Since Mike Williamson signed from Portsmouth on the 27th January 2010 he has gone on to make 88 league appearances for the club and lined up in the away victory at Cardiff City after giving a hardworking, professional performance in the second half away at Everton.

He has had his ups and downs bringing about a lot of criticism his way, especially from a lot of NUFC supporters but I am going to try explore the stats and try to make a fairer judgement on the centre half as I think a lot of fans see him as an easy target.

Williamson was even man of the match on his debut at home to Crystal Palace in a 2-0 win; Mike would go on that season to win an impressive twelve out of fifteen league games where he featured, recording five clean sheets.

The next year Williamson finally had his break in the Premier League after being frozen out during his time at Portsmouth and in that season he was involved in eight of the black and whites wins but more interestingly eight out of nine clean sheets which were recorded that season, meaning the defence were much more likely to concede when he was not on the field. For example that crazy final day where Newcastle made Simon Tchoyi look world class to throw away a top half finish. He was also one of the main men in some memorable results, the 5-1 against Sunderland and the 1-0 win away at Arsenal as examples.

The next year Mike missed the start of the season injured, a year where I believe he does not get enough credit. Lots of fans including myself remember our solid defence at the start of the season yet without Williamson in the team the Magpies only made six clean sheets with a win percentage of 43%. When Mike played not only did Newcastle record nine clean sheets but have a superior win percentage of 55%; not something you would assume unless you sat and studied the facts. These wins included the 2-0 win against Liverpool and the epic 3-0 win against Manchester United in the new year.

The next year, Newcastle significantly struggled more with a tough fight against relegation. Although without Mike playing the win percentage was 31% in comparison to 26% with him in the team Newcastle only picked up two clean sheets when he was not in the team paralleled by four when he was playing. Williamson was also not involved in the two stand out, simply horrifying results which include the 3-0 loss to Sunderland and the 6-0 thrashing from Liverpool.

Overall since Newcastle returned to the Premier League in 2010 Williamson has played a key role in Newcastle’s success with a total win percentage of 36% which may seem poor but when you consider without Mike in the side it is interestingly exactly the same on 36% you have to respect his contribution to the side, as we have been as successful with him in the side as any other centre back pairing. Even more interestingly since Newcastle returned to the Premier League they have picked up 30 clean sheets in total, however only 9 of these came without Mike Williamson in the side!

I’m not trying to argue Williamson is perfect but on the balance of this investigation he’s been there and done as well as anyone since Newcastle returned to the Premier League and deserves a fair crack again in the black and white shirt again.   Over this time we had a 20% clean sheet record without Mike, while 30% with.

by @media_steven

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  1. sas

    Wow, interesting statistics. He always does his best, which often isn't up to the task, but you can't really ask any more of him.

    If he wasn't our main attacking outlet in the box when we get a free kick in the middle of the pitch, I reckon I'd be a lot happier with his contribution.

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  2. Russell

    Of course he is treated unfairly by our fans …. We are the biggest whiners and moaners in the premier league. Gone are the days when the fans got behind anyone who pulled on the shirt. We seem to think they we have more right than other teams to be successful. We are a one team city with a lot of fans. That used to produce an atmosphere of positivity and optimism which lifted every player that wore the shirt. That is long gone. We make a lot of noise when things are going well but rarely now do we stay behind the team no matter what. Sad to say but it is now a myth to say we are the loyalist in the land. There are many teams who are more consistently behind their team these days

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