I can’t remember seeing a Newcastle player have a worse performance than that of Kenedy against Cardiff. The club’s long history is peppered with enough memorable mishaps (no matter how much I drink to forget) to fill an entire archive.

Even so, the winger’s torrid time was unique for its unexpectedness after the galvanising effect his creativity had on the club in the latter half of last season. The whole team are reliant on his movement and skill. When it was absent in Wales, they looked insipid.

Even before taking the penalty in the game’s tragic final act, his self-belief seemed totally destroyed. He needs to recover any semblance of self-belief pretty quickly otherwise NUFC’s results will look very ugly by Christmas.

Anyone can have the odd bad game but it was that look of terror as he ran up to take the spot-kick which was reminiscent of him freezing when he was through on goal against Spurs.

At the end of last season, Kenedy and Shelvey proved the dominant attacking outlets in the team. Even without the ball, the loan signing’s running allowed space for Perez to get into better positions to score.

Without a speedy return of that confident and dynamic version of him we saw previously, Newcastle’s goal threat will be about as potent as a neutered pet dog.

If one of our number-tens stepped up to fill the void then the situation would be a lot less worrying. Perez’ inconsistent purple patches show he has the potential to make an impact.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard was virtually an ever-present in the side before the summer, giving him enough playing-time to eventually reach top form. Now he must compete with Muto for his place.

Rafa seems to want to rotate between the two with each game,  70 minutes or an hour at a time probably isn’t going to bring the best results out of either of them though. They need some stability to build a partnership with whichever striker is playing. So once again, the majority of the link-up play is dependent on Kenedy.

If Cardiff only proves to be an anomalous blip then Newcastle have every chance of playing slick and respectable football, without quite ever blowing anyone away.

Kenedy is, after all, one of only a handful of ‘quality’ players within the squad. But, on the other hand, it may prove to be a nasty wake up call – if anyone (miraculously) still wasn’t already alarmed.

Hopefully his enforced absence against his parent club last weekend will have given Kenedy enough time to reflect and recover. The hopes of the club depend on it.

(***ED: This article was written and received BEFORE the Forest shambles, with Kenedy once again struggling, here’s hoping for better at Manchester City on Saturday…)

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  • mactoon

    “I can’t remember seeing a Newcastle player have a worse performance than that of Kenedy against Cardiff”

    I was going to say Forest until I read the last line 😊

    Kenedy is a player I would persevere with as he is one of the stand out quality players we have, but I fear he will be toothless against City on Saturday as I doubt Rafa’s tactics will allow him the freedom to create anything.

    • Wor Lass

      You beat me to that by 2 minutes!

    • NUFCDan

      I wouldn’t say Kenedy was a particularly creative players, he’s the only player we have who has both pace and is comfortable with the ball at his feet. I think after teams seen how much of our play went though him last season he’ll be targeted and crowded out a bit like Ben Arfa.

      • mactoon

        I meant in terms of making things happen more than the ‘creative midfield’ role. My bad choice of words. He’s still quality though.

      • mentalman

        everytime he got the ball against cardiff they had 3 players surrounding him, every team will do this until we get a viable option on the other flank

    • mentalman

      he’s getting the ball too deep in our half he should be running 20m and getting the ball in to their box, at the minute he runs 20m and he’s barely crossed the half way line

      • Wor Lass

        That`s exactly right – but last season he would have had a go anyway.

  • Kenny

    For me the lad is not match fit, missed a bit of pre season training

    • Wor Lass

      I kept wondering whether he was injured pre-season and the paternity leave was just a smokescreen. Whatever the reason, he isn`t the same lad who burst onto the scene last season.

      • Down Under Mag

        No, but him, Rondon, Muto etc all joined late so it’s no wonder they are off the pace. That’s the problem with an owner who won’t sanction deals before the season starts…you have no pre-season with them.You would think Ashley valued not paying a few weeks extra wages more than he does startign the season off with a fully up to fitness and settled squad huh??

        • mentalman

          they had pre season’s with their old clubs

          • Wor Lass

            With different players and tactics – plus extra time off for the world cup.

  • ScreamStevie

    Based on his performance against Forest I’d say Muto was no competition for Perez…

    • Wor Lass

      Cant argue with that on the night but he needs a bit of time to bed in – in the PL and with us.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Muto was decent when he came on at Cardiff.

        • Ram Kishore

          Have u been blocked?
          Then how are u replying.. whats happening?

    • Kenny

      Muto was a waste of £9m

  • Wor Lass

    My Mrs doesn`t particularly like football but watched the Forest match. She picked Kenedy out as the worst player on the pitch and wondered why he turned back towards our goal just about every time he got the ball. What worries me is that he doesn`t look fit and completely lacks confidence. I hope he can come through it because he was the catalyst for our “revival” last season and is the one player – with all due deference to Perez – who can threaten any defence. We need him as an outlet and an inspiration to the team.

    • Kenny

      needs a pep talk from Monk Mugpie

      • Big Hairy Man

        Im sure Monkfish will bump into him in a lift.

        • Will In Despair!

          I’m starting to believe Mugpie’s home is actually a lift, it’s got a be? 😊

  • Jimblag23

    I’m not going to rely on Kenedy for anything, after Cardiff and Forest I am really doubting him as a player.
    I actually think he was worse in midweek than at Cardiff.

    • Kenny

      Kids going through a bad patch be he’ll come good again, he has a bit of class.

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Same here

  • Down Under Mag

    I actually just think he’s trying too hard to be a one man battering ram and it has shades of ben Arfa written all over it. He just needs to take a notch off and start to play his team-mates in like he did last season rather than think he has to solo-run through the entire back four of the opposition. He is still learning and probably keen to impress but he needs to learn that sometimes being a star player doesn’t mean doing it all yourself but bring your team-mates into the game.

    • TinoAsprilla

      Yep, he’s trying too hard because aside from him, there’s no flair in the squad.

  • mentalman

    Rondon has been slowly put in to the squad due to a lack of pre season and kenedy has been thrown straight in without any pre season.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but when my first child was born i was like a zombie for months from nights with broken sleep if any at all. Maybe kenedy needs to book himself in to a hotel for a good nights sleep before a game

  • 5floorshigh

    Kenedy is decently average at best and seems to have a real problem getting fit…..I thought last seasons turn around was more down to Dubravka and the vastly improved Diame. The Shelvey and Diame midfield partnership was the building block from which the likes of Kenedy and Perez benefitted from. The comparisons with Ben Arfa are ridiculous.

  • Superdooperhooper

    Shouldn’t have to rely on a young inexperienced loan player to sos- save our season . A sorry state of affairs . Desperate times thanks to miser Mike

  • Kev-82

    Kenedy is another Ben Arfa, when he feels like turning it on he can be a great player but when poor you may as well have 10 men on the pitch. At the minute we are seeing more of the latter.

  • Tony English

    If you can’t remember a worse performance than Kenedy’s…two words…


    33 appearances, all of them worse than Kenedy’s. He’s had two bad games, he can come good again.