Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Defender." Colo's out in Front as Your Choice for Player." of a Tough Season

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Defender." Colo's out in Front as Your Choice for Player." of a Tough Season

Article excerpt

CAPTAINS of Newcastle United don't try to initiate moves away from the club mid-season.

Indeed, they don't tend to do it at all if they ever want to remain loved and respected by the supporters.

Fabricio Coloccini may well have played his last game in a black-and-white jersey if San Lorenzo in Argentina can somehow do a deal for him this summer.

"Personal reasons" are why the skipper wanted to return home in the New Year, an episode that did little for his standing - or so you would have thought.

His brilliant defending, leadership and organisational skills are the reason he was voted the fans' Player of the Year. Again.

Coloccini's return to the team at the fag end of last season meant a clean sheet at West Ham and then a 2-1 win at QPR the following week ensured safety.

Would Newcastle have been safe had the 31-year-old not been available? That is something Alan Pardew is glad wasn't put to the test.

Coloccini is a brilliant centrehalf and if, and it remains if, he goes before next season begins then that's one big space to fill.

His performance at the Stadium of Light in the 1-1 derby draw, when he held the back four together when Newcastle were a man down, was compared by Pardew to that of Bobby Moore.

Nobody accused the manager of hyperbole on this occasion.

Coloccini gained 24.2% of the Big Toon Survey Votes for last season's best player, with the always-reliable Tim Krul second (18.2%). And thanks to his late winners in particular, Papiss Cisse was third with 12.8%.

Nobody else got close to this three.

Crowd favourites Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa were way behind on 6.3% and 4.8% respectively. Injury, of course, disrupted their season that promised much but delivered little for a number of understandable reasons.

So it's Colo who leads the way.

Tom Robson from Newcastle said: "It has to be Colo. The difference he makes to the team is massive.

"His leadership is second to none and his organisation makes a hell of a difference.

"He oozes quality - and his calming presence on the team is what is needed. …

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