Steve Harmison has raved about Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie for their commitment to Newcastle United, saying that Michael Owen’s recent admission have made him appreciate them more.
Owen has claimed in his new book, via the Chronicle, that he did not want to sign for Newcastle from Real Madrid in 2005, comments which led to a row with Alan Shearer on Twitter.
Former England cricketer Harmison, who supports Newcastle, has but aside that spat for a moment to share how much it has made him realise that the current players at St James’ Park care a whole lot more than players like Owen did, even though they have been constantly slated for their quality.
“This whole spat between Owen and Shearer makes me appreciate what Newcastle have got from a players’ point of view,” Harmison told talkSPORT on Thursday, as shown via the radio station’s official Twitter account.
“Forget the off-field stuff for this moment in time, but appreciate what they’ve got.
“The likes of Lascelles, who’s captain, Dummett and Ritchie.”
He added: “These people actually want to play for the club.
“They’ve been labelled as Championship players, they’ve been labelled as not good enough for the Premier League.
“They’ve got on with their job, they’ve finished what 11th, 13th? These players want to play for the club.”
Harmison has a really good point here and yes, if you do ignore the off-field problems, at least Newcastle fans can say that they have a really good core of senior players who want to be at St James’ Park and will do whatever it takes to help steer the club in the right direction. Dummett has been a real leader for the Magpies in the opening weeks of this season. While it is expected of Lascelles as he is club captain, Dummett has been someone who has stepped up massively in terms of his actions and his performances on the pitch. The Welshman has even retired from international duty in a bid to help prolong his career at St James’ Park and add further improvement to his game at club level. That is the commitment that Newcastle need from their players and it’s probably what will stop them from getting relegated this season. We’ve seen teams in the past who have gone down with some really good players in their side, but if they don’t care about the club, then they’ll never play as well as the likes of Lascelles, Dummett and Ritchie do for the Magpies.