Changing of the Guard
It's time for Colo to move on. Below we compare his stats with those of Jamaal Lascelles. But, as is so often the case, the stats only tell part of the tale.
As you can see, Lascelles has much better tackling and clearance figures, whilst the stats suggest Colo reads the game better with more interceptions whilst his passing is better too. You would of course expect this give his 12 years additional experience. The stats also show Coloccini commits slightly more fouls.
In our view, this points to the fact that Colo's age has indeed caught up with him and whilst he uses all of his experience to manage his game time he is no longer a match for our young #15.
What would seem sensible though is having an older a wiser head for Lascelles to learn from at the club so why would this not be Coloccini?
For us, especially with a tough Championship season ahead, it comes down to the issue of leadership. We've included a little gem of a quote from Lascelles on his stats page below which gives an insight into the mentality of the player and his maturity at such a young age. Brave from a young lad surrounded by senior Internationals. But it's not just hot air, as we see from some players (and I'd include Colo in that), as he then backed this statement up with a man of the match performance in his very next game.
For this reason we think Colo is NOT the man to guide him. What Lascelles needs is a strong and experienced mentor. Someone who has been there and done it. But also someone who can shape the lad, be tough on him when he needs it, making him grow into the outstanding Captain and leader we're sure he will eventually become.