Newcastle fans reckon Gareth Southgate ‘has got his number’ but is he taking Jamaal Lascelles to Russia?
The Newcastle Captain has had an outstanding season but the bookies still make him a 16/1 longshot to do so.
The upcoming England squad for the March friendlies will tell us everything, if Jamaal Lascelles is to make a late push then he will surely have to be included in that one, as the next squad to be called up will be after the season has ended.
As for the player himself, Lascelles is very relaxed about it and says it obviously would be ‘great’ but that his only focus ‘is on staying up’.
I would think your average neutral England fan wouldn’t be too upset if any of the current favourites didn’t make the squad as one of Southgate’s centre-backs, with the possible exception of John Stones, though none of them, including him, is any (equivalent quality of) ‘Harry Kane’.
The Bournemouth match did slightly spoil the Jamaal Lascelles stats, as it was only the fourth time in 22 starts this season that Newcastle have conceded more than one goal in a PL game.
Rafa’s team have leaked 21 goals in the 22 matches the Captain has started and 17 in the six where he wasn’t in the starting line-up.
No doubts in the minds of Newcastle fans as to just how important he is in the remaining 10 games.
An England call-up to Russia would be a suitable cherry on top of the icing if Newcastle avoid relegation under Lascelles’ leadership.
Jamaal Lascelles talking to the Shields Gazette:
“It would be great, but the only way I can get there, is to put in consistent performances for Newcastle, my (only) focus is on staying up.
“It is every kid’s dream to play for England, of course, but I know I have no chance if I am not giving my absolute all to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
“The England manager has his set players – he has centre-halves who have been established in the Premier League for some time and I think it will take a lot to edge them out.
“If I keep doing my job though, I do think I have a good chance.
“I would never have thought when I came (to Newcastle) that one day I would be captain of this great football club…for me it has happened quick.
“Since the manager has come in, things have been on the rise, for not only the club but also for the city and me as well.
“He showed a lot of trust in me to give me the armband when I was just 22 – II can only thank him and I definitely feel like I have developed as a player, as a person, since he has been in charge here.
“If people would have asked us in the summer if we would want to be where we are at this stage of the season, a lot of people would have said ‘yeah’.
“We are in a good position, even if we have been frustrated a lot this season, we just need to keep working hard and trusting the manager.”