Stephen Warnock didn’t hold back when assessing the performance of Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles in the 5-0 defeat to Leicester City.
The Sky Sports pundit pointed out how the centre-back was “petrified” all game and claimed that all Leicester attacker Jamie Vardy needed to do in order to get the better of him, was run at him.
Warnock added that Lascelles kept dropping off every single time Vardy ran at him before acknowledging that Newcastle boss Steve Bruce had a lot of work to do regarding his defence.
“It’s not the first time it happened (Lascelles dropping deep),” said Warnock on Football Centre (Sky Sports News, 11:19am, Monday, September 30th).
“He was petrified all game and you think that to a point, Jamie Vardy didn’t have to make any intelligent runs all game, it was just run at him and Lascelles kept dropping off every single time.
“Steve Bruce has a lot of work to do with the backline.”
Warnock’s criticism of Lascelles is warranted as the Newcastle star clearly had a bad day at the office on Sunday. The 25-year-old was constantly bypassed during the match and this was the case despite the centre-back being so deep at times that he could effectively high-five goalkeeper Martin Dubravka if he wanted to. Lascelles failed to make any tackles, which is rather telling, and while he did register three interceptions and five clearances (Source: WhoScored), which was more than any other player, that just reflects how often Brendan Rodger’s side were steaming towards the centre-back. The only reason why Warnock’s remarks on Lascelles could be possibly viewed as a little bit harsh is because the Magpies had so many underperforming players on Sunday that it does seem a little unfair to single one player out in particular. However when you’re a high-profile member of Newcastle’s squad, he is the captain after all, then perhaps he should be the player that pundits look to when analysing what went wrong.