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Opinion

Jamaal Lascelles Dunked by England – More problems for Newcastle United

5 months ago
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Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey will be taking it relatively easy these next 10 days or so.

No rushing off to join up with the England squad for them, with the national team set to play Spain and Croatia.

As a Newcastle fan I am quite happy, in a selfish way, for this to be the case, at least in the short-term – considering just how vital they are to NUFC’s hopes/chances of survival this season.

However, the reality is that your better players will aspire to play for their countries and I believe it is very much storing up longer-term problems for Newcastle United. Players now thinking that even moving to a Leicester or Everton could guarantee an instant call-up, never mind a transfer to Spurs or one of the other clubs at the top.

When neither of them made the World Cup squad, there was a belief amongst many Newcastle fans and indeed neutrals, that Shelvey and/or Lascelles could/would be part of a new look post-World Cup squad, given the chance to be part of the build up to the next Euros.

However, two squads later and not an ounce of positivity in that direction.

In fact, you get an increasing feeling that no matter what happens, Gareth Southgate has no intention of giving either Jamaal Lascelles or Jonjo Shelvey a chance.

This latest England squad selection was actually hit by a number of injuries, meaning Southgate had to find replacements for the likes of Delph and others.

The Newcastle pair seemingly not even at the races.

It says it all when Gareth Southgate was forced to defend the non-selection of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. This is a player that has only played 33 Premier League minutes this season, why on earth should someone who never plays, be expected to have a call-up?

Remember, this isn’t even about either Jonjo Shelvey or Jamaal Lascelles actually getting  a game for England, just getting into an actual squad.

I don’t know as much about many of these players of other clubs as I do the NUFC pair but I think their overall profile in this calendar year deserves recognition for at least one of them.

England looked devoid of ideas at the World Cup in the centre of midfield, Shelvey actually already having been an England international and recent games against Leicester, Man Utd and others showing him playing well in a poor team. It is as though he has done something in a past life to upset Gareth Southgate…although that is more a Glenn Hoddle thing.

As for Lascelles, surely he has shown some real potential since Newcastle’s promotion that should have equalled a call-up, instead it appears that Southgate is going out of his way to say he has no chance of getting a chance.

Sunday saw James Tarkowski of Burnley withdraw from this England squad, Southgate instead going for Lewis Dunk of Brighton.

In this past year or so, there must have been at least 40+ players, easily, who have been called up by this England manager, so you just wonder how many more places down from 40+ you would find Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey?

Unless Mike Ashley radically changes how he runs Newcastle, or very preferably, sells the club, we look to be heading for disaster.

Rafa Benitez set to walk away next summer, the likes of Kenedy and Rondon going back to their clubs, even if Newcastle stay up, I can’t see Lascelles, Shelvey and most of the other small group of decent quality players wanting to hang around.

International football isn’t the be all and end all but it is something that all good players will aspire to.
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