BBC pundit Garth Crooks was left wowed by the performance of Newcastle United centre back Jamaal Lascelles against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
The Englishman rose highest to head the Magpies ahead at S James’ Park, only for them to be pegged back in the 1-1 draw, and Crooks was blown away by his performance.
“After a poor start to the season Newcastle responded to some very sharp criticism,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website. ” Leadership has been the key both on and off the pitch. Jamaal Lascelles has been quite brilliant in that department for Newcastle.
“He takes responsibility in defence and is not afraid to attack in the opponent’s box. Wolves, on the other hand, looked the better side in the second half but Newcastle held the fort and with 10 men. Newcastle displayed plenty of bottle.”
There’s no doubt that Lascelles was the man to step up to the plate and lead Steve Bruce’s side to a decent point on Sunday, all things considered. The Englishman is still a very young player, especially for a captain, but he is a born leader and we saw that against Wolves. He showed beleaguered Newcastle striker Joelinton how to power home a header with the goal, rising into the air and converting Federico Fernandez’s excellent cross with aplomb. The statistics show that the 25-year-old was excellent on Sunday. As per WhoScored.com, he actually had two shots against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, with one of them obviously being on target. He also made an interception and three clearances, while he completed his 33 passes with a 93.9% pass success rate, with three of his four long balls forward finding their intended target. There’s not been much to get excited about at Newcastle this season, but the resurgence of Lascelles has certainly been something positive for the Toon Army.