When Fabricio Coloccini was sent off on Sunday in what was an "obvious error" by ref Bobby Madley, Steve McClaren turned to his bench to bring the defensive numbers back up to 4. The man who came off the bench was Jamaal Lascelles, and in the moment this felt about right. It didn't feel surprising in any way even for the next couple days. Then the rumors started and it finally jogged the memory. Mike Williamson is still a Newcastle United player. The reminder did not, however, change the reaction to Lascelles being preferred in the derby. It just let the mind say "Good. This is a good thing."
The words "Mike Williamson" and "much-maligned" walk through the corridors of recent Newcastle United lore hand in hand, best friends for eternity. There are not many who will assert that this is for undeserved reasons even though since Williamson's demotion to the bench the club have continued to leak goals – there may have been more holes in the Williamson/Coloccini partnership than those provided by Williamson alone – but the general consensus is that he is and has been a defensive liability.
All of that having been said, he does seem to pass the "he's such a nice guy" test, so there are suggestions from some media outlets that "it's not Mike Williamson's fault that the club didn't strengthen as they should have" which is fine to say but fails at the first test of logic as Williamson's position has long been one that the club needed to strengthen... but whatever. There is little ill-will to be held towards Willo and so we bid him a fond if temporary adieu and hope that he performs well enough during his one-month stint at Molineux to turn it into something more permanent in January.