When Jamaal Lascelles met Alan Shearer – The Highlights
With perfect timing, Alan Shearer interviewed Jamaal Lascelles only days before the (current) Newcastle captain got injured and Rafa Benitez lost his first Premier League Saturday home in over 10 years.
Lascelles has still only started 20 Premier League matches in his career but there was still some surprise when he didn’t make the latest England squad, especially with Gareth Southgate having put a lot of emphasis on youth and giving some players their first ever call up.
It was between his fifth and sixth Premier League starts for Newcastle, that Jamaal Lascelles first really registered with Newcastle fans.
Coming on as a substitute against Southampton in the relegation season, it later emerged he’d had a right go at the team in the dressing room, as they took another step/slide towards the drop.
From that point though, Newcastle went unbeaten, winning three and drawing three, just missing out on staying up.
Lascelles told Shearer that the Southampton match ‘Was definitely a turning point for me…I said what I had to say’.
The Newcastle legend (Shearer) also brought up the recent training ground scrap that was sparked after reportedly Jamaal Lascelles repeatedly called Mohamed Diame ‘lazy’. The former Forest player saying ‘If it gets to blows, it gets to blows, but I have got to do my job. That is why I have the armband.’
Alan Shearer asking the questions as he interviewed Jamaal Lascelles for BBC 2’s The Premier League Show, broadcast 10pm last night (Thursday):
‘Southampton away, you were quite opinionated – do you think Rafa might have looked and thought ‘I like what I’m hearing, I’m going to give him a chance’?’
“It was definitely a turning point for me because before that I was in and out of the team. I was on the bench, coming on and against Southampton, I said what I had to say. After that we went on a pretty good run and we were quite unlucky not to stay up.”
‘Youngest captain in the Premier League – how does that sound?’
“Sounds crazy when you put it like that but I don’t really see it like that. I am 23 and the manager trusts in me. I have got good people around me, the fans are really supportive, and you know at the start I thought to myself…’This is going to be a massive task and I’m going to feel a lot pressure’. I do – but because of everyone around me it has really helped and I’m quite thankful for that.”
‘I was lucky enough to play for Newcastle for 10 years, six or seven of those as captain.’
“It’s phenomenal stepping out on that pitch. Every time I get goosebumps. The other week with the banner of me as well….I had to look twice, that was crazy. I thought ‘There’s no way that’s me’!”
‘Tell us a little bit about Rafa, when I look on the touchline he’s screaming.’
“He will be doing that on the touchline but I can guarantee you he is the calmest man in the stadium. Every single day we’re doing technical work, tactical work, he is a perfectionist. The minute someone does something wrong in the session, he will stop the whole session and then correct it. He won’t get mad at you, he will say calmly and advise you. He is a great manager and I think I have improved so much working under him.”
‘What did Rafa say to you when you had the training ground bust-up (with Mohamed Diame)?’
“He has seen worse…I just didn’t like what I saw.”
‘As Newcastle captain you are entitled to do that.’
“Of course – if we fall out we fall out. If it gets to blows, it gets to blows, but I have got to do my job. That is why I have the armband. I guess I can be a bit hands on but I’m still learning. I’m only 23 and I have got a long way to go in that sense.”
‘You’ve just signed a long-term contract that suggests you are here to stay?’
“I want to give my all for the shirt and hopefully try and take this club as high as we can because this club is a top club. Even if results don’t always go our way we’ve got a group of players who are trying their best and definitely with this group of boys they all get that.
“We will try our best. We always do, no matter what game you play in.
“I love it. I love coming in every morning, training, seeing all the boys and coming in every morning. It’s every boys dream isn’t it?”
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