Jamaal Lascelles has been outstanding this season, both as a captain and a player.

Rafa Benitez has regularly said that the central defender is his key man in taking the messages and lessons learnt onto the pitch.

Despite the magnificent job the manager has done with limited resources, there has now been a stand-off for around a month, with Mike Ashley so far unwilling to agree to what Rafa needs to progress the club.

This morning it was revealed that Rafa Benitez could walk away if the club’s owner doesn’t see sense, the manager having asked for a decent transfer budget this summer, but most importantly, the freed to do with it as he sees fit. Previous reports that Rafa had been able to do as he wanted in the transfer market, now contradicted, with confirmation that a number of transfers had not gone ahead due to Mike Ashley blocking them, last summer in particular.

Rafa Benitez has also put plans to Mike Ashley for essential work in getting the constantly failing Academy sorted, as well as work that must be done to improve facilities at the training ground, which are far inferior to those at other PL clubs.

Jamaal Lascelles in an exclusive with Sky Sports, has now said: ‘I can’t emphasise how important it is [that Mike Ashley gives Rafa Benitez what he wants and the manager stays at Newcastle].’

The Newcastle captain credits the manager with making him the player he is now and declares: ‘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.’

It is obvious to pretty much everybody, even pundits who normally do Newcastle down, that Rafa Benitez leaving Newcastle would be a disaster for the club, and that it is beyond belief that Mike Ashley doesn’t accept this reality.

Jamaal Lascelles sending the message to Mike Ashley: ‘You have got to do all you can to hold onto him.’

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.”

  • Paul Patterson

    Tell Ashley to do something and he will most probably do the opposite. That’s both Lascelles and Rafa at risk then . .

  • Leicester Mag

    Sadly Ashley listens to no one so expect Lascelles to follow Rafa out the door this summer. I find the tolerance of this farce unfathomable. We know he’ll spite the wishes of Rafa / Jamaal and every fan because he can and he will. He’s little more than a weathly troll only he’s more scope to hurt than the bedroom warriors who provide such a treat on here

    • Come&TakeIt1836

      MA and Lascelles negotiated the player’s bonus (according to reports) back at the beginning of the year and Lascelles was able to move the final agreement in his direction from where that discussion started. Maybe MA can be swayed sometimes by the captain.

  • TheFatController

    Did that go out this morning? Ashley may have missed it, being out on his Saturday morning doughnut run…

    • Paul Patterson

      Probably cleaning the fireplace off the night before . .

  • Guest 2

    Look at what happened the last time the players tried to assert themselves.

    Fatty doesn’t handle well anyone who challenges him as we all know, and now he has his manager and team captain stating the obvious.

    Rafa’s requests proves yet again what a complete load of BS it is for Ashley and the club to keep publicly stating that Rafa has full control of players.

    One has to wonder what this so called ‘businessman’ has in mind when he refuses to let the most capable, experienced and qualified person (Rafa) ensure he signs who he wants and when he wants them – in line with agreed budget of course. Instead, Fatty keeps ensuring that his lapdog Charnley is muzzled by the non employee Barnes. Like they know better than Rafa?

    Been here before (Jimenez, Wise, Llambias, Carr) and nowt looks like changing.

    • ghostrider

      You do not just put the clubs future in the hands of one man on the basis of a few so called team players singing his praises and fans shouting ” let him spend what he likes.”

      If Rafa is to stay he’ll get funds like he always has whilst being here and he’ll be under no illusions as to the wage bill and over inflated fees for players not worth half of it.

      It’s too easy for a manager to spend what’s not his, if allowed…and we’ve all seen the aftermath of that with clubs who are not super moneybag elite.

      • TheFatController

        Your first paragraph is really enlightening and may well be to many other readers also.

        I thought all clubs based manager choice on players’ views and spend on supporters’ views.

        Who knew ?

        • ghostrider

          Can you elaborate on what you’ve just said. I can’t make out what you’re saying.

    • gallowgate26

      The thing is though, in the past, dispensable people have challenged Ashley and then been given the heave ho. Rafa has the club in a profitable, united position. Ashley can not afford to axe Rafa. For the first time someone is able to stand up to him. The whole thing will come down like a pack of cards and Ashley knows this. Similarly Lascelles is by far the biggest playing asset at £30m+, young, English, captain. If he was at any top 6 club he would be in the England squad. Keegan walked but even he was not in the same category in my opinon…

      • Guest 2

        I think you haven’t learned much from Ashley’s 11 years, nor understand the mindset of the bloke.

        If Ashley really believed he couldn’t afford to axe Rafa, then he wouldn’t have Barnes overseeing Charnley and he wouldn’t have messed Rafa about thus far. The ink should have been dry on a new contract weeks ago and yet here we are.

        As for KK, I think you are talking out your backside and must have the worlds worst memory.

        • gallowgate26

          Keegan walked didn’t he? Please enlighten us if you know otherwise… Promises were broken, the club signed ‘Nacho’ and he walked… Ashley doesn’t axe people, he would have to compensate… oh no, he let’s people jump… that’s why Keegan took him to court under ‘constructive dismissal’. Look up what it means… If you think there was uproar when Keegan left, it would be x2 for Rafa. Please explain where, in any of that, I’m talking out of my backside??…

          • Guest 2

            “Keegan walked but even he was not in the same category in my opinon…”

            You don’t think KK’s years put’s him in the same category as Rafa at the club? Arrived, saved the club from relegation to the old Div 3, then won promotion to PL and the rest is history.

            That’s why you are talking out your backside.

          • gallowgate26

            No… I don’t.
            Like I said, whatever happened when Keegan left in 2008, including fan protests around the ground, it’s less than the protests and cancelled season tickets (mine included) when Rafa quits.
            You will see this when it when it happens… so not talking out my backside at all.
            x2 what happened in 2008…

          • Guest 2

            Facts are, Ashley doesn’t give a hoot. if he did, he wouldn’t have foisted a long and depressing list of morons upon us.

            And the sad facts also are, the majority of supporters in the ground now wont do [email protected] all if Rafa walks. There’ll still be 52000 in St James’ even if fatty brings back Joker.

            How long you had yours? Weren’t Kinnear, Pardew, McClaren and Carver enough for you?

        • Viru leckworth

          K k was great when he was here, but didn’t do much thereafter. Rafa has been impressive wherever he has hung his hat.

      • Viru leckworth

        Ashley can not afford to axe Rafa. An interesting p.o.v. I hope you are right gallowgate.

  • Rich Lawson

    Club needs to keep Rafa’,Rafa’ needs to keep Lascelles, both want to stay, seems so simple really,what could go wrong ?

  • nufcslf

    And Mike Ashley didn’t hear a f**king thing.