There are several good reasons why Jamaal Lascelles was the choice to be the Newcastle captain a couple of years ago when he was just 22 years-old.
Rafa Benitez made the youngster captain based on his playing potential but also on his fine leadership skills.
And it has paid off with Jamaal starring the last two seasons and providing some excellent leadership both on and off the pitch for Newcastle.
The 24-year-old often speaks out in the press, and today he has talked about how angry he was when pundits early in the campaign last year labeled the team as a Championship side playing in the Premier League.
Rafa Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles – taken after the win over Arsenal
Here’s what Jamaal said, as reported today in the Shields Gazette:
“As captain of this team, it’s not nice to hear ‘this team’s not good enough’ and ‘you need better players’. It angers me.”
“I know these boys, and I know how good they are. Not only that, I know they’ll give 110% for the badge, and that’s why we’ve not had to worry about relegation.”
“With five games to go, we were clear and in mid-table. These boys have so much about them, and I’m so pleased we proved those doubters wrong.”
“To be safe with five games to go, we were then setting new targets and seeing how far we could push.”
“The four games we had left we weren’t able to reach those targets.”
“But then we finished the season off in a real positive way.”
“Overall, it’s been an unreal season as far as I’m concerned, both for me personally, and more importantly for the club.”
“Our target was to stay up and get a real grasp of the Premier League, but we’ve done so much more than that.”
“They put so much time and effort into supporting us,” “They really appreciate us, and I just want them to know how much we appreciate them.”
“I can’t thank the supporters enough. Hopefully, next season we can give them another positive one.”
One of the pundits who said we were only a Championship side was Alan Shearer.
But as the season progressed Shearer praised the excellent job done by the manager Rafa Benitez.
And the players deserve that same level of congratulations because they showed great determination and pride and the season ended up as another successful season.
We hope next season is even better.
These comments epitomize the pride, determination, and toughness shown by the Newcastle captain and also his excellent relationship with the fans.