At just 23, Jamaal Lascelles is comfortably the youngest captain in the Premier League and the NUFC skipper has offered a brilliant insight into what life is really like for him at Newcastle United – admitting he sometimes has to ‘pinch himself’ when he drives past St James’ Park!
Looking back, Rafa handed the former Forest defender the armband when he was just 22 – with this all arriving ahead of one of the most crucial periods of the club’s history following relegation last summer.
His leadership on and off the pitch has been second to none since that moment and, as we’ve seen this season, he’s developing into a centre-back worthy of an England call-up if he can maintain his early season form.
Here’s what the skipper said about being captain of Newcastle United football club – an honour which is clearly not lost on Lascelles:
“It’s obviously a massive deal,”
“Sometimes I’ll drive past the ground, look at the stadium and think ‘I’m the captain of this club – it’s unbelievable’.”
He then opened up about the support he receives behind the scenes in his role, admitting that he initially struggled with the concept of him putting senior pro’s in their place as a 23-year old captain:
“I’ve got good people around me, very supportive,”
“Obviously, the fans are a big help and the manager’s got a lot of trust in me.
“People have made it easier than maybe I thought it would be.
“I used to think ‘who am I to tell a 28-year-old senior pro?’, because when I’m 28 there won’t be any 23-year-old’s telling me, that’s for sure!
“I used to think that, but we’ve got good lads, and it’s only for a good cause.”
Lascelles then commented on his team-talk in the dressing room before Saturday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, revealing how the game-plan eventually started to work for us:
“Our team-talk was ‘start the game fast, get them on the back foot’. That’s what we did, and eventually things started to fall for us.
“Every game we’ve played, we’ve had chances. If we’re tight down the other end, which we were (against Palace), these clean sheets will win you things.”
“We work so hard in training, I definitely think it’s helping us out, just because of how intense we are. We’re a young team with an average of 25. You can see on pitch that we’re very intense and we’re all very passionate.”
Yet more brilliant words from a brilliant captain.
His development on and off the pitch continues to impress us all and long may that last!