Gareth Southgate announced the latest England squad and the lack of depth currently available to the national side become clear when skimming through the call ups. Newcastle stars Lascelles and Shelvey were hopeful of being included, both due to their good form and a lack of other options available. In years gone by, they would have been unlikely to have been considered but with our options limited it seems crazy to think the likes of Mawson and Livermore have been given the nod ahead of the NUFC pair.
Here’s how it could actually be a good thing for Newcastle though…
We need both fit for Huddersfield
After the win over Southampton, NUFC have a rare situation of 21 days before games, which may help Rafa prepare the game plan to overcome Huddersfield. It is a massive game for us and a win would put us on 35 points with 7 games to play and a great chance of staying up.
If Lascelles and Shelvey had been called dup, they would have no doubt been keen to impress and be busting a gut to impress Southgate in training ahead of the World Cup. It would have been our luck if they had picked up injuries.
Lascelles influence in the team is massive, with us tending to struggle when he’s missing, and after two assists last time out, Shelvey tends to be the creative force in our home games too.
Performing for England could attract interest from rival clubs
Especially for Lascelles, who has been linked with Chelsea. Selfishly for Newcastle, the less exposure they receive the less likely clubs are likely to bid for them.
We, of course, want the best for the players but we also need to be building a team around our best performers. Lascelles is our captain and if we can stay up and be taken over, he will hopefully stay on Tyneside for many years to come. A lack of England recognition could help us keep him at the club.
A distraction to the task at hand?
Rafa has consistently delivered the message all season to players and fans of ‘staying calm’. This strong mental attitude and togetherness has helped us overcome a lack of quality to hopefully pull ourselves clear of trouble come May.
Call up’s now may have distracted two of our key players at the most crucial time of the season. We still need more points and both will have a massive say in getting us over the safety line this year.
Missing out forces them to up their game even further at NUFC
In particular for Shelvey, he has been in and out of the side this season and with him finally finding form, maybe it’s a good thing to keep him motivated and knowing he needs to be more consistent and do more to get in the England side. He has the attributes to be a top player but consistency and attitude hold him back, so further incentives for him to improve can only help his form for Newcastle.
Similarly Lascelles knows he is behind Mawson in the pecking order now, which most Newcastle fans won’t agree with, but a snub like this can only drive him on.
Do you think they should be in the England squad? Or is this good news for Newcastle?