The Newcastle United supporters were bemoaning Gareth Southgate’s decision to overlook Jamal Lascelles in his latest England squad yesterday, but there’s reason to believe his omission is actually good news for the supporters.
Jamal Lascelles (valued at £6.3 million by Transfermarkt) has been a rock at the heart of Newcastle’s defence all season. He is their captain, leader, and often their saviour when they need him most. In the weeks building up to Southgate’s announcement the vast majority of supporters were convinced that the 24-year-old would make the call-up after a string of brilliant performances, but he was left out of the squad as not a single Magpies player was selected for England duty.
There were call-ups for the likes of Alfie Mawson and James Tarkowski who have been impressive at centre-half for Swansea and Burnley respectively, but the Toon Army propping up our bar believe Lascelles is far superior to the aforementioned players. However, the Newcastle supporters should take a moment before venting their frustration at the England manager, as Lascelles omission from the squad will boost their bid to avoid relegation this season.
In a relegation scrap every individual player needs to play their part in ensuring the club beat the drop, but there are normally a couple of individuals who are absolutely pivotal to achieving the desired results. In Newcastle’s case, Lascelles is one of those players, so it’s absolutely imperative that he remains fit during the final 8 fixtures of the season, otherwise The Magpies could be set for an immediate return to The Championship.
On international duty, Lascelles could easily collect an injury during one of England’s friendlies and be ruled out for the rest of the season. A blow of that magnitude would be a tough one for Newcastle to take considering the enormity of Lascelles importance to the first-team. Although it’s difficult to argue with the supporters claims that he should be in the squad, his fitness will best be served by remaining in the north-east where he can train alongside his teammates and save himself for Newcastle’s clash with Huddersfield at the end of the month.
Newcastle’s season has been built upon their solid defensive unit, organised and lead by Lascelles. Without him, they would be missing a cog in their side which is impossible to replace at short-notice, so Southgate’s decision should be viewed as a blessing for the clubs survival hopes.