Newcastle United supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer a sixth Premier League loss of the campaign at the weekend.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with Manchester United off the back of picking up just two points from their opening seven league games of the season, and thus sat precariously in the bottom three. And that is where the Magpies remain despite racing into a two-goal lead at Old Trafford through Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto, with goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, and Alexis Sanchez sealing a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory for Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Newcastle fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter to bemoan Gareth Southgate’s decision to again opt against calling up Jamaal Lascelles to his England squad, with Brighton’s Lewis Dunk getting the nod.
And having somehow failed to earn a place in the squad at any point last season, those Newcastle fans are so right to express their disappointment for the 24-year-old, with his recent snub just as baffling as those that have gone before.
Ultimately, the former Nottingham Forest defender was an absolute rock in the heart of Benitez’s backline last season in helping the Magpies ship just 47 goals from their 38 Premier League matches, which was fewer than every side that finished below seventh place in the division.
And while Benitez certainly got the best out of his defensive unit last term, it was Lascelles’ authority and overall leadership qualities which seriously helped the North East giants throughout the course of the campaign, while the centre back also came up with some crucial goals in victories over Swansea City and Stoke City to underline his influence in both boxes.
In fact, it was arguable that there were few better English centre backs than Lascelles for large parts of last season, which made his exclusion from every single one of Southgate’s squads, including that for the World Cup, absolutely baffling.
And while Brighton’s Dunk does indeed deserve a chance on the international stage, 24-year-old Lascelles is another who has started the season reasonably well to also earn that opportunity – he may not have performed as well as he did last term, but nor have Newcastle.
And with the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling for form at United, Gary Cahill having retired, and an injury to Burnley’s James Tarkowski, this was as good a chance as any for Lascelles to make his way into Southgate’s reckoning, which makes it all the more baffling as to why he isn’t in the squad for Nations League games against Croatia and Spain.
As such, those Newcastle fans are right to bemoan Lascelles’ exclusion from the recent England squad, as it is indeed absolutely baffling.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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