Mixed reception as Newcastle managerial crisis ends with Fabricio Coloccini appointment
Following persistent rumours, Fabricio Coloccini has signed a two-year contract with Newcastle United as head coach, with less than two weeks left before the close of the transfer window.
Coloccini made 246 Premier League apperances for Newcastle United between 2008 and 2016, captaining the club from 2011. His newly announced position has been met by divisive response from fans.
Whilst some supporters have welcomed the former defender back to the north east with open arms, many have criticised the board, describing the appointment as "unambitious" and "lazy". Coloccini is yet to manage or even coach on a formal basis.
The announcement follows a turbulent saga that started with Rafa Benítez's departure at the end of June. Steve Bruce was understood to be the board's first choice to succeed Benítez, but the parties failed to come to an agreement despite Bruce's resignation from his role at Sheffield Wednesday. The club's second and third choices are also believed to have fallen through.
With exactly two weeks left before the close of the transfer window, Newcastle's business so far has been solely conducted by the board. With the arrivals of Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, Andy Carroll, and Emil Krafth, it is understood that Coloccini has been told to focus on readying the team tactically, with Newcastle's transfer business done.
The 37-year-old is only 3 months retired, having last played for his boyhood club, San Lorenzo.
"I am delighted to return to a club I feel a very strong connection to," the Argentine said in a brief interview following the announcement. "I have a lot of ideas and plans for the direction the team can go in, but we have a lot of organisation to do, so I will be headed straight for the training ground."
With Coloccini's arrival comes a staff overhall. Neil McDonald, formerly of Crystal Palace and West Ham, has joined on as Assistant Manager. Spanish coaches Xavier Tamarit and Javi López have joined the club from Leganés and Sporting Gijón, respectively, and Argentine coach Turu Flores has joined from Las Palmas.
Coloccini will take the helm in his first game as manager on Sunday's home friendly against Notts County.