Jamaal Lascelles Is a Great Leader – But Have Opposing Teams Found a Weakness In Him?

Very rarely in football is a choice obvious and straightforward.

However, in the summer it seemed that everyone was just waiting for Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez to name Jamaal Lascelles as his first-choice captain for this season.

Following the departures of Fabricio Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Taylor in the summer, it seemed as though Lascelles was the only candidate for the role and thus far Lascelles has been brilliant in his role as captain, however, are teams starting to spot a weakness in him?

Lascelles may be a great leader, he may be physically brilliant and have the potential to reach the very top of the game, but he does appear to have two glaring weaknesses in his game at the moment.

The first, is not all that important, although it would be useful if he could correct it. When Jonjo Shelvey is not playing, Lascelles struggles on the ball.

Shelvey has great vision and can instruct players as to where the ball should be passed, when they have it.

Without this instruction, Lascelles does not appear anywhere near as composed on the ball as he should. Instead, he appears to have to knock it long, instead of being composed, if Ciaran Clark is not available for a short pass.

Lascelles need only look to Clark and current understudy Chancel Mbemba, to see the value of composure on the ball.

In many of Newcastle’s recent defeats, the opposition seems to have been happy to allow Lascelles to have the ball, as they know he will turn over possession with some regularity.

The other hole in Lascelles’ game, is that for all his vocal prowess, he still appears to struggle when passing men on.

Regularly, those playing with him seem to follow their man for longer than they should before passing them on.

One reason for that could well be Lascelles not instructing them to do so and, if the truth be told, as captain he should be the first one to do so.

These criticisms may seem harsh, as Lascelles has been great this season, overall.

However, they are not intended to be.

They are simply things that Lascelles must correct if he is to reach his full and undoubted potential.

Lascelles is not the only young player in the squad to have missed Jonjo Shelvey, or the only one who requires improvement.

It would just be a shame if someone who is so passionate about the club, and has the potential to reach the very top of the game, was eventually singled out as a weakness because of a couple of errors.

Lascelles does have the right man guiding him. Rafa Benitez is not only a world class manager, he is a world class manager that pays specific attention to detail.

If he feels that Lascelles has any mistakes in his game, then they will soon be cut out.


One thought on “Jamaal Lascelles Is a Great Leader – But Have Opposing Teams Found a Weakness In Him?

  1. As a team this season our biggest problem has been that we play well for short periods but then we lose composure. Add that to the fact that our organisation at the back is appalling and you can see how we lose games by a single goal.

    One thing that is pretty scary is that compared to Hughton’s team 09/10 we don’t draw many games. We tend to lose our concentration and bang, we’re finished.

    When we lose it, we lose it big time, with the defence looking like a box of those clockwork penguins chattering around on a table top.

    So add to that the fact that you think he’s poor on the ball and can’t pass men on, then what exactly is it that makes him such a great captain?

    That would suggest to me that the “brilliant” Lascelles is not marshalling the team properly on the pitch.


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