quality CBs is a good problem to have. I know i sound like a broken record but I really hope Tavernier and Kadar step it up this year to provide cover in the middle and RB/LB

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  27. whumpie where do i say i want 20 mill too spend or where am i being negative 😕 iam just sick of the bull shit that comes out of the club ,bullshit and liars 👿

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  28. We have an excellent centre half in the making in Floyd Streete. A bit early yet but he is going to be some player given a couple of years. We need a left back and a striker priority forget about other positions at the moment. Zog we will miss out on come on Ashley get your arse into gear now and pay the going rate for what we need you will still be left with your profit!

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  29. Pardew we are working hard at getting a striker in, advice make sensible bids and pay the market wages and you just may attract what you need!

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  30. Williamson is fairly solid but he cant play from the back and is no threat in the opposition box, Lacks the genuine class of Taylor…

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  31. I think we will get a striker. Its clear that Gameiro was at the top of the club’s striker wish list, followed by Erdinc. Now they’ll move on to #3. No idea who that might be but I’m sure we’ll soon start hearing some names in the rumour mill

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  32. DazWilliams Darren Williams OBE:

    I’ve had a number of ppl tell me that tomorrows “3rd party announcement” is from the Stock Exchange. I must stress its rumour atm

    😆 🙄

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  33. Personally think this stock announcement is a load of balls. The only reason for this is that Ashley is going to float the club again. As it stands we are privately owned so IF there ever was a takeover this would not need to be announced by the markets unless a British based floated company was to buy us.
    I’m sure tomorrow will come and go as usual without any news

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  34. Batty @35 – actually, that’s fair enough! Sorry to kill a perfectly good argument by agreeing with you :mrgreen:

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  35. I think that stick exchange thing is bollocks personally. What benefit would it bring?

    Not a lot, and certainly not to Ashley. I can’t envisage many people really wanting to invest in NUFC at the minute, and I can’t see Ashley giving up any potential dividend to other investors, can you?

    It will affect him creaming off the profit 🙄

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  36. I find Saylor quite hard to watch sometimes – it’s heart-in-mouth stuff and you’re always waiting for a handball or dive – but I think he’s got more ‘guts and glory’ about him than just about anyone else in the prem. It showed with his MOTM performance at the end of the season – you just had to see the number of weapons-grade headed clearances he produced. The fact that he came back from months of injury to score 3 in 3 is amazing and shows how he could be very important to us.

    Pards seems comfortable with allowing half the defence to go forward as long as the other half stays back. It’ll lead to more goals conceded, but hopefully a hell of a lot more scored and the kind of footie we like to watch. I’ll buy that for a dollar. 😆

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  37. Looks like N’zogbia in’t coming ! We just won’t pay THE WAGES am so glad i’ve not renewed my season ticket . We should have £50m to spend not £35m. NOT buying trophy signings but to strengthen the WHOLE [email protected] squad . What money would have spent if not for A/C money. This was our opportunity to catch up

    ‘WHAT A TOTAL DISGRACE OWLHEED AND ASHLEY ARE’
    5 year plan = Rake as much money back as possible then when global market rises sell club. [email protected] FURIOUS 😡 🙁 😈

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  38. Ashley did say a while back about investors joining him.

    But i agree weve had this laughable press conference and statement shite for weeks now and nowts come of it so im putting it down to sad attention seekers starting whispers…

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  39. would have kept nolan for 2 year contract not 5 year contract … pity he’s gone but that what happens when players reach critical point as judged by experts and need to be sold eg, Ruud van nistelhorse / becks etc etc .. you get rid and back your self to bring in someone decent to replace .. i think we have done that – plus i dont think he was veryt good for moral by praising Liverpool in public – p issed me off.

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  40. Loving that I have written an article that creates a good debate about our centre-backs 😀

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  41. Loving that I have written an article that creates a good debate about our centre-backs
    —————————————
    Well done. But even more impressive is that you wrote an article in which the number “35” didn’t appear for the first 48 comments. A new summer record!!!! Congratualtions

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  42. My point has always been the same regarding Ashley.

    He can’t afford to run it the way it should be , in order to compete with the top 6.

    Put the club up for sale at the Market value instead of trying to rip the eyes out of potential buyers.

    They won’t tolerate the piss being taking out of them by the cockney spiv.

    If he does and no buyer is forthcoming then we will have no right to complain. However until he does then he will always be criticised by those Fans who can see through his lies and spin.

    He treats the club as if it’s his play thing, a car, a house or a boat instead of an institution which affects millions of peoples lives worldwide.

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  43. @toonpipes

    I’ve answered your post on the previous thread.

    Don’t bring monster munch to the table again please. 😛

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  44. Freddie Shepherd
    July 14, 2011 at 15:55

    “Will the bus still run toonsy et al if Ashley sells up?”

    Absolutely. People will moan about any new owners aswell so I’ll keep the service running. Imagine if we get a Venky type takeover when it happens 😯

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  45. No comment No’s on mobile site I’m afraid. It’s way way beyond anything I can do so unless someone knows someone who knows anything about tinkering with that kind of thing them I’m stumped. Been trying to sort it all day. Sorry guys 🙁

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  46. Another Ashley/cockney reference I see. excuse my possible ignorance on the subject, but doesn’t the term refer to people form East London? If that’s the case, why not call him a German as it it would be just about as accurate.

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  47. Robledo – if you read back your post at 49 aloud… well, it would make a good bit of satire if you wanted to take the piss out of Toon fans. That ain’t good.

    Those having a rant based on how much the club is spending: Take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. We all agree we need to get the club profitable and pay off debt. We also agree that the management is full of it. T’ain’t news.

    That does NOT necessarily mean that everything they ever do and say is b.s. and wrong. I don’t give a stuff whether the AC money or any other money goes on undersoil heating or Colo’s perm. All I care about is that we have a stable club with financial freedom to move forward and that we have a team that keeps improving. As far as I can make out, that’s exactly what they’re delivering.

    As for being lying toe-rags – can you find me people in this business who aren’t??

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  48. BS: It is reassuring that you’ll stick to your guns no matter what. It would be very dull on here without it.

    To me, “He treats the club as if it’s his play thing, a car, a house or a boat instead of an institution which affects millions of peoples lives worldwide.” describes exactly the kind of ownership you seem to want. Citeh, Manure, etc. Throw money at it until you get bored or Platini changes the rules, then walk off and spend your pocket money on something else, leaving the club to die in the pile of shite you’ve created.

    Lying git or not, Ashley is trying to get us stable and viable while still improving our position. And it’s working. Give me that over some rich idiot trying to buy silverware any day.

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  49. Alreet Bobby .. didnt see it, stuck at work .. will check it later and give you another crushing .. i see you listened to me tho and you have started jusitfying your wise words .. still arent sensible ,.. but progress ..

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  50. @MDS
    Trivial remark about cockneys and Germans. Total irrelevance . 🙄

    @whumpie
    Totally disagree. You want to be run like a sports direct store and be the equivalent of the cheap and nasty brand.

    I would much prefer to be owned by owners who want to win the champions league. This is modern football. Get with it. 😎

    @toonpipes

    Keep eating the monster munch fella and don’t bring toon chicken along to the meal. You’s are like two pots of cold jelly. 😛
    Unappetising 😛

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