Newcastle’s last trip to Goodison Park was a horrific one, leaving Merseyside with a 3-0 defeat and a red card for now-captain Jamaal Lascelles.
The 24-year-old defender had hardly been a consistent figure under Steve McClaren that season, but came on as a substitute before half time in the game against Everton, replacing the injured Chancel Mbemba.
By full time it was 3-0 to Everton, who had scored two penalties and played against 10 men, with Lascelles being sent for an early bath following a trip that resulted in the Toffees’ second penalty. However, it was Lascelles’ actions after the game that really had the biggest impact.
The Nottingham Forest academy graduate laid into his teammates, criticising their lack of passion for the club, an incredible moment from someone so young and inexperienced. However, it would prove to be the making of Lascelles, who two years on is back in the Premier League with the Magpies, preparing to lead them out at Goodison Park as Rafa Benitez’s side continue their assault on the top half.
It was very brave of Lascelles to call out his teammates like he did in February 2016, and it really set the tone for his Newcastle career. It showed he had the makings of the leader, and that is exactly what he has become under Benitez, epitomising the new Newcastle United that is looking to roar again under the Spaniard.
February 3rd 2016 was not a good night for Lascelles, but it truly was the beginning of his Newcastle career, setting him apart from the mercenaries that had graced the shirt in years gone by. That won’t happen anymore, not as long as Jamaal Lascelles is still Newcastle captain.