22 year-old Jamaal Lascelles headed Newcastle in front after 40 minutes on Saturday and also was extremely solid in defense for us.
He was our Man of the Match with around 45% of the vote followed by Andros Townsend with 34% of the vote and Vurnon Anita was next in line with 6% of the vote.
So Jamaal and Andros were our two big stars in the great 3-0 win against Swansea.
That’s Jamaal Lascelles number 15 in the net after scoring on Saturday
But Jamaal was a big star at the Southampton game last week in the dressing room, both at half time and full time, and he called out the other players for not having enough heart or passion to play for Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez has since praised the former Nottingham Forest center-back for doing that and showing some leadership in that dressing room.
And Jamaal followed up those words with actions and he looked an accomplished young player yesterday who will only get better under the expert tutelage of Rafa Benitez.
Andros will also get a lot better with Rafa coaching him.
Jamaal has said he was extremely pleased with the reaction of the players yesterday, after last week’s dressing room antics, when Rafa purposely let the players have it out with each other to clear the air and have a few home truths aired in that stale dressing room.
This is what our young rising star had to say after the game yesterday:
“In this changing room, we need a character because I think we have lacked it – I said it last week, I think we have lacked it a little bit this season.”
“I’m young, but I don’t think that matters. I don’t care about experience or anything like that – if you can talk, you can talk, so do it.”
“But it’s had a big reaction on the other players and that’s exactly what we needed, so I am really pleased with them.”
It says something about a 22 year-old when he is an example to older and more experienced players in the dressing room – this lad is a leader.
If we do survive then some specific players will be thanked by the fans and it looks like one of those at the head of the queue could be Jamaal Lascelles, who has a chance to really make his mark in these last five vital games of the season.
Now Jamaal has to have one of his very best games on Tuesday night against Manchester City – the best team big money can buy.