Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles has risked the wrath of the fans by labelling club owner Mike Ashley a ‘nice guy’.
The defender has just signed a new deal at the club, taking him up to 2024.
It was news that came relatively out of the blue for many people.
Only on Wednesday the Englishman was being linked with a January move to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
Now it looks as though the player will remain at St. James’ Park for the forseeable, but he’s off to a risky start with comments made about Ashley in the aftermath of putting pen to paper.
He said, as quoted by The Daily Star: “Speaking honestly, and it might not be what everyone wants to hear, as a club I think it is important everyone is together especially when we’re right down at the bottom of the table.
“I think the meal was really positive, having a sit down meeting for the first time, hearing him [Ashley] speak and seeing what he’s like as a man.
“He’s a nice guy. I know fingers are pointed at him but I think it was a positive meeting and if it could happen more, I don’t think that would do any harm.
“If there are divides, I think it creates problems. If everyone at Newcastle stopped the negativity and tried to form a unity, that would help.”
Lascelles wants unity but could trigger the opposite
Lascelles’ comments are a little incendiary.
There are a lot of Newcastle supporters out there at the moment who are very angry with Ashley’s treatment of the club.
From his lack of investment for Rafa Benitez to sign players, to his apparently reluctance to sell the club to somebody else, he is public enemy number one in the eyes of the Magpies faithful and Lascelles backing him might cause more ill feeling and not the unity hopes for.