Rafa Benitez had all of pre-season to decide who will be the new captain at Newcastle now that Fabricio Coloccini has finally left the club and got his move to San Lorenzo.
And Rafa seems to have made the right choice in giving it to 22 year-old Jamaal Lascelles and he even gave tests to the youngster who led Newcastle out in all five pre-season friendly games.
Manager Rafa Benitez and captain Jamaal Lascelles
This is what Rafa said during his press conference yesterday for the game at Fulham tonight – about why Jamaal was handed the captaincy:
“The player has grown quickly.” “He knows the responsibility of being captain of this massive club.”
“We know he is a young player, but he has the right mentality and he has the right players around to help him do the right thing for the team.”
“When you make the decision after analyzing the character of other players, we have some with very good mentality who have come in.”
“But he knows everything about the city, the club, the fans and he knows what it is like to be captain here.”
“He passed the test with a very good mark, I am really pleased and the teammates when I was talking with them realized he can be a good captain for us.”
“We could see his reaction last season and we see him every day, he pushed himself to improve and his teammates.”
“That helped us decide who could be captain.”
We thought when he first came in that Jesus Gamez may be the one Rafa would choose to lead the club, but we’ve been surprised Gamez has not had too many first team minutes so far.
But the fans are happy that Jamaal has the armband – he has the passion we all expect from a Newcastle captain and we’re sure he will do very very well.