Rondon’s inclusion is no real surprise, with the big man leading the line well and grabbing the all important winner, but many may be surprised to hear Lascelles’ inclusion – with him VERY lucky to stay on the pitch after a reckless first half challenge on Laurent Depoitre.
That said, he recovered well and stood strong in the end, with it good to see him receiving credit after his horror show against Wolves last weekend.
Heres’ what Garth has said about both Rondon and Lascelles during his ‘team of the week’ piece for the BBC:
“Lascelles was very lucky to have finished the game against Huddersfield.
“Referee Anthony Taylor thought the tackle on Laurent Depoitre was nothing more than a bookable offence.
“I must say I wasn’t sure but what I do know is that everything the defender did thereafter was commandingly brilliant.
“Did you know? Jamaal Lascelles made nine clearances, two interceptions and one block to help preserve Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Huddersfield.”
“This lad deserved his goal for the way he persevered up front on his own for the best part of the game.
“In seasons gone by Salomon Rondon would never have lasted the 90 minutes – his fitness levels would never have allowed it.
“A much fitter Rondon is not only leading the line effectively for Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle, but is looking a real goal threat upfront.
“Benitez is performing miracles again with these players.
“Did you know? Salomon Rondon has been directly involved in six of Newcastle United’s 14 Premier League goals so far this season (four goals, two assists).”
It’s interested to see Crook suggest that Rondon’s fitness levels at West Brom would have ‘never have allowed’ him to put in the sort of shifts he is for Newcastle.
He may be right, but I always got the feeling Rondon never struggled physically – with him always putting in 110% when I watched him for the Baggies – but instead struggled in front of goal.