RIGHT let’s accentuate the positive first of all.
Newcastle United’s defence produced arguably their best performance of the season in repelling the might of Norwich City on Saturday.
The 0-0 draw was the team’s first clean sheet away from home in the Premier League this term and will restore some welcome morale following late capitulations at Manchester United and Arsenal.
Corners were defended with confidence by keeper and centre halves alike with left back Davide Santon even adopting the Alan Shearer role of old with a succession of near post headed clearances
The downside from the display is that even Shearer in his pomp up front would have struggled to score at the other end.
Such was the service or lack of it from a cautious and uninspired midfield five.
Mind, had similar defensive resolve surfaced in earlier bottom half of the table clashes at the likes of Fulham and Southampton then the table would look slightly less scary than it does today.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini, in particular, stood out at Nowrich amid ongoing fears that he wants to return home to his native Argentina for personal reasons.
It is difficult to comment on his situation without knowing what his situation actually is.
Nor do we have a right to know what it is if it is purely a personal matter.
But I do not see why Newcastle should rip up a £10m-rated defender’s contract just like that and allow him to continue his career back home.
Hopefully a compromise can be reached where Coloccini stays at St James’s Park until at least the end of the season.
The Magpies early exit from the FA Cup may also allow him the odd long weekend away to deal with his problems.
Who would have thought it? Newcastle’s dismal surrender at Brighton becomes the key to a successful battle against relegation.
You just cannot make it up with this club.
– GAVIN LEDWITH