Not sure exactly how many Newcastle fans would agree with him but Jamaal Lascelles says he’d be ‘happy going into the Premier League with this team’.

The United Captain declares of the current group of players ‘we’re all talented’ and that everybody ‘works hard and plays for the badge, that’s what you need’.

Whilst the squad did prove more than good enough for the Championship last season, it is difficult to see anything but a relegation struggle unless Rafa Benitez brings in at least two or three players to raise the quality of the first team. Lascelles does say that he hopes a couple of other signings will come in to strengthen the team but surely bravado claiming the current set-up is good enough.

He has strengthened the squad hopefully with the likes of Atsu, Lejeune and the imminent confirmation of Manquillo as a fourth signing of the summer – but only Jacob Murphy is the real stand out signing who could potentially be a lot better than what the club/team already had. However, he has never played in the Premier League before and it could be a steep learning curve.

A lot of the time Jamaal Lascelles speaks well but in other moments he is prone to make grand statements which aren’t as yet really backed up.

The central defender says ‘it’s going to be completely different’ to when Newcastle were relegated two seasons ago, with this one now ‘a really tight group’.

A team playing for each other is a big help but you still need the quality and Lascelles comment about all of this current squad being ‘talented’ may be true…but how does it compare to the level of talent elsewhere in the Premier League?

West Ham flirted with relegation last season and now they are in the process of spending £40m on just two players, Arnautovic and Hernandez, Ironically, these are the signings in positions where Newcastle are most desperate – another quality goalscorer to go with Gayle and an attacking midfielder who can unlock the opposition – creating and scoring goals.

Hopefully Rafa Benitez has a number of options available to still bring in – if another two or three quality players aren’t brought in then it could be a long hard season, no matter how optimistic Jamaal Lascelles may be.

Jamaal Lascelles:

“It’s going to be completely different (to the 2015/16 relegation season), we are all focused and we’ve all got a goal – a really tight group and we’re all talented.

“Hopefully, the manager can bring in a couple more players to strengthen the team.

“I’d be happy going into the Premier League with this team – everyone’s disciplined and works hard and play for the badge, that’s what you need.

“We’ll see what else happens – we have got a good team anyway.

“It (an operation) needed to happen, I waited to the end of the season and I’m glad I did, so I was a part of the team that went up.

“I’m a different player now (after the groin operation) and I feel a lot sharper, I can move about better.

“At the start we didn’t know what the injury was and it was really hard for me, as the type of player I am – it’s about being physical and fast, using athleticism.

“If you take that away, which is what happened, I was struggling towards the end of the season.

“There are no excuses now, I’m fit and strong and I’m ready to get started.”

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    A dodgy defence, a weak midfield & 1 striker

    • Wor Lass

      Don`t talk to Leazes like that – he`s your mate (note the singular).

      • Toon

        They are the same person, surely there couldn’t two people as sad , miserable, lonely, bitter and pathetic as this. “They” also have the same catchphrase.

        • Wor Monga

          and it looks like ‘the Toy Soldier’, and ‘Desree the Misree’ are on their school holidays now to help the Duel Personalty Toon Doom Duo out !!!

  • Leazes Ender

    Don’t worry Jamaal, more signings on the way, Charnley wouldn’t enter a season this unprepared with a squad which is valued at Fourteenth in the premiership value table…..

    • Wor Monga

      that’s exactly the reason why Leicester were relegated 2 season ago when they came 17th in your nerdy ‘ PL Value Table’ bluebottle…

      …but no!…that was the season they went on and won the league to became PL champions…it’s a good job for them that they didn’t take any notice of that table, isn’t it…or they’d have given up before the season kicked off!!!

      • NUFCLX

        Nice one. 1 – 0 to Wor Monga

    • Gareth Marshall

      14th would be great you muppet!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I see you set your sights high, 14th. i know who the Muppet is

        • Toon

          Go and look and Keegan posters, the world has moved on since

        • Geordie-7676

          haha any person that actually sets their sights at higher than around the 14th place the season following promotion is the real muppet.

          Consolidation is not just a word in the dictionary, but a reality and requirement.

    • Toon

      Why do you keep referring to so this transfer valuation stats, are you so thick you can’t look beyond numbers on a website. If Lee Ryder thinks they are worthless….

  • Wor Lass

    He is the captain, after all – he`s not going to say the lads aren`t up to it.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      I will, the Lad`s we have aren`t up to it and he`s in for a wake up call

  • Wor Monga

    Lascelles could well be right…what amount of ‘quality’ did Leicester, Stoke C, Bournemouth, Watford, Swansea, West Brom etc have in their ranks (or had
    just signed) when they were promoted from the Championship…very little in the shape of big name signings, PL recognised scorers or top class internationals , but they all had plenty of team spirit, commitment to the cause, effort, attitude and the good management to get them first established in the division, and then wisely used the TV money to keep them there…

    there’s now 12 other teams in the PL that have come up in more or less recent years, and very few of them even have this type of ‘quality’ (of the top 6 or 7
    clubs) totally throughout their teams, that’s why most of them will end up each season with only a few points difference between them…and in saying what he
    is saying Lascelles knows that there is considerably more of what is needed to succeed here than there was, starting the last season in the PL!!!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Same old story, NUFC cling on in the hope there`s 3 teams that are worse than us
      Viva La Rafalution

      • ToonNL

        Thats the fundamental problem with the newfound wealth.
        There are no weak teams in the league now, the promoted teams will increasingly become the favorites to drop straight back down

        • HarryHype59

          I am glad to see I am not the only one to grasp this. Watford got 109m last season for avoiding the drop and finishing seventeenth. Nufc received £41m for winning the fizzy pop league. Survival is the name of the game this season, future TV income can then be used to massively improve this squad.

    • Desree

      Leicester were almost relegated first season up.

      • Wor Monga

        but they weren’t were they, and without much difference to the value of the team from their previous ‘great escape’…they installed a good manager, and as they say the rest is history!!!

        • ToonNL

          things have changed since they were promoted though, everyone was a few quid poorer in those days and with he exception of Bournemouth, each have had years to consolidate with reasonable success.

          the bar raises each year with the new money. As long as we survive we should keep our heads above the water but a second relegation would leave us too far below breaking the waterline.

          If the current trajectory continues (and debt continues to grow as a share of revenue) then the premier league regulars will become stronger and stronger making the jump up even harder. That said, the market is increasingly looking crisis prone. The debt is unlikely to be deeply intertwined and securitised so we wont see widespread lending failure, but expect a giant to fall soon

          • Wor Monga

            That maybe true, but despite the wealth (last season) all the PL teams haven’t consolidated…some have for whatever reason started to drop off, change of manager, loss of key players etc, and some have been surviving by punching above their weight just to stay up, two have been promoted with us…and all of these candidates will climb and fall by the odd point, number of goals, etc between 10th and the relegation places…

            this year we must have enough to compete with this group because the likelihood is none of this pack will break into the top half, and hope to stay there, and that will be the priority this time…anything more than that for us would be perfect but unlikely to happen!!!

          • Desree

            Here is my concern. When we went down we were worse than Sunderland. Last season Sunderland were woeful. The other two relegated teams were promoted teams. Arguably Brighton were a better team than us last season and they have strengthened. So out of all the PL teams we are better than Huddersfield.

            We really are relying on other teams playing below their potential in order to survive.

  • Steven05

    I think most of us would be quite happy if we won the Premier League this season. However, bearing in mind the money last season’s teams have received, the gap between the two top leagues, and the project Rafa is focusing on, I think to stay up this season is good enough. Personally I predict we’ll make a few more signings and finish mid table. Am I being defeatist? No. I’m being realistic. Maybe, just maybe, we aren’t such a big attraction to potential signings. But, if/when the day comes that we do win something, hopefully that will be such a bad day for a couple of people (or the same person?) that they stop with their so-called love of Newcastle United and buy another sunderland shirt (from sports direct!)