Jamaal Lascelles – It’s A Weakness Of Premier League Sides

Newcastle have been able to capitalize in the last two games on Premier League teams who use zonal marking for set plays rather than man-to-man marking.

It’s allowed Jamaal Lascelles to have a free run at the ball and his two headers from Matt Ritchie corners in games at Swansea and against Stoke last Saturday at home were unstoppable.

It has also given us a valuable 6 points towards our first goal the season – getting 40 points – so we stay in the Premier League and hopefully not be in a relegation fight.

We have 9 points after the first five games, and it took us 15 games two years ago to reach 11 points with a 2-0 home win against Liverpool on 6th December.

So we are doing an awful lot better in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez than we did under the very mediocre manager, Steve McClaren.

Newcastle’s  23-year-old captain Jamaal Lascelles believes a weakness of teams in the Premier League are at set plays.

This is what Jamaal has said today as reported in the Chronicle:

“I don’t think I’ve scored two so early on, but Matt Ritchie’s delivery is just so good,”

“In the Premier League, it’s a little bit different because in the Championships it’s more of a wrestling match in the box.”

“Players will get hold of you and they’re big, strong boys and they defend set-pieces well. “

“In the Premier League, no disrespect to teams, when they mark zonal you can get a running jump.”

“Last week against Swansea, I managed to get myself into a good area and I was disappointed I didn’t score in the first half. “

“I should have done. But it’s something we’re working on. I’d like to aim higher.”

Maybe Jamaal can get his third goal of the season at Brighton next Sunday afternoon where another win would be tremendous.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

103 comments so far

  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #1

    I would try lascelles up front from now until the end of the season, try mitrovic in defence, he’s got the height and strength just doesn’t know how to score.

    Ha ha ha

  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #2

    Wonder if the captain can make 3 goals in 3 games, can’t remember the last time a defender has done that.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #3


    Yeah Atsu has been good but he probably won’t play every week or there may be times where he plays on the right if Richie is not playing !

    Rafa may also surprise us with rotating Perez at some point with Gayle and then he really would need to step up

    Joselu he has actually been unlucky but for a world class save at Swansea he would have came into that Stoke game with 2 goals but he is creating chances for others and we look as good as I can remember us playing…. since maybe that 6 game streak of Ba, Arfa and Cisse many moons ago!!

  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Thing is every team will be watching lascelles closer than ever.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #5


    True but a lot of teams can’t defend set pieces and don’t have a powerhouse at the back like Lascalles !!

    Cannot wait for us to play Liverpool they are all over the place at anything put into the box fancy Lascalles to get one in that game possibly even just put him up front haha

  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #6

    Regarding Joselu I would be more worried if he wasn’t creating or trying to score goals, the fact that he is I’m not to bothered, he will get more chances this season because of our creative players, especially Matt Ritchie, I’ve always been a massive fan of his.

  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #7


    Liverpool are a weird team, awesome going forward but just terrible at the back, they have been like that for a few years now, instead of strengthening their defence, they would rather spend 40 million on chamberlain, what’s that about.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #8

    I was absolutely dreading the Liverpool game a couple of weeks ago but now can’t wait for it, it will be even tastier if we beat Brighton next week, the crowd are going to be massively up for it and the atmosphere will be electric.

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #9

    Dear Tsunki, AC and Tuff.
    Once again you show how you lurk in the background waiting to start a row like little bairns. Of course, you could come on and talk football, but I get it, you prefer to row with real fans who’s knowledge of the beautiful game embarrasses you. It must be hard being you. I sympathise, but maybe a blog about Newcastle United isn’t for you?
    Your entire purpose appears to be rowing with people. How sad is that? Never mind, you might grow up one day, but I won’t hold my breath.
    I was lucky enough – could be bothered enough – to see

  • Chancel be a fine thing

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #10

    ha ha, very good; just read your Rooney double joke. Brass houses….. lol

  • Bobbybee

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #11

    Whoops…. Young Arma as the best product we’d produced in years. If he makes it for us, great, if not, such is life. You can’t wait to see him fail to use as a stick against me. How sad is that!!! One of our own.
    Two of you live in the area, but can’t be arsed going to games. Equally as sad. In fact, sad sums you up pretty well.
    This is a blog for Newcastle fans. To talk football. Nobody wants to fight, except you lot. Sad sad sad.
    No doubt this will trigger you. Tuff into faux outrage and his ‘posters oot’ garbage. The man who hates law breakers, but happily steal football from Sky. Hypocrite.
    AC into a foul mouthed outburst about spunk trumpets etc. Yuk.
    Tsunki into, well, just bullshit.
    It’s boring. You’re boring. Very boring. Very childish for grown men. In fact, yes, sad.
    Ha ha ha ha. 🙂 Nobody needs me to tell them that though. Grow up eh? (some chance) Bye kiddies. xxx

  • Mister Tuff

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #12

    Bobbybee – could you explain how submitting a joke post about Armstrong is wanting to start a row like little bairns.
    I note that previously another poster described Armstrong as being 4′ 8″ tall. Surprise surprise you never sought to rebuke that poster – clearly you have your targets to abuse.

    After all the rows/abuse you’ve dished out this last week how can you have the audacity to accuse others of the same thing.
    Give it a rest.

  • Chancel be a fine thing

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #13

    On Armstrong, I haven’t seen enough of him to judge; or of the way Bolton play. But I would put money on Aguero failing to score for them and being benched for not holding the hoofed ball up.
    Last season he was loaned to a newly promoted Barnsley. I think it the fault of the club and their obsession with “championship experience”. In my view his career would be better served playing for a top team, who play to his style, but are in a lower league.

  • jayphoto

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #14

    @hibbit, lee charnley.. not writing Joselu off, love his general play etc.. There was a Spanish football guy on the radio talking about him who was saying the composure in the finish is the difference of Joselu being a 5m striker and a 50m striker and that lack of killer finish has followed him round through his career. Could be a player that is dynamite in a 2 up top though

  • hibbit

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #15

    Jail for Ashley

    St James was jumping on Saturday long long time since the whole ground got it together
    go on to beat Brighton and then its bring on Liverpool
    its great not to have that feeling of dread when your walking up to the ground
    not for one minute am i saying we will beat every one but now we know these lads will at least give it a try and the crowd love it

    101% for Rafa and the boys

  • hibbit

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #16

    if that’s the case lets hope Rafa and his coaches can bring it out of him
    because the ability is there he might just need that bit help bring it out

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #17

    Lascelles keep it to yourself lad, you don’t want to alert every club that you love how zonal marking gives you the upper hand.

    As great as Lascelles has been the publicity he’s has been getting because of two consecutive goals is a bit over the top. I all for it as he has been immense for us but he has to do it even more consistently for me to react as many have. If pundits and the press keep going on about how well he’s doing he will probably end up playing for England in Russia this coming summer. I would love to see that happen, but as he’s and English lad and a towering figure at the back they think he’s the next John Terry. I find it funny tbh.

    I do think that Lascelles will one day play for England though and if he carries in this vein of form it might not be too far off. I just love it that we finally have a good solid defense after years of embarrassing backlines.

  • G

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #18

    With regard to comments about the up coming Liverpool game, if ever there was a good time to play them, then it’s now. Let’s hope Kloppity doesn’t manage to sort them out in the next 2 weeks.

  • wynsleap

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #19

    Best to keep quiet Lascelles. People will start to think you are being a bighead with your comments and knowing the anti-Toon press it won’t take long.
    It’s early days in your new ‘scoring’ career fella. Don’t spoil it. Just get on with the business and let your deeds matter more than words.

  • pablos left foot

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #20

    I know it’s off current subject but I feel i have to say, on behalf of Newcastle fans worldwide….Adrian Durham’s a total prat.
    Phew, glad I’ve got that off my chest.

  • Toonces

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #21

    Interesting to see how Rafa has rebuilt our defense since he came to us. Yedlin brings real pace, Clark, Lascelles and Dummett are all 6’+. Lejeuune as well. Even Mbemba filling in for Dummett is right about 6′ himself. That’s a pretty tall core of defenders that can play a physical game as well as being decent footballers. When Dummett comes back in, Rafa will need to figure out what to do with Mbemba as I think he would prefer Dummett as the natural LB. My opinion at the moment would be to sit Hayden and play Mbemba as DM. I don’t think that Rafa sees Mbemba in this role but then I would never have thought to play him at LB. Maybe Mbemba is showing Rafa that he can carry out instructions so he will be trusted more. Hayden has been shaky and late on more than a few challenges the last couple games. Although we won, I think he could use a spell on the bench.

  • Toonces

    Sep 18, 2017 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #22

    I do realize Lascelles and Dummett were here before Rafa, but he has continued the trend and getting this group organized has made them a touch nut to crack.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #23

    Goodness Bobby do you feel better now? Great.

  • Mister Tuff

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #24

    Think Lascelles current goal exploits will have other teams worried. How do you stop him?
    If you defend zonally he’ll get the run and jump on you.
    Seems to me only way is to block his run – if this happens and it’s a foul hopefully we’ll get a pen.
    The defenders dilema could also lead to opportunities for the likes of Joselu and Clark to get their heads on the ball.

    Great improvement on the corner to Williamson days.

  • Tsunki

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #25

    Pablo – i think you are probably a better player than me 🙂 can’t claim my woeful technique is all that great but then if you never practice it doesn’t stick around so I’ve only myself to blame. 😀

  • Tsunki

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #26

    Yes for all Lascelles is maybe enjoying his 15 minutes, it’s a far cry from willow on that back stick lark.

  • bosamuelson

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #27

    Get this sorted out lads 🙂


  • carl

    Sep 18, 2017 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #28

    Bobby bee

    I like our pressing style this season. We’re a very fit team that can compete throughout and doesn’t let a team settle. The good run is based on Rafa’s metiticulous organisation, Planning and a fantastic team spirit, Matt Ritchie has an outstanding work ethic and is an example to all. It will be interesting to be matched against Liverpool soon because I can see Rafa looking to exploit their defensive weaknesses.
    It seemed as if the crowd shared the teams strong belief which meant we grew into the game with conviction. Its what we’ve always said we want a team that really cares. As many have said no egos- there’s no i in team.

    For the first time in years you do get the feeling that they want to play for The Toon. Ritchie isn’t the only guy with a great work ethic. Lascelles is i imagine exceeding even Rafa’s expectations and his captaincy has come to the fore and his driving the team onwards is refreshing when compared to previous captains. Not since Nolan have we had such a driving force in the team. Early days but let’s enjoy it.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 18, 2017 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #29

    — 9 — Newcastle United‘s nine point total through five matches is the best start to a season by a promoted team in the Premier League era.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 18, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #30

    Stats are funny thing but non the less a good read:

    According to Whoscored Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez made more tackles (7) than any other player in the Premier League this weekend during Saturday’s win over Stoke.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 18, 2017 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #31

    Lindis…I am impressed with Huddersfield’s start as well this season

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 18, 2017 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #32

    That was quite mild for you bobs, did you take your medication beforehand?

    Smiley face.

    Please refrain from dumping me in with that degenerate tsunki. I’m fine all by my little old self thanks very much.

    Smiley face. Vom.

  • toontaff2

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #33

    Martoon will be able to tell us if anyone had Lascalles as top goalscorer!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #34

    Not sure what the deal is with Armstrong. Surely if he was that good then top Championship clubs would have been aware that Barnsley never played to his strengths and a club that did would have took him on. Tammy Abrahams was in a very poor Bristol team last year who just escaped relegation and bagged 20+ and a PL club. Going from a mid table Championship club then to a bottom of the league team with people suggesting he should drop down again doesn’t bode well for the lad. If he isn’t going to shine unless a team plays exactly to his strengths then he hasn’t got enough in his locker.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #35

    I watched the Sky interview of Mike Ashley the other day; whilst Leicester winning the league was a highly unlikely event, I was shocked at how vociferous MA was that such a small funded club would do it again.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #36

    # would NOT do it again

  • Ketsbaia9

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #37

    Would rather see Saivet in the team than Hayden. Hayden can’t shoot.

  • cyprus

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #38

    Think I recall him scoring from outside the box. But, yes, he hasn’t been given much of a chance. Not many deserve to be substituted these days. Chances should come for all, it’s a long season.

    Anyway, don’t think it’s really his job to shoot per se. If Joselu and Mitrovic can do it, together with the wingers, we should be ok.

  • cyprus

    Sep 18, 2017 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #39

    I responded to that and forgot why I came on!

    Liverpool. Have you watched them play? They’re very good. Fast, pressing, before the sending off City were easily second best. We’ll need to be very vigilant and we’ll need some luck. Maybe a penalty and sending off (concurrently). That would help.

  • Belfast

    Sep 18, 2017 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #40

    True, but they still can’t defend for toffee.
    So plenty of free kicks, corners and long balls, should cause some mayhem.


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