It seems that Newcastle have lacked real leadership at the club for a while now – and that was always the suspicion early in the season and also last season when the team basically collapsed under John Carver and we only just avoided relegation on the last day of the season.
One of the new lads that have come in this season – Jamaal Lascelles from Nottingham Forest – has made a rather startling statement and it seems it was at least apparent to him that we didn’t have enough leadership on the field.
Jamaal Lascelles – team lacked leadership on pitch
The way we collapsed and allowed six goals in during a short 20 minute spell to lose 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium last year was alarming to say the least.
After that game we had Steve McClaren say in his press conference that we were very good apart from that 20 minute spell.
And we went to Crystal Palace and collapsed and were beaten 5-1 also in a game against our former manager Alan Pardew.
So there are examples where we have completely disintegrated on the pitch this season.
And we have lost six times in a row to Sunderland – do you think that would have happened if Kevin Nolan had still been around as captain of the club?
This is some of what Jamaal Lascelles said in the Chronicle:
“Definitely the January signings have given everyone in the squad a lift. Obviously with the English boys it’s nice to have them around as well.”
“In Andros and Jonjo we’ve brought in two big characters which I think we needed. I think we’ve lacked a bit of leadership and a bit of determination on the pitch recently.”
“So they’ve definitely given us a bit of a lift and hopefully we can get three points against Chelsea.”
Getting more Englishmen to the club seems to have helped a lot and when we bring in players from the continent they are simply not used to the great pressures of playing football in England and certainly not used to fighting a relegation battle.
The reason we didn’t buy Englishmen in the past was because of the premium on them and their high wages – with the club being run in too thrifty a way by owner Mike Ashley.
That may have changed and it will be interesting in the summer if we buy striker Saido Berahino from West Brom or we bring in one of Graham Carr’s choices of a striker form France – such as Alexandre Lacazette – who is completely unproven in England.
We’re hoping it’s Berahino and that we have learned our lesson and now be willing to pay out that little bit more for British players who can immediately produce the goods at Newcastle.
That’s something that Steve McClaren seems to have brought about at Newcastle – and it bodes well for the future, if we can avoid the drop this season.
What do you think?