Done and Dusted? Jack Colback Would Be Better Off Leaving Newcastle United In January
Since getting promotion back to the Premier League, Newcastle United’s Jack Colback has been conspicuous by his absence.
Colback, 28, hasn’t made a single first-team appearance this season despite the club not reporting any major injury problems. He has played a total of three games for the under-23 side and is clearly fit, though there simply must be a problem behind the scenes.
Last season, as Newcastle secured the Championship title, Colback was called upon 29 times in that division and it would have been more had it not been for injuries. It’s a stark contrast now and it would appear there is no real future for him at St James’ Park.
True, Colback received unfair flak at times last season and was surprisingly targeted alongside fellow local boy Paul Dummett for particular vitriolic remarks from certain sections of the crowd. It’s a shame that more local players cannot be in this side but, on ability alone, it seems Colback has gone back a step and does not look like the quality that Rafael Benitez needs in order to fulfil even his shorter term goals.
Even now, Benitez has Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Mo Diame to call on as well as the excellent Mikel Merino, although the Spanish under-21 international is currently injured. As we approach December though, the Newcastle manager will have given names to the hierarchy, who he would like to see them make bids for in January, to strengthen the midfield further, with or without Jack Colback in the squad.
It would appear the problems lies with the player himself and that is no surprise in the modern game. Although we are strictly reading between the lines here; it seems Colback had been told in the summer he could leave and did not take the news well.
He should have accepted the board’s decision gracefully, just as Daryl Murphy did for example, but instead, he had apparently refused to join a practice match and was then told to train with the younger players. He has since been banned from the first-team training area due to his attitude and with that sort of atmosphere hovering in the background, it would be dangerous to keep him around.
The reality of this situation will hit Colback in January when he will want to leave and find first-team football but it looks certain that the clubs coming in for him will be from the Championship.
Even the Newcastle fans who gave him the due praise for his performances last season would concede, as they did with Yoan Gouffran, that he had found his level back in the Championship but it seems the player sees things differently.