Lascelles A Strong Leader With Good Character – But He Can Still Improve

Rafa Benitez when he arrived at Newcastle almost two years ago he quickly picked out Jamaal Lascelles as not only a good young player but a strong leader.

He quickly impressed Rafa, and it wasn’t long before Jamaal was a regular in the team that just failed to avoid relegation two years ago.

Jamaal was named the captain in the summer of 2016 even though he was only 22 old at the time.

He then helped to lead Newcastle back to the Premier League at the very first attempt last season.

He had a good season even though he was playing with a slight groin injury from October of 2016, and as soon as we were sure mathematically of promotion he had surgery on his groin.

That showed Newcastle fans the level of commitment of this young player and Newcastle play better and are more robust in defense with Lascelles in the side.

Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle captain

Rafa is a big fan, but he thinks the England U21 International can still improve and maybe become an England International.

This is what Rafa has said as reported today in the Shields Gazette:

“Always I say the same, he has plenty of room for improvement.”

“He has a great attitude. He’s working on his leadership as a captain, so I think it’s quite positive for the team.” 

“Still, he can improve things.”

“But in terms of mentality, character, he’s someone who is going in the right direction, and that’s the main thing for us and the club.”

“That’s because you don’t have too many center-backs around with this presence and this character.”

“If he continues learning things, he can be an important player in England.”

“If he can improve a lot during these months – and I’m sure he will continue improving – you never know (he could make England squad for World Cup).”

“He’s not now in the squad, but if they have a couple of problems, maybe he could be there.” “But, to have a chance to do that, he has to continue working hard and improving.”

“He’s someone who has great potential because he’s keen to learn in every training session.”

“He has to improve because he’s always open to hear and then trying to follow your advice if you’re telling him something.”

“We’re clever enough to understand the difference is very small in points. “There are only a few points between six teams, which is not too much.”

“In two games, everything can change.”

We are just two points above the relegation zone on 22 points from our 22 games, and we need a win today against bottom club Swansea City at home who have only 16 points.

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Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #1


  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #2

    In order to play the free flowing football you desire where we score four and don’t concede it takes better players. At the moment Rafa is trying to eke out results with what we have got.
    I noticed on the day you we beat Luton your match day bile was reduced to posting 1-0, 2-0 I’m not sure if you stopped in disgust by the time we got to three and didn’t read the second half comments. Funny that while we were winning you said foot all yet when things aren’t going well you’ve got plenty to say.

  • Mr Funk

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #3

    Maybe this is the announcement we have been waiting for – see link

    Can’t have potential new owner of NUFC not allowing women in his own country to watch football!

  • Jib

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #4

    The African cup of Nations opens today
    in Morrocco
    The only player that we could have lost
    Christian Atsu for Uganda will not be there
    The Ungandan coach Sébastien Desabre
    has decided to use only African based players

  • ShireToon

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #5

    Matchday bloggers will be out in force again today. Glad I won’t on to see them.

    Come on lads, get into em, fcuk em up!


  • sparky55

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #6

    I agree with catchy…we need to play less safe and build confidence through positive play and attitude instead of a having a bunker siege mentality and spend most of the day defending.

    We proved we can do it against West Ham…why not play the same way at every away fixture and be more positive at home…what’s wrong with that?

  • ShireToon

    Jan 13, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #7

    Baileys on cornflakes ain’t bad 😳

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 13, 2018 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #8

    Did you listen to Rafas presser, teams come up here and dig in and are harder to break down. Plus we’re shite a lot of the time.

  • carl

    Jan 13, 2018 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #9

    The blog was great last night and of particular interest to me as a toon fan was discussion on the history of our club. I was fortunate to kick off personally at the start of a good run but It didn’t just start with SJH and the Premiership as many of us younger fans appreciated last night. Good read for a change in my opinion. No tribal warfare just good value chat and historical banter.
    Someone mentioned the memorable Fulham game and this is from a series of games we have played against actually in this case below an Arsenal blog. It finishes on a low note but that’s history for you.

    “Meanwhile, back on Tyneside there would be one more Cup win in 1955, their passage to Wembley secured by beating third tier York City in the Semi Finals. After a 1-1 draw on a quagmire of a pitch at Hillsborough, Newcastle went through with a 2-0 win at Sunderland’s Roker Park. Another hero’s welcome awaited them after victory in the final. The following season in their defence of their trophy, Newcastle played out an incredible fourth road tie at Craven Cottage against a Fulham side captained by the recently departed Jimmy Hill, in which Newcastle raced into a three goal lead.

    The Cottagers managed to pull the score back to three each before Hill put Fulham 4-3 up (and from the Pathe News footage is seems that back in 1955 Jimmy was even a pioneer of football’s ecstatic celebrations, running off and high fiving his team mates in jubilation). Newcastle however put away the equaliser by simply bundling the goalkeeper over the line (which was legal then), before putting away another to secure a 5-4 victory over Fulham at the Cottage. Newcastle’s period as England’s premier cup side however came to an end with a 0-2 home defeat to Sunderland in the Quarter Finals.”

  • nufc82

    Jan 13, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #10

    Not to split hairs Jib, but Atsu is from Ghana. It’s the African Nations Championship that starts today, which is a different tournament to the African Cup of Nations. All the players that feature in the African Nations Championship have to play domestically.

  • magicmac54

    Jan 13, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #11

    Hi Jib, just to let you know Christian Atsu plays for Ghana, not Uganda, lets hope for 3 points today fellow Newcastle fans, i think we would all settle for 1-0 a wins a win. HWTL.

  • carl

    Jan 13, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #12

    Back to today’s game this really is a 6 pointer. I don’t care how we do it I just want the three points. Let’s all get behind the team and be patient, positive and support the team from the off until the final whistle.

  • Jib

    Jan 13, 2018 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #13

    peeks over the parapet expecting a Mr Tuff onslaught


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