With the warm, but for most Newcastle fans, thankful departure of Fabricio Coloccini, the question beckons, who is next in line?
Since he stepped up following the harrowing defeat to Southampton last season, Jamaal Lascelles appears to be the front man to take the role out of the players who remain from the last campaign. For a young man, who may come across as outspoken to some, his attitude is exactly what the club needs. I don’t know what took it so long for one of the players to share their dismay at the team prior to the interview which followed the game. It’s clear that his passion is there, but does he have the experience and composure to lead the squad through a potential 50 + game season?
New boy Jesus Gamez is also being pitted to take up the club’s captaincy. Previous experience across the sea in Spain for both Malaga and Atletico Madrid has seen him rack up over 300 club appearances during his career, which includes Champions League game time. Being captain at Malaga in the past stands him in good stead, especially with his Spanish roots which I think will sit well with Benitez. Will his English be up to the job which he could be destined for?
Next up is want-away Moussa Sissoko. Not only did his performances improve for us when he was paired with the armband, but the ability to take that from club to country level was evident. However, what was also clear was a lack of desire before being appointed the role. That in itself, along with others with the same feelings may have led to the downfall of the clubs Premier League status though. £35 million may be slightly overpriced for a player of his calibre, but doesn’t that beg the question of what Rafa sees in the lad?
Jonjo Shelvey. Stripped of the captaincy after less than 10 games running the show last term, does he have the charisma and determination to lead us back up to the top flight? For some, I suspect they believe it was another one of Stevie Mac’s idea’s which led us into the 2nd tier of English football, but for others, his personality is something to be looked upon and used going forward. Perhaps it was the nature of the fight for survival that contributed to his less than adequate performances and in turn, him being stripped of the captaincy. Will RB give him another chance?
Other candidates which spring to mind are the likes of Jack Colback and even Cheick Tiote. In spite of Tiote’s links to a move away, his hard working and unresolved spirit may sway the decision of top dog Benitez. The same can be said for Jack Colback, who’s determination put into every match, something we lacked last season, may see him heading the list to be captain.
On the other hand, maybe a new face will be handed the armband and the job of getting Newcastle back to where they belong. What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.