There should be big praise, for Big Mike

By Lee Ryder on Apr 20, 11 12:22 PM

At the beginning of the season a group of tabloid journalists complained after being allocated an interview with Mike Williamson because he wasn't a "big name."

Even at the time, it was harsh on a player who had made the step up from playing in the Championship and taking on some of the best performers in the country with minimum fuss.

I won't beat around the bush, Mike Williamson does not get enough credit for the job he does and deserves more recognition.

Perhaps he is downplayed by some because he has plied his trade in the lower leagues but that should not be an issue given stars like Stuart Pearce, Ian Wright, John Aldridge, Peter Beardsley, David Platt and a host of others all done the same and still reaped the benefits in football.

Against Man United, Williamson didn't look out of place against some of the best players in the world with Nani, Valenica, Hernandez, Owen, Giggs and Rooney all making scuttling runs in and around the penalty area.

And let's not forget defenders at Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have all failed to keep clean sheets against Man U this season.

Perhaps, Williamson's biggest asset is his down to earth outlook on life and appreciation at what he has around him at the club's training ground.

Failing to attract such players was a problem for Newcastle for years and instead paying over the odds for big contracts and so called bigger names only left the club in debt.

True enough, Newcastle are not playing in the Champions League nor even the Europa League with the current group of players.

But a blend of grafters like Williamson and three or four quality players - with a proven goalscorer a must - to go with Hatem Ben Arfa, Joey Barton, Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and perhaps a fully fit Stephen Ireland next season, you just don't know what can be achieved next season.

And Williamson would be a worthy part of those plans.


Andy Hewitt said:

Couldn't agree more Lee - he was outstanding last season, and has struggled at times this season (esp earlier) - but a (increasingly) crucial player for us, no doubt.

Assured, down to earth, calm, considered, happy to take a booking when it's needed and utterly under-rated.

Malta Mag said:

Best article you've written all season Lee because he deserves tremendous respect and will one day be recognised as a top defender. The other player I think deserves recognition is Simpson who rarely gets a mention but has come on leaps and bounds.

David said:

Well said.

I`m sick of reading so called fans do nothing but complain about everything from MA down to the tea lady.

We`ve done excellent this season and with a few quality additions I genuinely believe we can challenge for a firm europa league spot.

BTW I`m boxertricks, the "delusioned" person who said coloccini would have a great season along with carroll, barton and nolan and who said we`d finish mid table,
Fair enough carrolls gone but look at the fee we received, he wanted to go now lets replace him with a goal machine and lets see what these lads are really capable of!

ahh good times

Beastie said:

Well said lee, couldnt agree more i was just saying to my mate the other day the amount of money we wasted on so called top defenders! how much did big mike cost? 1-2 million? bargin! puts a good shift in everytime he plays! no complaints from me about him!

Hoolie said:

Eeehh lad...

When I first read the headline, I thought you were praising fcb!

Aye, well done to the lad, deserves a mention and rightly so.

Dave Jackson said:

Ryder if you think that Mike Williamson is good enough to play in the top fight of english football then you know nowt. He is always one tackle away from conceeding a pelanty, his rash challanges are just what cheating primo's are waiting for. Get real he is poor and average at best. Championship football is nothing like the Premiership and he is out of his depth!

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Thanks for your comments Jackson.
I think Mike Williamson has had his moments this season that are good and bad.
But your comments come not too long ago in which he played a huge part in keeping a clean sheet against Rooney and Man U.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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