Jamaal Lascelles has developed a lot since Rafa Benitez joined Newcastle on March 13th when Jamaal went from a player who had hardly played under the very woeful Steve McClaren – to a regular for Rafa in the last several games of last season.
And in the summer, Rafa made Jamaal captain after the 22 year-old had shown some real leadership previously.
One example of that was at half time during the game at Southampton when more experienced and older players said nothing.
Newcastle manager with his captain
Jamaal has been talking about how things have changed so quickly for him over these last six months or so:
“I’m very comfortable being captain. I’m outspoken and will say what needs to be said. You can’t just have players with talent and flair.”
“You need to make sure players are dedicated and are putting a shift in too.”
“It is a big responsibility. As an individual I’ve got to stay positive all the time, even if I want to lose my head or whatever or get angry.”
“I’m only 22 but the other lads do look up to me and you’ve got to stay positive. It is a big responsibility, but I’m a big enough character to deal with it. All the lads are backing me.”
“On the pitch I’m not the only one with a voice. We’ve got some big characters on the pitch who are helping me.”
“When we beat Norwich 6-2 I was watching from the box. It just goes to show how much football can change,”
“I’ve gone from being out of the squad to being captain – hard work can get you there.”
Jamaal is right to say things can change quickly in football and they often do.
In the summer of last year after Chelsea had won the Premier League in Jose Mourinho’s second season back at Stamford Bridge, who would have thought he would be fired before the end of last year?
And about 40 hours ago before the news broke in the Telegraph, who would have thought that Sam Allardyce would be out as the England manager?
Yes – things do change quickly in football and in life too – as it turns out.