Phil Thompson has chosen his Newcastle United Player of the Season.
Sky Sports pundits were asked to pick their player of the season from various Premier League clubs and Thompson has given us his NUFC one, as well as the reasons for it.
He says that Jonjo Shelvey deserves consideration after ‘a very good campaign’ but…
Phil Thompson chooses Jamaal Lascelles because ‘he has epitomised what they need as a leader and a winner.’
As fans, we all know what Lascelles has given the team/club, both on and off the pitch.
The stats are below, plus yet another outstanding interview he gave on the eve of the final match against Chelsea, saying Mike Ashley has to make sure he gives Rafa Benitez what he wants to keep him at the club.
Here are the stats for the Newcastle United 2017/18 season just ended, with and without Jamaal Lascelles:
Jamaal Lascelles starts – Played 32 Won 12 Drawn 7 Lost 13
Jamaal Lascelles didn’t start – Played 6 Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 5
Jamaal Lascelles starts – 43 points from possible 96
Jamaal Lascelles doesn’t start – 1 point from possible 18
However, it is when it comes to goals conceded that you really see Lascelles’ impact:
Jamaal Lascelles starts – 30 goals conceded in 32 games
Jamaal Lascelles doesn’t start – 17 goals conceded in 6 games
In 26 of the 32 matches Jamaal Lascelles started, Newcastle have conceded either one or zero goals.
In his 32 starts, Newcastle were beaten by more than a one goal margin on only two occasions, at Anfield and the Etihad.
Phil Thompson’s talking to Sky Sports, asked for his NUFC Player of the Season:
“I think Jonjo Shelvey has had a very good campaign.
“But I would probably go for their captain, Jamaal Lascelles.
“I think he has epitomised what they need as a leader and a winner.”
Jamaal Lascelles talking to Sky Sports:
“I can’t emphasise how important it is [that Mike Ashley gives Rafa Benitez what he wants and the manager stays at Newcastle].
“Since he’s been here, the club has been on the rise. He’s got the club together, the city together, and everything has been positive.
“The players love him, a manager of that level who has been at big clubs and won trophies, you have got to do all you can to hold onto him. Look how he’s got us playing.
“People say we wouldn’t gel together and we’re a Championship side, well if that’s the case then the manager has got us all together and we’re sat in the middle of the table.
“As players, we’ve got to cross the white line, but we follow instructions from somewhere and that is the gaffer. The club have got to keep him happy.
“I can’t thank Rafa enough for how much I’ve improved, not only as a player but as a captain.
“I think I’ve come on leaps and bounds in that aspect, how to deal with things differently; he pulls me aside and says you can’t always be this way, you’ve got to adapt to different people’s personalities – he’s worked with Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry.
“When you’re flicking through Twitter or people say there’s rumours about this, that and the other you’re aware of it, but I don’t take any notice.
“I’m a Newcastle player, I’m happy here, I’m the captain and things are going really well.
“You hear about rumours, but I’m just concentrating on Newcastle.”