Garth Crooks has chosen his Premier League team of the week and included Jamaal Lascelles in the eleven, after Newcastle’s 1-0 win at Swansea.
The BBC pundit says that ‘Lascelles’ contribution to the victory was a bit special’.
Garth Crooks says the Newcastle captain ‘set the tone for the entire team’s performance’ and that this ‘classic away win’ was the perfect tonic for Rafa Benitez who was forced to watch the game at home, due to the after effects of surgery.
However, to Crooks’ credit, he opened up on the underlying problems at St James Park, which can be basically summed up in two words – Mike Ashley.
He says that Newcastle ‘have a great manager, an amazing set of fans and a team clearly proud to wear the shirt’.
Garth Crooks looks at the overall picture and says that with the crippling lack of investment in the squad this summer, there isn’t a ‘real chance of survival’ without Rafa getting proper financial backing.
Wrapping it up, Crooks says if Mike Ashley is not prepared to back his manager ‘he should sell the club and let someone else do it’.
Garth Crooks talking to BBC Sport:
“It was Jamaal Lascelles’ block on the line that set up both the 1-0 victory for Newcastle at Swansea on Sunday and the tone for the entire team’s performance.
“If ever you wanted to give your manager a lift on his sick bed (Rafa Benitez was absent through illness) then a classic away win is certainly the way to do it.
“Lascelles’ contribution to the victory was a bit special.
But does owner Mike Ashley really expect a young side, giving everything at the moment, to survive the season in the Premier League with the resources he has given them? If he does then he is living in cloud cuckoo land.
“Ashley needs to get his hand in his pocket and invest properly in a team the city of Newcastle deserve. They have a great manager, an amazing set of fans and a team clearly proud to wear the shirt.
“Benitez has brought some wonderful young talent through and made players out of them.
“Players like Matt Ritchie and Lascelles have developed brilliantly under the watchful eye of the Spaniard and they deserve more support and their manager the finances to enable him to give the team a real chance of survival. It’s the least Ashley can do.
“If not, he should sell the club and let someone else do it.”
Garth Crooks Team of the week:
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
John Stones (Manchester City)
James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Pascal Gross (Brighton)
Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke)
Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
Stats from BBC Sport:
Swansea 0 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Lascelles 76
Possession was Swansea 62% Newcastle 38%
Total shots were Swansea 10 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Swansea 4 Newcastle 8
Corners were Swansea 7 Newcastle 5
Referee: Mike Jones
Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Gamez, Ritchie, Hayden (Diame 69), Merino, Murphy (Atsu 59), Perez, Joselu (Gayle 78)
Woodman, Shelvey, Yedlin, Lejeune
Crowd: 20,872 (2,000 Newcastle)
(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction after final whistle HERE)
(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction to the Newcastle win HERE)
(Give us your Newcastle player ratings v Swansea HERE)
(Credit to Swansea boss Paul Clement for this post-match reaction HERE)
(Steve Claridge says Newcastle ‘Nicked it’)