Why Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles & Jonjo Shelvey Can Feel Hard Done By After World Cup Omissions

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Despite both registering very impressive performances this season, neither Jonjo Shelvey or Jamaal Lascelles will be representing the Three Lions in Russia this summer, and they can feel extremely hard done by.

The exclusion of the pair from the World Cup squad and the standby list is depressing at best for Newcastle fans and downright egregious at worst.

Under Rafa Benitez, the pair have been revelations this season and produced consistent performances well worthy of inclusion.

Shelvey, in particular, looked like he had done everything required to earn himself a call-up. He has the talent, the commitment and recently in particular he has the form to justify it.

The biggest draw back that has always hovered over Shelvey has been his discipline problems. Even now they still hang over him like an inescapable shadow – despite the fact the midfielder hasn’t picked up a single booking this entire calendar year so far.

Nevertheless, he hasn’t made it on that plane and that could seriously hurt England in the long run.

Shelvey’s biggest asset is his passing. He can very competently execute a range of passing, from long raking balls to short inter-passing.

The most noteworthy point of his passing though, regardless of its length, is that it is almost always going in a forward direction.

In games where England are losing or struggling – and let’s not kid ourselves, it’s England at a major tournament so those moments will come – Shelvey could have been the exact kind of player we need.

Looking at the midfield that is going to the tournament, there is nobody else like that. Perhaps Jordan Henderson, but he doesn’t do it to the same degree.

He won’t control games or drive the midfield in the same way that Shelvey did for Newcastle against Chelsea, a performance that earned him many plaudits, it should be noted.

Lascelles, meanwhile, is a slightly different affair. His form and consistency this season deserve plaudits and recognition – and frankly, he deserves that recognition in the form of a seat on that plane – but it was never called for as much as Shelvey’s inclusion.

All the same, he has done everything right.

To have played a whole season as well as he has, rarely putting a foot wrong, and to have captained a Premier League club like Newcastle United at his age – he is still only 24 – would surely be an asset for that England squad.

He’s certainly on par with Harry Maguire, and if not in the initial 23-man surely of a good enough quality to make the standby list.

Yet, once again it seems, the usual issue with England selections has reared its head.

It appears that if players do not belong to one of the top teams it is a lot harder, not yet impossible but definitely much trickier, for them to earn an England call-up.

Shelvey and Lascelles can certainly feel very hard done by to have not earned spots on the plane to Russia this summer and should not for any second feel like their form hasn’t merited it.

All that can be hoped is that Southgate’s decision is justified and the players chosen demonstrate the form in the tournament that will vindicate their inclusions over those left behind.

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