Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has destroyed Newcastle United defenders Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles for high-fiving after mistakes were made during the club’s 1-1 draw with Swansea City.
The Magpies were forced to come from behind at St James’ Park in order to rescue a point against the side sitting at the foot of the Premier League table, with substitute Joselu netting eight minutes after Jordan Ayew had given the visitors the lead.
Manager Rafael Benitez saw his team pass up a series of clear cut opportunities to secure the three points, with Ayoze Perez and Dwight Gayle both guilty of spurning their chances, but it was the performance at the other end of the pitch which had Nicholas worried about the club’s fortunes.
He tore into the centre back pairing for their attitude and reaction to errors made by themselves and their team mates, and put the blame n the duo for allowing Ayew to head home past Karl Darlow.
Speaking on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (13/01, 15:00), he said: “Clark comes in behind Lascelles, he shouts for the ball and kicks it off his heel and it goes out for a corner.
“It’s shocking defending, and the two of them end up high-fiving each other. I thought ‘What’s all this about?’.
“Darlow spilled a cross, it fell to Mawson who blasted it over, and they were all high-fiving each other. It’s really concerning.
“(For the opening goal) The two centre backs let Ayew just step in, get a header in, great save from Darlow and first reaction is from Ayew, head it in and it’s one – nil.”
While Lascelles has been a first choice for Benitez since starting on the bench for the opening game of the season, Clark has had to fight it out for his place in the starting XI, with summer signing Florian Lejeune, currently out injured, having kept him out at times this season.
In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has made a bold £25million transfer claim about one of the club’s regular starters.