Two days ago, Steve McClaren named Fabricio Coloccini his captain for the upcoming season on BBC Newcastle. Today, he signed a 1 year contract extension through the 2016/17 season. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Is this in the team's best interest? I am not so sure.
Coloccini has been a part of the Newcastle defense since the start of the relegation season in 2008. Since his arrival Tyneside, the Argentinian was an instant starter, making 34 Premier League appearances. He remained loyal and rode the Toon rollercoaster as it dipped into the championship and emerged back in the Premier League.
He remains the lone link between the last of the 16 consecutive seasons in the Premier League and the squad you see today. His years of service are unmatched by anyone in the squad, despite his wavering loyalty at times. Those "come hither" messages to his beloved San Lorenzo still echo in my brain way too loud to call him a purely loyal player to the Club.
Coloccini has clearly lost a step over the past couple of years, yet his style of play is very reminiscent of when he was a much younger player. His aggressive style of defending him led to a rash of clumsy challenges and maximum exposure to the rest of the defense, leaving Mike Williamson all alone in the center of the back line to fend off whatever comes at him. No wonder we conceded 63 goals last season!
This was supposed to be the season we see him retire with dignity with the captain's armband, play in a testimonial match (hopefully with fellow Argentinian Jonas Gutierrez), and head back to San Lorenzo.
For now, all of those things must wait.