Report: Steve McClaren wanted Derby County's Richard Keogh as Newcastle United captain

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren looks dejected

Fabricio Coloccini endured a nightmare final season at Newcastle United; although he would have played a much smaller role if Steve McClaren had his way.

What defines a captain? Should he be a pillar of calm, a steadying influence and an example to the rest of the squad both on and off the pitch? Perhaps a wild eyed wrecking-ball, grabbing the game by the proverbial scruff of its neck and storming up to the plate when needed most.

Either way, Fabricio Coloccini failed on both accounts, as reported by The Chronicle. The poodle-permed Argentine centre-back was never quite the same after being blocked from returning to his homeland by Newcastle United, repaying their determination to keep him with two years of frankly pathetic performances.

In fact, Steve McClaren’s apparent decision to install the declining Coloccini as his captain remains one of the most baffling questions of his disastrous reign in charge during 2015/16. Yet, according to The Chronicle, the much-maligned current Derby County boss only turned to the veteran defender because he had no other choice.

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren looks dejected

Instead, McClaren reportedly wanted Rams skipper Richard Keogh, a trusted lieutenant after two years together at the iPro, to inherit the armband at St James’ Park.

History suggests 19-year-old could fit in at Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United

Named captain just a day after joining Derby in 2012, the Republic of Ireland international has long been a regular in the starting XI thanks to his leadership ability and consistent performances, winning the Player of the Year award on two occasions and spearheading numerous promotion challenges.

Derby's Richard Keogh

No one will ever know whether Keogh, who has never played a single top flight game in his career, would have stepped up to the top flight or helped salvage a crisis-ridden Newcastle dressing room.

5 players who can kick-start careers with January moves, featuring Derby's play-off hope

Although he surely would have done a better job than Coloccini.


Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch