After being disappointed to miss out on the England world cup squad, Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles has returned to pre-season training in buoyant mood – and his first message to both players and fans is an absolutely brilliant one.
Along side Jonjo Shelvey, he was unlucky to miss out on the 23 man squad and will no doubt be watching the success in Russia with envy, but he’s sounding as focused and fiery as ever.
In true character, he issued this statement as he returned to training;
“We play for one another. We play for the badge. We play for the fans and the staff and, of course, for our families.
“There’s not one player here that would try to just play here to try and get a move or for more or whatever.
“It’s not about that. We’re loyal.”
It has been a meteoric rise for Lascelles, who brilliantly captained Newcastle an above expectations 10th spot in the Premier League last season. We saw a team lacking in quality but one that was well drilled by a world class manager a team that left it all out on the field. This is a contrast the sides we have had in recent seasons who lacked heart as we suffered two relegations within a decade. Lascelles marshalled the back four and was a clear inspiration for the squad, as he sets the tone with his outstanding attitude on and off the field.
Fans are rightly tense and concerned with the lack of intent showed so far this summer, as a similar trend of penny pinching from owner Mike Ashley reveals itself yet again. However, thanks to Benitez and Lascelles we have a squad who are proud to play for Newcastle United and represent us with so much passion.
Newcastle fans famously held up a banner that we want players who try – well we finally have just that.
With some extra additions and Rafa backed – we could have something special. With the World Cup winding down let’s hope we get some good news on the transfer front.
? Skipper @Lascelles16 spoke to NUFC TV about what today's first day of pre-season training entailed.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 6, 2018