It was not the comeback that Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles would have wanted.
After missing out against Bournemouth before the international break through injury, the English powerhouse and club captain was reinstated to the starting XI for the visit to Arsenal, Federico Fernandez finding himself dropped to the bench.
However, despite having two weeks to prepare for the trip to north London, Lascelles looked a long way off the dominating presence he has proven to be in the past, allowing the Gunners to get the better of him time and again, perhaps most prominently for their second goal in the 2-0 win.
The 6’2″ tall [Transfermarkt] defender looked flat footed for most of the game and he was often all out of shape when it came to his defensive positioning – perhaps showing that you cannot just step straight back into the fray after time away.
Unfortunately, manager Rafael Benitez does not have any place for passengers in this side, not least at the heart of the defence, and after his shocker at the Emirates Stadium he is surely in the doghouse with the manager.
To make matters worse for the 25-year-old, the Spaniard has plenty of other options to take his place, the aforementioned Fernandez and the returning Fabian Schar, who missed out through suspension on Monday night, both looking to take their place in the starting XI.
After what was seen by the Toon Army, the captain’s place in the line up cannot be safe.