Pundits Andy Cole and Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports (02/04, 7:55pm) that they rate Jamaal Lascelles – but later had to criticise the Newcastle United defender.
Newcastle travelled down to North London on Monday night to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, with Rafael Benitez looking to spring a surprise on compatriot Unai Emery.
However, the Magpies fell behind in the first half thanks to Aaron Ramsey's angled finish, before Alexandre Lacazette lobbed Martin Dubravka in the second half to make it 2-0.
Arsenal ran away comfortable winners in the end, and defender Lascelles won't want to see Lacazette's goal again given his part in it.
Lacazette sent a high ball around the corner to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who flicked the ball on to return it on to the run of Lacazette.
Defender Lascelles appeared to misjudge the ball or simply wasn't alive enough to the danger, and Lacazette nipped in behind him to score and ultimately kill the game.
In the Sky Sports studio, Cole and Carragher had been full of praise for Lascelles, with Cole hailing him as young, promising, quick and very composed, whilst Carragher backed him for a big move – possibly even to Arsenal.
“I like him,” said Cole. “I think he’s a young, promising centre half. He could play at a higher level, given the opportunity. He’s a great size for a centre half, he’s got good pace, and he seems to be very composed on the ball. To be captain of a club like Newcastle at such a young age is some going.”
“You say move up another level, maybe even Arsenal,” said Carragher, which Cole agreed with.
Sadly, at full time they were critical of Lascelles getting himself in a 'predicament' for the second Arsenal goal, with Carragher suggesting he misread the spin of the ball. All in all, Lascelles is still a very good defender, and they were right to praise him – and also right to criticise him for his late lapse.
“Lascelles gets himself in a bit of a predicament doesn’t he,” said Cole. “I just think he loses the flight, in terms of the spin of the ball,” added Carragher.
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