This isn’t a defence of Kenedy.

Well at least it isn’t a defence of his contribution to the game at Cardiff on Saturday.

He was terrible and nothing he did really came off, the only positive a free-kick that he won not far outside the Cardiff box.

Kenedy wasn’t the only Newcastle player to play poorly but he is one that stands out, which is part of his problem…and my explanation/defence.

The pundits predictably had a field day, the two stand out moments being when he should possibly ave been sent off in the first half only for the referee to seemingly totally miss something happening right in front of him, then of course that last gasp piece of action when the Brazilian’s feeble penalty was easily saved.

To put the icing on the cake, pundits and neutrals alike, gloried in the fact that Kenedy became the first Premier League player since 2010 not to manage a pass to a teammate in the entire first half of the game (see below).

A bit of a feeding frenzy taking place as for many the blame for Newcastle’s poor display was in a very over the top manner centred far too much only on the Brazilian.

I think there are any number of mitigating circumstances.

Chief amongst these is the ridiculous reliance that is put on Kenedy to create, due to a refusal by Mike Ashley to back Rafa Benitez with the cash needed to bring in creative players of quality this summer.

Jonjo Shelvey can of course hit killer passes but games like yesterday with Perez and Joselu up front, you can sense the former Liverpool player’s frustration. The pair totally lack any real pace and their movement is so poor, making it all but impossible for Shelvey to pick either of them out, Dwight Gayle may have his faults but he was the one who the midfielder was always trying to pick out. Here’s hoping that once Muto and Rondon are in the team, they will give Jonjo Shelvey what he needs.

In the meantime, the normal course of things usually sees the ball shuffled around the pitch until it reaches Kenedy, then he is the once expected to try and do something on his own.

I remember his very first game last season at home to Burnley, straight away he gave Newcastle an attacking/creative outlet that had been totally missing, somebody who could and would run with the ball – not another Newcastle player capable of this, apart from occasionally Yedlin with his full speed head down charges forward.

I found it a bit embarrassing that on that day of his debut against Burnley, the rest of the team were passing up all responsibility themselves and just giving the ball to Kenedy, expecting him then to do it all on his own. A bit like in the playground when one player is so much better than the rest. This really summed up the lack of quality and creativity in the Newcastle team/squad.

Remember, this is a player who even now has only started 19 top level (Premier League) matches in his careers, including yesterday at Cardiff.

I thought it was quite clear that Cardiff were targeting Kenedy all game, they knew he was the only real threat even though not on form on the day, they always made sure they had numbers to stop him. The left footer made it easy for them on this occasion but to his credit he never stopped trying, whilst most of his teammates failed to take responsibility themselves in trying to make something happen.

Last weekend it was a similar story with Tottenham knowing where the real/only threat lay, Kenedy was repeatedly fouled and two Spurs players booked for bringing him down.

Quite stunning really that we are so reliant on a 22 year old inexperienced loan player to make things happen, a direct effect of Mike Ashley refusing to allow Newcastle to compete for the players Rafa needed.

I have seen Newcastle fans question why Rafa kept Kenedy on the pitch and subbed Ritchie instead. Well Matt Ritchie has his strengths but the manager would have known if he brought Kenedy off then he was taking away the only player that really bothered Cardiff City.

Here’s hoping that the extra quality, movement and strength of Rondon and Muto can make Newcastle an all round more potent attacking force, then it will be a lot easier for Kenedy to be working his own magic.

Though maybe keep him off the penalties from this point on….(though even with that, Kenedy had the bottle to take it, I didn’t see anybody else fighting to get the ball).

BBC Sport:

The Brazilian, seemingly under the nose of referee Craig Pawson, inexplicably kicked out at Spanish midfielder Victor Camarasa. It happened quick as a flash, with TV replays showing the official was not looking in the direction of the incident.

The summer signing earned the ignominy of failing to complete a single pass – in fact he only attempted two – and became the first player not to find a team-mate with a single pass in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League match since Blackburn’s Nikola Kalinic against Birmingham City in March 2010.

Kenedy must have seen the stats at half-time because his passing accuracy improved to 57.1% from 14 passes.

Warnock, with a smile on his face, said it was “poetic justice”.

“My dad used to say ‘what goes around, comes around.

“Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. The lad Kenedy shouldn’t have been on the pitch.”

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  • Kenny

    A young player who thought he wasNewcastle’s Messi, he won’t put in another performance as bad as yesterday, forget it & move on.

  • StevieB

    He was disastrous….forget it and move on

  • Wor Lass

    ” … the only player that really bothered Cardiff City.” Really? Our two best chances both fell to Perez who was a bit unlucky – he got away shots on target which the keeper dealt with very well. Kenedy could certainly beat a man but never gained anything from it because he invariably over-elaborated and lost it. It reminds me of how Gazza used to always want to play the killer ball every time. I agree that his problems yesterday were really all about trying too hard to make a difference – he`s a relative novice at PL level and will learn to use the ball better. He should never have been allowed to take the penalty but I didn`t notice anyone else offering.

    • Viru leckworth

      Perez gets a lot of stick in social media but wasn’t he top scorer last season, and he was the only Newcastle player to have two shots on target? Last week too he had one of those tight angle shots on target if anyone can remember.

      • Kenny

        to easily brushed off the ball, time & time again yesterday.
        good footballer but needs to get more upper body strength

  • Foggy

    Very simply, Rafa should have hauled Kenedy off as I doubt any other top manager would’ve allowed him out for the second half. Abysmal doesn’t even describe Kenedy’s Performance. NO excuses that he is young, handful of starts, blah, blah blah. He should’ve been off for the kick for sure and hooked. Mind boggling Rafa allowed him to take the penalty and a slap in the face for those who may not have played well but put in the effort. I think that if Rafa was taking notes he’ll have at the top of the list “I could’ve done better in this one”.

  • Paul Patterson

    Something tells me we will have to get by without him for the next four matches come Monday morning . .

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      The referee saw the incident and did nothing, so I assume that’s the end of it.

      • Kneebotherm8

        That’s how Wigans Mcmanaman got off with his assault on Haidara……he should have got a 10 game ban for that but the ref “saw” it…….

      • Foggy

        I’ll be surprised if the ref. Says he saw it. I’m willing to bet the opposite and he’ll get a retrospective ban.

  • Billmag

    I get what you mean Lewis but Kennedy a player rated in the £20ml class has cost us possibly 4 points and it’s only the second game, and what was he doing playing through the middle he’s a winger I believe there was once yesterday when he went to receive the ball off Dub’s I actually thought he was playing as a CB,the boy needs discipline and I do hope he gets over yesterday’s indiscipline but I have my doubts.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    a brilliant player who was the best player on the pitch against Spurs. If Rafa had not taken Ritchie and Perez off would have won the game and all forgotten. Should have had four points got one but great point anyway with ten men.

    • Ashley-out

      so you are blaming Rafa

      • Kneebotherm8

        He always does…..

        • Kenny

          an itch that will not go away

          • Kneebotherm8

            Definitely an irritation..

    • Billmag

      No he wasn’t the best player against Spurs, Ritchie was.

  • Peter Ellis

    He’s a player that will spend most of his career on loan. Not good enough to hold down a place at a decent club.

  • Jimblag23

    I was 100% sure he was going to miss as soon as he stepped up, it really was one of those days for him.

  • robbersdog

    There isn’t a ‘problem’ with Kenedy. The lad had a bad game, like most Premier League players will have this season, and that’s it. No big deal.

    Is he eligible to play against Chelsea? Probably not as he’s still their player, and that means we’ll be without him, Lejeune and Yedlin – three first-team players, plus a couple of our first choice backups, eg, Hayden. I know it’s a ‘squad game’, but we don’t have much of a squad to start with.

  • Simon Ritter

    Well done for not jumping on the bandwagon, Lewis. And totally correct in pointing out nobody else apparently offered to take the penalty. I cannot disagree with any of your arguments. Kenedy kept trying to make things happen. A player should escape criticism if he puts in 100%. If he fails to sweat blood for the team, throw him to the dogs.

  • Down Under Mag

    Players miss penalties…it doesn’t make them a bad player, just like one good performance doesn’t make them a superstar. Kenedy had a bad day but he wasn’t exactly alone in this fact. I think Rafa just needs to sit him down and try and exorcise the spirit of Ben Arfa from him as he seemed intent on trying to beat every Cardiff player on the pitch whenever he got the ball. Kenedy is one of our better players and was clearly keen to impress, he will have bad days and he will have good ones. It is up to him to stop having as many bad ones and work on what he does well. He showed bottle to take the penalty, he was just always going to have a bad day against a typical Warnock side intent on kicking everything above ground AND being allowed to get away with it by the ref who had arguably as bad a showing as the majority of Newcastle players!

    • NUFCDan

      Ben Arfa is a good comparison. Kenedys game yesterday was similar to Ben Arfa at his worst as he fell into the same trap of feeling like he had to run with the ball and beat 2/3 players every time he picked it up due to zero movement ahead of him and nobody else taking responsibility for creating anything.

  • Rob

    Let’s be fair Kenedy on a good day is better than 90% of our players.

    No point being too critical after one bad game.

    Our fixture run is devastating now though so overall I’m furious at the teams performance and lack of three points.

  • nevfur

    An exciting young prospect had a bad day but kept trying to his credit albeit tried to do too much too often. Showed though why the calls for him to be worth £20M plus were wide of the mark

    • NUFCDan

      Him being a good prospect makes him worth £20m alone nowadays, the finished article would cost £50m+

      • nevfur

        I reckoned £15M tops but it’s all opinions. Can’t imagine I will ever have that kind of money to worry about lol