The Newcastle United captain's brace of errors almost gifted Norwich City the three points on Tuesday.
It would be easy to portray Jamaal Lascelles’ superb left-footed finish to salvage a late point against Norwich City as a trademark captain’s intervention, stepping up and grabbing the game by the scruff of its proverbial neck. When the going gets tough and so on and so forth.
However, while the Newcastle skipper deserves a great deal of admiration for his sweet strike with less than 10 minutes remaining on the clock at Carrow Road, earning the Magpies a potentially valuable 2-2 draw, it was his own nervy performance that forced the visitors to rescue a point in such dramatic circumstances.
After all, he gifted Norwich the first-half leveller after Ayoze Perez had opened the scoring, dispossessed in his own box by Cameron Jerome when the old ‘Row Z thump’ would have served him very well. And the less said about Norwich’s second the better.
Let uss just say that if Lascelles had not let the high ball bounce, enabling Jerome to turn him with ease, Karl Darlow would not have been forced into one of the worst goalkeeping howlers in many a season.
While there is no doubt that Lascelles is a strong leader and a potentially excellent captain, something Newcastle have lacked for a number of years, his performances of late have been inconsistent at best and errors are creeping into his game.
The armband counts for little when you gift the opposition goals. And, needless to say, the Premier League does not take too much pity on individual mistakes.
The Express reported in December that both Chelsea and Liverpool were watching the £18 million-rated centre-back closely. But, at the moment, the jury is still out on whether Lascelles is even Premier League quality.
Next season should answer that question emphatically.