Jamaal Lascelles has done very well since Rafa Benitez came to the club on Friday, March 11th, 2016.
Jamaal got very little playing time under the former manager Steve McClaren but Rafa immediately saw Jamaal’s playing potential and obvious leadership qualities.
The Derby-born player went straight into the side and did so well and Rafa made him captain that summer when he was only 22 years old.
He had played only 21 games for the first team at that point – he has now played 113 games for the Magpies.
Newcastle manager and captain
Jamaal has talked about how strong-minded Rafa is and that players do not question the decisions he makes.
This is what he has said in the Chronicle today:
“I don’t think anybody can question the manager.”
“He is the one who picks the right starting eleven and he has managed at the top level.”
“As players we know that and respect it.” “We all trust the manager.”
“He treats everybody the same.” “The door is always open and he will go through everything each team.
“Little things he will speak to you about.” “But he’s strong-minded and whatever he says goes.”
“I had his full backing.” “He has made me captain and pretty sure he wants to be here.”
“He has been a huge factor in my development from the minute he walked in until now.”
“I have found myself improving as a player, captain and person.” “His door is always open.”
“Since I have been here good things have happened to me.”
“I’m 24 and a lot of the lads in the dressing room are older than me.” “But I can deal with the pressure.”
“I have got good people around me and I know what to do in certain situations.”
“The manager also guides me and tells me how to do certain things.”
“He’s had captains like John Terry and Steven Gerrard.” “He’s done it all.”
“I know he wanted to keep me happy (regarding the new contract).”
Jamaal is recovering from a shoulder injury and we are hoping he will be fully fit for our next game a week on Monday at Turf Moor.
But Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez have been in great form over the last couple of games and could keep their places in central defense.
What do you think?