Has Jack Colback been Newcastle's most disappointing player this season?

General view outside St James' Park

The Newcastle United midfielder has done little to prove his critics wrong this season.

Jack Colback of Newcastle United

While many of Newcastle United’s players have impressed in their surge up the Championship table this season, a few have been the subject of intense criticism.

Summer signing Mo Diame has been slammed time and again for his sub-par performances while Aleksandar Mitrovic is losing his status as a fan favourite, but there is another Newcastle player who cannot avoid blame in the form of Jack Colback.

The 27-year-old has played 22 games in all competitions so far this season and he is expected to start for the Magpies against Aston Villa on Monday evening.

The problem is a growing number of Newcastle fans feel Colback is simply not good enough for Rafa Benitez’s midfield; that his sideways passing and failure to stamp his authority on games are detrimental to their promotion hopes.

Leeds United's Souleymane Doukara in action with Newcastle United's Jack Colback

In Newcastle’s recent match against Norwich City, Colback came off shortly before the hour-mark to be replaced by Diame – one oft-criticised man for another – but when you consider the Magpies look set for an immediate return to the Premier League, there are questions to be asked about the quality of their midfield.

After all, if Colback is deemed ineffective for the Championship what good will he be on his return to the top tier?

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch