The Curious Case of Jack Colback as my Candidate to Become NUFC’s Next Captain

Words by Aziz Khalil – follow him on Twitter @azizk47

Written for NUFC360 - a new brand aiming to bring you all things Newcastle United. Be sure to follow for updates. Follow them @NUFC360

The Ginger Pirlo. A Geordie-born captain; the first since Alan Shearer. How does that sound? This is no knock on Fabricio Coloccini, who has been nothing but utter class and trustworthy since he was first handed the armband in 2011. As the longest tenured NUFC captain since Alan Shearer, Coloccini has established a great reputation around the league and in the locker room but at 33 years old, it may be time to unfortunately move on. With the appointment of a new manager and infrastructure within the organization, what better time to select a new captain?

The way that fans and others reacted to Coloccini’s end of season open letter in May, whilst in relegation battle, may have been his last straw. People thought it was nothing but a PR stunt by the football club because the Toon Army were threatening to boycott upcoming matches. His production has unquestionably dipped as each season passed by, and having the likes of Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett next to him has certainly never helped. Coloccini was always a “lead by example” type of captain rather than a vocal leader. After all, he did stick with Newcastle through their Championship campaign but it’s also difficult to forget that he had a move lined up to San Lorenzo two years ago that was blocked by Newcastle.

Jack Colback isn’t the sexiest pick or the most talented player on the books, far from it. However, he does bring several traits to the table that deems him captain worthy, in my opinion. The Geordie turned Mackem returned to his boyhood club last season and has been an unsung hero ever since. To go from Sunderland to Newcastle in itself takes a lot of nerve and audacity, which speaks volume of Colback’s personality. He is extremely reliable and durable (played 35 out of 38 EPL games last season) and also received his first England senior call-up in August of 2014. Colback has always been known for his high work rate, passion, commitment and motivation to put his club ahead of his personal needs.

Read On →

What is it with Newcastle United and slow moving transfer deals?

After a dreadful season, the last thing Newcastle United supporters wanted to see was a struggling off-season. We are now midway through June, almost in July, and NUFC have yet to sign a single player. With holes at the centre back position, left back (Dummett is not a starting player in the English Premier League, in my opinion), a centre midfielder and a number 9 striker; nothing has yet to materialize. Read On →

Newcastle United supporters are a fickle old bunch…

..is the opinion of a football fan that hasn’t a clue of the true goings on at St. James’ Park. If you firmly believe Newcastle United fans are a fickle bunch of noisy Northerners then I feel embarrassed for you. Either you’ve been trapped under a stone for the past 50 years, or you don’t actually follow much of what happens at St. James’ Park, bar a quick watch of Match of the Day. Read On →

John Terry’s exclusion from England squad shouldn’t be questioned

The 2014 World Cup marked a too familiar story for England and their fans. An opening loss to Italy dealt the nation with an irreparable blow that ultimately saw their exit from the worlds biggest sporting tournament. Although remnants of hope remained as Roy Hodgson’s men prepared to face a poorly Uruguay outfit, the South Americans - aided by the return of a potent Luis Suarez - showed a desire to win that their opponents, England, have not mustered up for quite a few decades. Read On →

Poised to drop? Premier League relegation candidates examined

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on as Cardiff City boss

It’s that time of the season again, right? Battles begin to form at either end of the table, with the most worried supporters finding their team at the base of the Premier League. Fulham, Cardiff City, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Norwich City, and indeed Swansea City all figure in perilous situations.
With April fast approaching, the remaining two game weeks of March could go a long way in defining who will remain England’s top division for the 201415 season. While Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool battle it out to be crowned the league’s elite, a handful of teams sweat it out in an equally fascinating contest.

Read On →

LIVE: Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool – follow the action

Liverpool's Luis Suarez shakes hands with Hugo Lloris

Tottenham Hotspur entertain Liverpool at White Hart Lane in a game which could see Brendan Rodgers’ side close the gap on league leaders Arsenal to just two points. The Gunners suffered a heavy 3-6 defeat away against Manchester City on Saturday which allowed Chelsea to reduce the margin at the top to two points. The Premier League is well and truly wide-open, and to reaffirm that fact - Tottenham know a victory today can bring them level with their opponents on 30 points.
Andre Villas-Boas knows that in order to stand any chance of winning the game, Spurs will have to handle an in-form Luis Suarez who has been scoring for fun since his return from suspension.

Read On →

Fulham – Where will the points come from?

1 When the Premier League creeps closer to the month of December fans of the most entertaining league in the world can usually grasp an idea of the likely relegation candidates. Last season Queens Park Rangers gave the impression of a relegated side from the minute the Premier League began - in fact I favoured such a possibility during the summer when their recruitment went into overdrive, an article that didn’t go down too well with the QPR faithful! Read On →

Why Arsenal WILL win the Premier League

Mesut Ozil in action for Arsenal1

Many fans and pundits alike have questioned the Gunners ability to win the Barclays Premier League this season, and perhaps rightly so with Arsenal having not won the league since 2004.
However, the facts and figures suggest that this season, Wenger will lead his side to a successful league campaign, which should see them become Champions for the first time since the time of the ‘Invincibles’.
As you will all know, Arsenal currently sit atop of the league table with 25 points from their first 11 games with the closest team to them being Liverpool who they dispatched easily with a 2-0 home win at the Emirates.

Read On →