Fabian Schar was pictured back in training this week after recovering from the head injury he sustained at Wembley. Now Eddie Howe must now choose between Schar and captain Jamaal Lascelles who had a good game against Manchester City.
Lascelles stepped in to cover for Schar who was forced to miss the weekend’s game due to Howe following concussion protocols. I’m not going to lie, I panicked when I saw the team sheet an hour before kick-off and saw Lascelles’ name on there.
I shouldn’t have worried though, as despite his lack of game time this season, Lascelles had one of his better games in a long time and now faces calls from fans to start ahead of Schar who had cemented his place alongside Sven Botman this season.
Schar or Lascelles? Howe’s got a tough call
I’m not in that camp. I think Schar should regain his place, no questions asked. He’s earned that spot over a full season, whereas Lascelles has now had one good game out of several since Howe came in. I have a lot of respect for Lascelles and think he’s been fantastic for us overall, but he’s below the level we’re at now and way off where we’re heading.
I was 100% behind Rafa Benitez‘ decision to give Lascelles the captaincy when he did. At that time he seemed like he was the only player who truly cared he seemed to drag the other players up by the scruff of their necks and get them fighting again.
Errors started to creep in
He grew in stature from then on becoming an important part of Newcastle’s defence and a huge voice in the dressing room. However, by the time Eddie Howe arrived his decline had begun and errors started to creep into his game. Pointless bookings would often be the biggest indicator that he wasn’t up to the task, he seemed to lack pace and was always beaten on the turn.
I will admit that he looked much better at the weekend, even managing to keep Erling Haaland relatively quiet, but I don’t know if he’s done enough to justify ousting Schar after how well he’s played this season.
One good game isn’t a redemption, it’s just one good game. Obviously, if Schar wasn’t able to play this weekend, I’d be less inclined to panic seeing Lascelles on the team sheet, but I’m just saying I’d feel more comfortable seeing the name of our £3million bargain on there.