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?