Malcolm Macdonald has questioned the form of Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles so far this season, claiming he has looked “nervy”.
The Toon skipper is currently sidelined with a knee injury that is expected to keep him out until the new year, as per the BBC.
But Supermac doesn’t believe he will be a huge miss.
Writing in a column for the Chronicle, he said: “To be truthful I haven’t been all that impressed with him this season.
“Oh, he looks the part. A true athlete and an elegant runner. But he’s been nervy and uncomfortable at times.”
This feels a little bit unfair on Lascelles, truth be told. The Toon skipper hasn’t been perfect this season by any metric, but he has put in a good shift, and he has been a key figure for Steve Bruce’s men so far this term. The centre-back has averaged 4.9 clearances and 1.3 interceptions per game so far this term, as per Whoscored, and he has, for the most part, been a dependable and solid option at the heart of defence. Beyond his playing contribution, however, he also brings a real sense of leadership to the Toon Army, and not having him marshal that backline could prove to be a real blow as well. You can perhaps understand why Supermac might believe he can do more for his side, but in the grand scheme of things, implying that they won’t miss him seems a little excessive.