Jamaal Lascelles was left out of the matchday 18 yesterday for the Chelsea game, because of a slight ankle injury but he will likely be back for the League Cup tie at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
Rumors were circulating before the game that Rafa and his captain had an argument on the training field and that Jamaal had refused to play in a back three on the right-hand side.
Rafa played Federico Fernandez in the middle in his debut and Fabian Scar on the right – again in his debut with left-footed Ciaran Clark on the left.
All three played well in what was a dogged fighting display by the lads in a 2-1 defeat.
Rafa Benitez – on the touchline yesterday
The reports could be accurate but both Rafa and the captain made light of it after the game.
Here’s a tweet sent out by Jamaal:
Frustrating not to be able to play today due to a slight ankle injury. Great effort from the boys against a top team
— Jamaal Lascelles (@Lascelles16) August 26, 2018
And this is how Rafa explained the absence of Jamaal after the game:
“Jamaal had an ankle problem and we decided we had enough with what we had. We have enough center-backs That’s it.”
Both men are mature and hopefully will not let this altercation break their strong relationship and the great work they do for Newcastle United.
We don’t want any self-inflicted damage done at Newcastle – we get enough pundits trying to do that all the time – including after the game yesterday.
We hope to see Jamaal captaining the side on Wednesday night at Nottingham Forest, and we need a win in that game.
Jonjo Shelvey also missed the game but he will be out for a couple of weeks so he will miss the next two games before the two-week International break with Ki Sung-yueng deputizing in central midfield.