If there’s anything that sums up the change in mentality across the club over last 18 months, it’s Jamaal Lascelles‘ assessment of last weekend’s heavy defeat to an out of sorts Man Utd side.
In a club interview with NUFC TV, the skipper says we should have “shut up shop a little bit more” against the Red Devils, suggesting we should’ve perhaps “gone for the draw“.
You can read his comments below, but it’s alarming that he says this about a Man Utd side who we all know conceded SIX the week before and came to St James’ Park with their backs firmly against the wall.
This was the PERFECT chance to set up with all our top attackers on the pitch and have a real go at a team who were there for the taking – yet we sat back and rolled over, making our approach so frustrating when the skipper claims we “fancied ourselves” before the game.
Here’s that what he had to say to the club’s official website:
“Obviously, we were all upset and quite angry at ourselves really.
“Started off pretty good, the team we set out and the instructions given, we fancied ourselves in the game.
“Obviously going a goal up to Man United, even at t 1-1, we thought, Darlow has made a great save from the penalty, we thought is it one of those days when it is our day but I think we kind of pushed on too much.
“We maybe should have realised you know, playing against Man United and kind of just shut up shop a little bit more, and just, you know, kind of gone for the draw and looked to counter attack them or something.
“But were just a bit too open and it killed it at the end.”
I know people hate his name being mentioned and want us all to move on, but this shows the shift in mentality at the club since Rafa Benitez’s exit.
OK, the Spaniard sometimes set us up too defensively, but we’d always try and win the game late on if we’d spent the first 70 staying in it.
Not only that, we at least looked solid and organised when we ‘shut up shop’ under Rafa Benitez – meanwhile this Steve Bruce side has us forcing our goalkeeper into more saves than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues, and it’s not like there’s much conviction about us at the other end as a result of our defensive naivety!
I like Lascelles and often think he speaks well and so honestly, but it’s deeply concerning if this is what he took from that awful attempt to beat a battered and bruised Man Utd last weekend.