With the match being so absolutely rotten on Saturday, people have had to find something else to talk about.

Nobody on either side looked like a Premier League level player on the day, so no TV montages of dribbles/skills etc.

I saw the club promoting ‘extended match highlights’, which of course I didn’t bother with, I had more fun imagining just what they could have included in normal highlights – never mind extended ones.

With nothing else to debate/analyse, instead we have seen Kenedy getting an over the top amount of time spent on his performance.

He had a game to forget and the fact the Brazilian fluffed a last second penalty that would have given Newcastle a totally undeserved victory, ensured he would be the first thing talked about by the pundits when the final whistle blew.

It later turned out that the statisticians had come up with a stat that showed Kenedy had failed to complete a pass to a teammate in the entire first half, it being 2010 apparently since any PL player had done the same.

The icing on the cake was his stupid kicking out at a Cardiff player after he’d been fouled by another. Ridiculous as that was, it was no worse than a later Harry Arter one on Joselu that was far more likely to have caused a serious injury. The Cardiff midfielder only getting a yellow, which was what Kenedy deserved probably.

As for the Chelsea loan player’s overall performance, yes it was bad but in the context of the game it only really stood out because he never hid. He kept on going trying to create something with his trademark dribbles, only to run into trouble pretty much every time.

On the subject of not hiding, this was summed up when despite having a stinker he was willing to take the penalty. You want players like that in your team, as opposed to the rest of them who just stood there and let it happen. Not that I necessarily think that say Lascelles should have taken it, but he could have stepped in and had a word, saying to Kenedy that on this occasion why not let say Shelvey shoulder the responsibility, as he’d done relatively ok?

It’s a simple fact that if you are a flair player, then you will have matches where it all goes wrong, unless you are a Messi or Ronaldo.

The not making a first half pass to a teammate is a bit of a red herring anyway, with Newcastle having so little movement and creativity in the other attacking players on show on Saturday, unless Kenedy created something out of nothing with one of his runs, we weren’t going to be scoring.

The big problem for Newcastle isn’t that Kenedy didn’t pass enough, it is that we have/had too many players who are only capable of the most simple pass. The other teams obviously know that as well.

It was transparent against Cardiff that the opposition were worried about Kenedy but very comfortable dealing with Perez and Joselu, whilst Ritchie grafted all game as usual but is incapable of beating his man.

With Diame so far in these two games looking more like the one we watched in the first 18 months of his Newcastle career, the problems are stacking  up for Rafa Benitez.

In today’s game full-backs are a key part of any successful team but Newcastle’s were woeful on Saturday.

No surprise that Manquillo was hopeless, we had seen enough of him already to know that. Never in a million years would he get a game for another Premier League team and Murphy had the beating of him every time.

On the other side, Paul Dummett is steady as you go but being an average defender and zero contribution in an attacking sense, is nowhere near close to what we need.

No wonder Rafa was desperate to bring in another left-back option. He wasn’t even allowed to pay £6m for Bristol City’s Joe Bryan and having watched highlights of him playing for Fulham against Spurs at Wembley, his performance just summed up how limited Dummett is.

Great as a squad player and arguably a far better centre-back than he is a left-back, Dummett not crossing the halfway line is a massive problem. Fulham did get beat but they created plenty going forward and a fair few times that was due to Joe Bryan getting down the left and putting in great crosses, including for the Mitrovic goal.

In fact, watching Match of The Day, pretty much every PL club relied on their full-backs for a decent proportion of their attacking moves. I can’t remember Manquillo and Dummett contributing anything in the attacking third.

Newcastle United are far too predictable and Jonjo Shelvey’s big strength was pointless on Saturday, his long-range passing is a waste of time when he looks up and sees Perez and Joselu in front of him.

Obviously we are all hoping Rondon and Muto can make a difference but already we are playing catch up, two poor results and new signings where Rafa hasn’t been in a position to even start them.

Social media and too many pundits fighting for airtime, lead to situations like Saturday’s, where far too much is made of a young inexperienced flair player such as Kenedy having a rubbish match.

Through the ages the likes of Jinky Smith, David Ginola, Laurent Robert and plenty others have given very up and down performances in their time at Newcastle, Kenedy’s has been little different so far, but with a largely mediocre team around him, far too much has been expected of the loan player.

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  • Down Under Mag

    It was no game for a flair player. Warnocks tactics and the incompetent referee allowing the brute force approach and blowing his whistle every 2 seconds saw to that. Kenedy had a nightmare game but then he still had the bottle to step up and take the penalty. Unlike a lot of his team-mates who simply hid from the ball, he still wanted to get involved.

    • We did good on the day, all things considered. I think this will make Kenedy work harder and benefit us in the long term. I have to say we won a point, rather than lost two as almost any team would be happy with a point away from home having played 1/3 of the match with 10 men.

      • justchampion

        We played better with 10 men!

        • Yes, because Cardiff were exhausted by then. This was the whole idea, chase every ball, make sure we don’t concede and turn the valve in the last 30 mins by introducing Rondon and Muto. Would have worked beautifully if it wasn’t for Hayden. If Kenedy had scored that penalty none of you would be saying we were poor.

      • Sickandtired

        Did good? Where you [email protected]@ed when you watched it?

        • The whole idea was chase every ball, make sure we don’t concede and turn the valve in the last 30 mins by introducing Rondon and Muto. Would have worked beautifully if it wasn’t for Hayden. If Kenedy had scored that penalty none of you would be saying we were poor.

          • Sickandtired

            what a load of [email protected] They were [email protected] and I would have said so if Kenedy had undeservedly scored. He didn’t make a single pass in the whole first half man! Muto was on just before Hayden got sent off – so why wasn’t Rondon on with him?
            And I hate to tell you, it’s the team chasing the ball who are meant get tired, not the team in possession.

    • Sickandtired

      ‘Bout time Rafa stopped using Shelvey like a Quarterback in American Football. He spends almost the entire match receiving the ball just outside our own box! Diame has zero creativity in him, so in effect we have no midfield at all.

  • LockieToon

    Other than Dubravka and Lejeune who has Rafa signed that is any good? We are yet to what the new signings are made of and Kenedy and Rondon only loan players. He’s wasted loads on players who aren’t good enough like Joselu, Murphy, Diame, Lazaar, Manquilo etc. Yes Rafa needs money but the little he has needs to be better spent.

    • Jimblag23

      Gayle, Ritchie, Yedlin,

      • LockieToon

        Championship level players who need to be replaced, hence Gayle at West Brom, I like Ritchie as he works hard but we need better.

        • FatParosite

          I spot another troll…..

          • LockieToon

            What ever it’s my opinion, been a loyal supporter for years. Fact is we have a rubbish squad and Rafa has bought some dross. I doubt Muto will be any good either…

          • justchampion

            Go buy yourself a really nice car here’s a grand and I want change. Get the picture?

          • LockieToon

            Murphy was £12mil, Joselu £5mil and third choice striker at Stoke, should have spent £17mil on a decent striker.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            So neglect 3 positions to sort one position out, wonder if the £17 milllon striker can play right back & on the wing as well. In fact he can cross the ball to him self goodness me

          • LockieToon

            Three positions what you on about? Joselu is a striker so same position you clown and Murphy is only one player can you not add up.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            We still needed 3 positions covered. But you’re the CL winning manager so you know better. You’d have the money spent on a striker what’s he gonna do defend at right back run up the pitch cross it in & get on the end of the cross himself? Berk

          • LockieToon

            Manquilo was £4.5mil and a waste of money, get the picture?

          • SuperDesHamilton

            If you’re given a pittance what do you except, think Juventus will sell us Ronaldo for £3 million? Bungalow brains

          • LockieToon

            So just buy who ever we can get? I seem to remember Graham Carr made some shrewd signings on a limited budget. Not all worked out but had a better track record than Rafa has in the transfer market.

          • SuperDesHamilton

            What would you do? Just name 10 players like.

            Carr had one good season
            Ba/Tiote/Cabaye were his only hits he was a one season wonder at a time when transfer fees weren’t crazy. Ashley still thinks you can still buy Freddo’s for 10p & good players for £5 million.

            I haven’t got enough characters to name all the absolute dross he brung in

          • SuperDesHamilton

            Anita
            Santon
            Good
            Debuchy
            De jong
            De jong
            Mbwia
            Gouffran
            Abeid
            Janmaat
            Mitrovic
            Sissoko
            Haidara
            Amilfitano
            Ferraya
            Keman
            Bigirimana
            Ireland
            Marveaux
            Obertan
            Gosling
            Thauvin
            Campbell
            Kuqi
            Cabella
            Riviere
            Saivet
            Doumbia

            What an outstanding track record eh, all fantastic those lot

    • Billmag

      The going rate for decent player’s in today’s market is evidently beyond our greedy owner.

  • Scott Robinson

    Kenedy didn’t pick the ball up and place it in the spot like some petulant school kid who only plays because Daddy owns the ball, he was the appointed penalty taker who bangs them away in training.
    Someone asked why Rafa took Ritchie off, duh! He was never going to fit in at fb but his replacement did. It was too late for Rondon due to circumstances, he was being kept for the bigger games and would have had sub time.

    At least Dummett can defend and that is why he is highly rated as a defender by Rafa and most managers and pundits. I am surprised you didn’t mention his ‘alleged’ lack of pace! Yedlin is neither a reasonable winger or a reasonable defender, he is just quick. It would be suicide to play with two wingers and 2 attacking full backs, even England can’t do that. We can’t do it due to the limitations of virtually every player in the squad. Mannequin and Josie loo wouldn’t get in any premiership team, the rest would struggle. Shelvey was star man by a mile!

    • Damon Horner

      Completely right. I’m surprised the subs were questioned. We had no obvious RB so Rafa threw on a guy with pace, energy and good enough concentration who happened to be playing opposite a guy who he has been playing with all his life.

  • John

    Rafa never wanted 3 points. An awful defensive set up against the worst team in the league, who in turn made us look like the worst team in the league.

    • justchampion

      Just maybe we have to set up more defensively because we don’t have the players who will score goals. If we go all out offensive we are screwed.

      • Billmag

        Aka Huddersfield yesterday.

      • Sickandtired

        Barely any who can defend either, or pass…

  • FatParosite

    This is a squad living off the embers of miraculously finishing 10th. Everyone who knows anything about football knows we were lucky and not just with the lack of injuries. Ashley loves a gamble & we have a broken threadbare squad that is only just better than a championship one because we survived last year. Not beating the obvious whipping boys in Cardiff is litmus to the very bad season we are about to have. Ashley using Rafa’s refusal to kowtow as a reason not to spend is both immature and self harming. Kenedy who just happens to be our best player playing badly is pure evidence of this folly. We are right to concentrate on it as it is in microcosm the reality of our long term situation.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      You know absolutely nothing about football so I stopped reading after the opening part

    • Superdooperhooper

      The writing was on the wall when we finished tenth and ashley came out in defence of the players . I said at the time it would’ve been better if we’d finished 17th. The fat slug would’ve been forced into spending money to keep the TV money rolling in

    • Kev Newcastle England

      You might think he our best player,I dont.

  • Scott Robinson

    The biggest problem remains …Mike Ashley and his apologists and our accommodation of their antics.

    Comedy CutZ: ‘Half the price for half the hair cut, Sir?’
    The grizzled wizened barber with the permanent tab in his mouth (and matching permanent cough) whose gravelly voice says he cut Bobby Charlton’s hair and his Dad’s and Grandfather’s before him. The sort of barber that would make a Jermaine Jenas travel all the way to Nottingham just for a short back and sides. The sort of barber who probably unintentionally invented the comb-over and maybe he did really cut Bobby’s hair and also gave Ralph Coates that particular ‘style’ when back in the NE on holiday he popped in with a full head of hair for a trim? Such is legend. You watch the previous incumbent in the Barber’s chair venture in with a full head of hair then go out with a noticeable bald patch and a slight comb-over, yet nervously nodding his head in approval at rear view mirror time. Yet the shop is always full. If the shop was in Monkseaton then even the Monks would surely be nervous about asking for the usual tonsure as it would surely end up as a comb-over.

    The Cartoon Army. Not many of us would go back to that barber again or would we? Yet the same value for money NUFC is similarly always full. Ironic? Well I had a full head of hair when I first went in 1970 …supporting the Lads has certainly ruined my hair or was that the barber? At least the barbers is the last bastion for real men until the dreaded words UNISEX SALON appears and I am sat next to self confessed feminist Bobbi Fleckman (Short back and sides Sir, I mean Madam, I mean …?). At least I’ll be able to spot ‘Monkseaton’ as he’ll be in for his usual tonsure as the only guy in Monkseaton ever to wear a Sports Direct beanie. Not hard to spot an Ashley apologist is it? Like the comb-over there is a certain style that either makes you laugh out loud at the stupidity or shake your head in such incredulous despair that your ginger toupee is endangered, or is that the cat?

    Imagine Mike Ashley gets rid of Rafa and wants to bring in a new disciplinarian manager, as he has been reading about Graham Souness. Beat this as the biggest jaw dropper ….Roy Keane. See things can always get worse, under Super Mike Ashley. Long live Rafa!

    • Billmag

      Went to school in Hetton with Ralph Coates wasn’t surprised he made the grade, he had a good head of hair back then great footballer. R.I.P. Ralph.

  • Leazes.

    The biggest problem by far is an absentee owner who supports another club ‘Chelsea’ ….

    ……and who has stripped SJP to the bare bones and is happy to let it survive to advertise his tat shop.

    Meanwhile at the Chronicle its business as usual as they go in search of those increasingly elusive ‘positives’ to spin!

  • Lewis SG

    Diame should be dropped for Ki, Perez should be dropped for Muto, Joselu dropped for Rondon.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Kenedy likes to take 3 or 4 players on at a time without passing the ball…….infuriating at times but he is capable of beating them….that’s why his first half passing figures were zilch………how many passes did he actually attempt to make in that first half?…..it didn’t seem like a lot to me…..so the zero passes completed is a stat which is being overdone…

  • SuperDesHamilton

    So we can just gloss over his absolutely terrible performance? Of course Paul Dummett adds nothing except just about acceptable defending & awful positional sense, but with an owner who’s stripping the club bare & the whole British media letting it happen & worse colluding with him what is Benitez supposed pick? He’s had to take from the damaged aisle of the players supermarket yet again

  • Brian Standen

    Easy to pick on players we have a history of it!
    But yes Kenedy was poor as were a few others but I note the same faces get picked on Diame, Dummett, Joselu etc. Yet in my eyes all 3 were better than most!

    It’s early days but the panic is setting in ( amongst us)
    Fact is the team are as one and they are an honest bunch of 100 percenters and we need to stay behind them

    • Billmag

      Brian I was at game when Steve Watson was booed off and he was a local lad.

      • Brian Standen

        Need we say anymore!

    • Sickandtired

      They were honestly [email protected]! 100% of [email protected] is still [email protected]!

    • Paul Patterson

      Agreed. We were one goal away from three points. As poor on the eye as it was, I’m convinced we would have nicked it if we’d kept ten men on the field . .

      • Brian Standen

        Absolutely. Comment below is still right, we were poor but it’s not the time to be overly critical- leave that to the plastic fans of arsenal and Man Utd !

    • Damon Horner

      Agreed. When it comes to picking on olayers, you just need to look at Shelvey and Dummett. Dummett is picked on for his limitations and his strengths are downplayed where Shelvey’s key strength is sympathised with by addressing the issues with his teammates not considering that a solid passing range may be his limitation. It’s just because passing gains more respect than defensive contributions.

  • Foggy

    It’s not the fact he had a stinker. It’s that he was still on the field when he should’ve been taken off at halftime. Rafa blew it and I don’t get why. These are important points lost that may come back to haunt us.

  • Superdooperhooper

    Yes he had a stinker but he wasn’t the only one. The fact that we’re relying on a young loan player with half a pl seasons experience for all the creativity is shocking . We’ve gone from contenders to also rans. From heavyweights to makeweights and there’s only one person to blame for that

  • Damon Horner

    By all means ask Kenedy if he was happy taking the penalty but to speak the obvious before he took it he hadn’t missed it, so taking it off him and then giving it to a player who could miss it would be even worse than trusting him to take it. He wasn’t guaranteed to miss.