Jamaal Lascelles returned to the Newcastle starting line-up last week, but the captain’s latest performances haven’t impressed some fans.

The centre-back was forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury against Watford in November, putting him out of action for a month.

It was worrying news at first, but his absence from the team ironically coincided with a turn in fortune for Newcastle.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Despite some brilliant performances from the Englishman, Newcastle had found themselves without a win in their opening 10 games.

Without him, Newcastle suddenly won three in a row, his replacement Fabian Schar becoming a key player in the side.

However the Newcastle captain was brought back into the team as part of a back three against Everton and Wolves.

The defender made key mistakes in both games and some Newcastle fans have been left unconvinced.

Fans react to Lascelles’s performance vs Wolves

 

Lascelles needs time

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

After two games, criticising Lascelles so quickly seems somewhat fickle.

The Newcastle captain has not only went a month without match fitness, but he has also been thrown into a formation he is not used to.

Although his poor reactions gave away a goal against Everton last week, he helped Newcastle hold on for a brilliant point.

He had a much worse game against Wolves, but there was no such criticism for Schar and Federico Fernandez in their similarly poor performances against West Ham.

A minority of Newcastle fans seem to have a short memory when the results don’t go their way. In the minutes Lascelles played before his comeback, Newcastle only conceded 11 goals in 10 games. In the four matches he’s missed this season, the team has conceded seven goals.

Lascelles is still one of Newcastle’s best defenders, and a couple of poor performances doesn’t change that.

Once Benitez finds a system where his centre-backs thrive, Lascelles will likely prove his doubters wrong.

(Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)