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Jonathan Woodgate talks about Jamaal Lascelles – New Exclusive Interview

3 years ago
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For most Newcastle fans, Jonathan Woodgate is surely the best defender they have ever seen at St James Park.

He really was a different class but just as in the rest of his career, the big problem at NUFC was how injury prone he was.

Nevertheless, after Sir Bobby Robson paid Leeds £9m for Jonathan Woodgate in January 2003, it was a real education for Toon fans to see what a real top class defender was all about.

The only problem then was that his form for Newcastle caught the eye of Real Madrid and only 19 months later, Woodgate was heading for the Spanish capital.

In a new exclusive interview, Jonathan Woodgate has cast his eye over the current crop of English centre-backs and picked out Jamaal Lascelles for special mention.

The former England international says that Lascelles is a leader but he will only be able to be properly judged once Newcastle are back in the Premier League.

However, Woodgate believes that Jamaal Lascelles has really fallen on his feet with the presence of Rafa Benitez as his manager, somebody who the now Liverpool scout believes is ‘tactically perfect’.

Name-checking Jamie Carragher, Jonathan Woodgate says that the former Liverpool defender told him that Rafa was ‘unbelievable at setting up a defence’, with Jamaal Lascelles set now to be educated by the Champions League winning manager, just as Carragher was.

Jonathan Woodgate, speaking exclusively to 888sport:

‘Lascelles needs to prove himself in Prem before England recognition’

“It’s hard to give a view on a player when he’s playing at Championship level, to say whether he can do it at England level.

“You have to see him in the Premier League week in, week out to see if he’d cope. I know he played last season but they were relegated and he was only involved towards the end.

He’s captain of Newcastle now and is a leader and as they’re top of the league he can’t be doing too bad a job.

“He’s also playing under a manager in Rafa Benitez who is tactically perfect.

“Jamie Carragher always said he was unbelievable at setting up a defence and I’m sure Jamie learned so much from Benitez. Lascelles will as well.”

Read the full 888sport interview with Jonathan Woodgate, including his thoughts on why England are struggling for centre-halves.

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