A week ago today, many believed Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini had skippered his last game Tyneside, as he was rumored to be in serious talks with club representatives on a move to Argentinian side San Lorenzo due to personal issues.
While the centre-back is revered by the Toon army for his dedication to the club, the month of January has been tough on his image, with fans and silly sportswriters alike questioning whether or not he deserves to retain the armband.
He has since proved me dead wrong.
In an interview with the Evening Chronicle, his first contact with the media since the beginning of the transfer window, Coloccini has vehemently reaffirmed his dedication to the Magpies and his determination to keep the club in the Premier League.
He put those words into action against Aston Villa.
With Steven Taylor back in the first XI again, the Magpies at last possessed their ideal back four, and Coloccini was a calm, collected commander.
His brightest moment came in the 16th minute when he slid to cut out a quality Christian Benteke cross. It was the kind of ball a fan could easily imagine Mike Williamson knocking straight into the net, but as always, captain Colo made it look easy.
Other than a poor Mathieu Debuchy penalty, the defense performed well under the heavy pressure brought on by Paul Lambert's second-half substitutions, and a back line beset by injuries and poor form all season is finally a positive for the Magpies.
Coloccini's captaincy has taken on new purpose, and the Argentinian international's fight to keep his club in the Premier League looks to be winnable.