The latest bump in Newcastle’s season came from a red card that was handed to Fabricio Coloccini. With our captain’s suspended sentence, we now have to ask who our vice stand in captain will be.
So far this hasn’t been Coloccini’s best season. He has missed a few games at the start of the season thanks to injury. So during those bleak times fellow Argentinean Jonas Gutierrez was asked to hold the captain’s armband. However, should we look for a more “Class-A” captain?
I like Gutierrez, and in the latest Liverpool match the commentators described him as “An adopted Geordie” and rightly so. But, as common as it is with captaincy, you feel that he was only awarded the vice-captain role because he has been with us a number of years now. The only downside to him holding the armband is that fact that he has never excelled in his role. He has a great work rate. And he is passionate! A great example was when Coloccini got the red card, and Jonas ran over to plead with the ref so passionately, and you have to appreciate that loyalty and compassion towards his teammates. Ideal captaincy material, but he simply does not provide enough goals or assists.
A captain is meant to lead by example, and that’s what Coloccini does best. He keeps his head down and most importantly he does his job well and plays well every game (which makes his red card even harder to digest).
So who would be the ideal stand in captain? Surely it has to be someone who plays week-in, week-out, and someone who is best at their role, so…
Steven Taylor? It seems an obvious choice. He’s a defender so he can see the game from the back and easily organise the field, just as Colo does. And secondly, he wears his heart on his (short) sleeves. He is a top defender! Plus he is a local lad in many ways, so that’s a great boost for morale at the club.
Or how about Cabaye? In a recent French documentary that was made on Yohan Cabaye, Alan Pardew said that in one or two years he could easily be our captain. He has the ability to pace the game. From Pardew’s description that sounds like an ideal captain. Although Pardew said he wasn’t ready just yet, but maybe a brief three game spell could build him up into the role. He certainly provides enough assists and killer passes, not to mention his goal ratio.
Either of the Dembas? An ambitious guess, as they haven’t served at the club for many seasons just yet, so it’s easy to not award it to them. Plus we don’t know where their future lies either. But if they do stay with us and can keep up the contingency of scoring then who knows? Us Toon fans love our strikers! And it would be nice to have a captain who was a striker just like the great Shearer days. A role that local lad Andy Carroll was on course for is he stayed loyal to the black and white stripes.
Upon reflection it’s hard to see too many ideal captains.
But we have lots of “future” team leaders. Tim Krul is an ideal example. First he is one of the best ‘keepers in the league. He came up through the ranks, so automatically he’s a fan favourite, and finally the thing that makes him the best candidate is the fact that he isn’t shy! I recall the game where Krul got thrown into the spotlight. It was when he came on for an injured Steve Harper in a Championship opening game against West Brom. Not only did he provide world class saves, but he was barking orders and motivating the squad! Take into consideration that this was his first “real” game that really meant something to the team, (so he should be nervous). And the fact that he was young and was surrounded by experienced much older players. But still, it didn’t put him off! He could easily be one of our most influential captains if he gets the role. But he hasn’t got years behind him of hard graft in the Prem. So it doesn’t look like he will get the armband just yet.
It would be nice to have Shola as a captain. Once again like Taylor a local lad, but he isn’t going to play every week, and we need a consistent captain.
While Coloccini is now suspended from English competitions, he is free to play in Europe games, much like Tiote has done. So it’s not hard to guess who will be our captain for those games. Pardew may feel it’s too much of a risk to rock the boat and cause rift between friendships at the club. So stripping Jonas as the second in command may be too much of an unnecessary action. But this dilemma certainly throws up some decisions to think of in the future…