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Leader Lascelles the right man for Toon

KEY: Jamaal Lascelles

IT WAS Arsenal’s designated charity day at the Emirates but unfortunately for Newcastle United, Arsene Wenger’s men weren't giving away any goals or points as the home side ended the day 1-0 winners.

Despite their eighth defeat in nine games the Toon Army will be buoyed to see their captain Jamaal Lascelles back on the pitch and free from the ankle injury that recently kept him sidelined. Their captain is not only a key man on the field but his relationship with manager Rafael Benitez looks like it will be an integral part of their success. Should they remain in the premier league next season.

The former England under - 21 international is a simple yet competent defender and clearly relishes being the captain of this great club. His clashes with teammates who are not committed to the cause are well known, with Mohamed Diame the most recent player to face his wrath on the training ground. An incident that left peacemaker Jonjo Shelvey with an injured wrist.

But his passion and talent are both qualities that have seen the fans take the former Nottingham Forest trainee to their heart. Throughout the game he was talking to his fellow defenders and at regular intervals his ear was being bent by his enigmatic Spanish manager. While at halftime he gathered six teammates into a huddle to presumably relay and enforce the plan for the second half as they looked to reduce the one goal deficit.

The importance of having a leader cannot be underestimated, particularly for a team who look like they may be struggling in the bottom half of the table for the majority of the season - takeover permitting.

Despite not being able to help his team make their loss a win his assurity along with the way he bullied substitute Olivier Giroud in the latter stages shows he's also adept at the naughtier side of the game.

Not only is Lascelles a leader for his team in the form of another great English defender Tony Adams, his curiosity and eagerness to learn the game will benefit the St. James’ Park faithful in the short term and possibly the national team in the future and for years to come.

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