Date: 15th April 2019 at 7:10am
Written by:

OPINION

There is no questioning that Jamaal Lascelles is a very worthy captain of Newcastle United.

His leadership capabilities have been on display since he stepped into the first team on a regular basis, and all the Newcastle fans will have heard the story about him tearing into his teammates as a youngster in their relegation season.

Handed the armband by manager Rafael Benitez, he has continued to grow, marshalling the back line expertly and putting in some top quality performances at the heart of the defence.

However, this season has also seen him put in a shaky display or two, especially when tasked with trying to work in a back three, and while his dedication to the cause cannot be questioned, his technical capabilities can be.

That does not seem to have bothered Gary Neville at all, who left a rave review about how his commitment and leadership in the black and white stripes was outstanding.

Speaking on Sky Sports Friday Night Football (12/04, 19:45) he said: “I always feel that he is the leader in the back five, the one who sets the example. I remember doing a game up there at Christmas time against Manchester United, and I thought he was absolutely incredible, throws himself at everything.

“When you think of Newcastle’s fans they always want that passion, the leader, someone to believe in, and for me he is the one on the pitch who wears the shirt with pride and passion.”

High praise indeed, but if the 25-year-old thinks that he can rest easy he needs to think again.

Passion will only get you so far. His footballing ability needs to be on show and simply put, that has not always been the case for Lascelles.