Paul Merson is seen as a bit of a joke figure by most Newcastle fans.

Especially when it comes to his predictions, as he invariably tips Newcastle to lose.

After watching Rafa’s team beat Huddersfield, he has made another prediction, but this time it is not a joke we can all laugh at.

For Paul Merson, there was one player who really stood out and he is somebody who has impressed him for some time.

The Sky Sports pundit picking out Jamaal Lascelles for special praise, declaring that the Newcastle captain was ‘outstanding’ once again.

Newcastle fans wouldn’t disagree.

Lascelles has now started 25 Premier League games this season and with him in the side they have conceded only 23 goals, in the 6 matches he didn’t start – Newcastle conceded 17 goals.

Newcastle have picked up 34 of their 35 points when the captain has started.

Whilst in the 25 matches, there have been 8 clean sheets and 12 times conceded just once. So only on four occasions has a Lascelles Newcastle team conceded two goals and only one it was three – away at Man City.

When you are talking about a Newcastle squad that was allowed minimum net spend last summer and no buys allowed in January 2017 and 2018, that is some defensive record achieved by Rafa Benitez and his captain.

Merson’s less popular opinion on Jamaal Lascelles is that ‘For me, I think he goes somewhere and plays for a big team.’

Well, if Newcastle United are ever to be a ‘big team’ again, they simply have to hold onto their best players, then build from there.

This summer, Mike Ashley has to either sell up or convince people such as the manager and his best players, that things will change at Newcastle and surviving in the Premier League on as small a spend  as possible, isn’t the only plan.

Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:

“A brilliant result for Newcastle.

“I thought Mohamed Diame was very good.

“I like the centre-half, Lascelles.

“He’s a good player for me.

“For me, I think he goes somewhere and plays for a big team.

“I really do like him. He got a silly booking [after 10 minutes] but after that he was absolutely outstanding throughout the game.

“Diame played well, Perez played very well, they all did.

“Thing is, it is very rare Newcastle come off the football pitch and you think ‘They didn’t play well but they won’.

“They should have been out of sight but kept on going.

“For me, it was a massive massive football goal [when Perez scored the winner].”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0


Newcastle: Perez 80

Possession was Huddersfield 37% Newcastle 63%

Total shots were  Huddersfield 4 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Huddersfield 3 Newcastle 3

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 67), Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 79), Shelvey, Kenedy, Gayle (Slimani 75)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy

Crowd: 52,261 (3,000 Huddersfield)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 go HERE)

(Despite not one effort on target David Wagner says Huddersfield didn’t deserve to lose! Read HERE)

(Rafa Benitez reaction to the win HERE)

(Paul Merson gets very animated after watching Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 – Read it HERE)

(Alan Shearer loving what he saw as Newcastle beat Huddersfield – Read it HERE)

  • TheNutJob

    Fatty will flog him for the big bucks & pocket the dosh

    • Peaky

      Straight to ‘Choppers R Us’…

    • Geordiegiants

      No doubt about it. I remeber being a kid and Gazza, Pedro, Waddle etc being sold. I was devastated. Now it’s just accepted.

  • Dillon Tovak

    A massive football goal haha.

  • Toon

    Think Graham Porter seen as a bigger joke by most fans

  • robbersdog

    Unfortunately, Merson’s right. If we don’t get a new, ambitious owner sooner rather than later, I’ll be very surprised if Lascelles is still at Newcastle next season.

    There are reports in this morning’s papers that Chelsea are willing to pay £30m for him, so lardbucket Ashley must have a big grin on his face.

  • Leazes.

    As monty python sketch put it…Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says’…. I’m not going to argue…..

    …..My guess is Lascelles will be sold to an ambitious club late in the window, there’s nothing perverse about the idea that the club will secure season ticket sales before selling their best players…. that is what this regime does with regularity.

    Paul Merson is NOT seen as a bit of a joke figure by most Newcastle fans…. he’s an irrelevance who comes pre packaged with the Mag sponsor BETVICTOR along with Wright …..

    Where Betvictor has attached itself to fansites you get the same pundits….exactly the same pundits! They are a job lot!

    None of them know this club, you know that Graham…. they are there to provoke hostility and hits and they do it because they are paid to do it by BetVictor!

    • Geordiegiants

      Leazes, I have never ever seen a advert connection to the mag and Bet Victor. I find the whole advertising thing on this site amazing as I always thought that adverts were what you look at the most. I get Muslim dating, and Newcastle Merchandise ads. Both of these things are as far removed from what I look at as possible, I would never ever in my life buy an official Newcastle item while the cancer is here, and I wouldn’t ever date or marry a Muslim. I have always wondered about the advertisng on here, are you sure the bet Victor thing isn’t the same, as like I say I have never ever seen a Betvictor ad on here.

      • Leazes.

        I like many people block the ads using Adblock Plus….. they have got around it by using adfformercials (advertiments written under the guise of articles) You will see the blue writing for the sponsor at the bottom of the article…surely you can see them?

        Its missing from this article but attached to others….Mr Porter is trying to create interest in Merson with this one for the next installment.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose


        • Geordiegiants

          I’m peeve at the min but will look into it!

      • Cockneytrev

        I concur ,, I’ve never seen anything to do with bet victor,,I also don’t know how to do an adblock?

        • Leazes.

          1. Go to a website for apps and type ‘adblock’
          2. download it
          3. Install it for whatever browser you are using ie chrome IE. firefox etc.

          Done: there will be a little red symbol alongside the address bar….

          • Cockneytrev

            👍 Thanks,,
            I’m a real Luddite,,
            Unless my kids help I’m knackered,,

  • Ba ba.

    Unless the club is sold fatty will sell sell sell

    • Phil Yare

      aye, if someone comes in with 30m (man city, chelsea etc) hes on the helicopter with a handshake from fatman

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Perez played very well the mag would never agree with you so please do not upset them. That’s three who said he played well you, Rafa and Monkseaton.

    • Phil Yare

      he played well compared to his usual standards. he needs to follow diame and have 5 consecutive ‘above average’ performances.
      If perez could up his strength and concentrate on retaining the ball in critical positions then we could talk about potential

    • Wor Lass

      Don`t flatter yourself too much – a number of people on here appreciate what he does. I just wish he could have more end product to go with his effort.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        He has the technical ability & is cool when on goal but he doesn`t produce it often enough

        • Wor Lass

          Exactly. We need him to get back to the “rat in a dustbin” mentality.

  • Kneebotherm8

    He’ll end up at a big club like Arsenal or Villa……

    • Phil Yare

      suppose at least now villa are the biggest club in the championship. the man is a joke

      • PhilK

        Have you noticed the media is NOT getting at Villa or their fans as they have INCESSANTLY with us ? Not a word that their gates have been up and down, not great now – Not a word that they spent more than anyone in the Championship last season, but WE “bought our way out” even though we weren’t even in top 3 spenders ? The double standards of the media towards Aston Villa and us are atrocious and disgraceful

        • pedrodelgardo

          Does that really bother you? Empty vessels make the most noise.

        • Phil Yare

          just goes to show how much tripe the media write, especially to try and attach any negativity to us even in times of relative success.
          they’ve never liked us really because we are polar opposites to where all the rubbish is written… ‘london’.
          everyone knows that aston villa are an awful club, they were just used an example to try and drag us down to the levels of mediocrity they’d like us to be

  • PhilK

    I fully expect Ashley NOT to sell up, we lose Benitez to West Ham, who only took Moyes on because Benitez stayed here, in the hope they could get him next season. Moyes til end of season. KNOWING Ashley won’t invest and won’t sell up. If that happens Lascelles will say “Sod this, then” and go to Chelsea – and Ashley will let him go and replace Benitez with another lame duck

  • Stephen

    Paul Merson had done well to turn his life around
    His autobiography ‘How Not To Be A Footballer’ is a good read.
    He is for me one of the best pundits.

    • PhilK

      He’s better than LeTissier but thats not saying much. Phil Thompson is the best of a poor bunch

      • Leazes.

        I find Jamie Carragher expresses what most of us feel about Manure.

      • Stephen

        They would all be lost without Jeff Stelling.

  • Mrkgw

    I hope that he stays but, under this regime of Charnley and Ashley, who can blame the player if his head is turned by bigger and better things. Southgate hasn’t halped matters by completely disregarding him for England when he is arguably much better than the competition. That wouldn’t have happened were he playing for Chelsea for example. Hopefully Rafa will be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat and replace him with someone equally decent should the worst happen.

  • Wor Monga

    Merson’s certainly wrong on Lascelles but not that far out, on the Ayoze goal…

    …Dealing with Ashley and with Jamaal on a long contract it’s more than certain Chelsea would have to stump up a lot more than the Scousers did for Van Dijk…he’d laugh at clubs readying any so-called £30m (up from £15m last week) deals…He’s never sold a player yet that Rafa wanted to keep (or couldn’t stop from leaving when we were relegated) and that still applies…any attempt to do so would risk Rafa tearing up his contract and walking away…if Rafa goes so would any prospective buyer, as the club would only remain saleable with it’s assets in place, and Benitez, and Lascelles are 2 of its prime assets…

    …On Ayoze…It certainly was a massive goal at this stage of the season…it was looking very like one of those days when nowt was going in for us, and it was going to take something really special to score, but the way Ayoze took control with his chest on the halfway line, ran to the edge of the box then laid it out wide to Atsu with defenders all around him was quality…Atsu’s poor first touch and having to recover his stride could have spoiled the move with defenders getting
    back, but his cross for Slimani was good and their keeper could only touch it down to Kenedy…This lad can instantly take in what’s happening around him, and then calmly see the pass to Ayoze who he saw steaming in, unmarked…that’s the kind of quality play that can change games!!!

  • Down Under Mag

    I think someone will come in with an offer “too good to turn down” in the summer. f he doesn’t play int eh world cup then it helps us, but his leadership and performances this season will certainly have put him on some bigger (and by that I mean more freely spending) clubs and it will be hard to see us keeping hold of this lad should someone like Chelsea come calling.

    Here’s a question – if we were to sell Lascelles and it meant we got hold of Kenedy on a permanent basis would anyone take this? I think Kenedy has been amazing since his return BUT losing the leadership in the dressing room if Lascelles is gone would be hard to replace.

    • Mrkgw

      If the inevitable were to happen then I would want Kennedy included as part of the deal. The sums are irrelevant as Ashley will pocket the profit but, they need to be looking at a starting price of £25 & Kennedy.

  • Wor Lass

    It`s interesting how often opposition managers/fans and pundits praise Perez.

    • gallowgate26

      He has some talent and moments of link play where his dribbling, passing and decision making can hurt the opposition. The improvised pass with the outside of his foot to Atsu was an example of that and the dribbling to set up the Kenedy goal 3 weeks ago. The opposition just remember the moments like that, which lead up to them conceding though. They don’t have to watch how frustrating and lightweight he is match after match. They don’t remember the games where he is a passenger or goes on a long run without goals or assists. They don’t remember the games when he makes poor decisions, or wants too much time on the ball. Yes he is a skillful player when he wants to be but still very inconsistent and infuriating at times.

  • Leicester Mag

    If Cash in remains he’s sold, simple

  • Paul Cannell

    I’ve always wondered why Merson hates Newcastle United, could it be because he got a slap in The Bigg market while on one of his many drink & drugs benders ? Or maybe a slap in the face off one of our beautiful Geordie lasses ?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Would you take £15m plus Kenedy for Jamaal
    Vote here

    • Leazes.

      No ☑ the fifteen million wouldn’t be spent in time…if at all.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        It wouldn`t see the light of day

  • Peaco

    Stop talking in the present tense you [email protected] Merson. PS stop starting sentences by saying “For me”.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Merson is irrelevant here because you take him out of the equation and the fat scum bag will definitely sell him if he thinks there is serious coin to be had !

  • Albert Stubbins

    Unfortunately for once he’s right!!

  • shellington

    Would that big club be Arse-anal by any chance? Can’t wait to see Jamaal make the step up to the Europa cup and playing in front of a half empty stadium.

  • thewildchimp

    If he actually leaves, it might be Benitez related. Rafa goes to Arsenal and brings Jamaal with him, or something like that.