Speaking on Match of the Day 2 last night, Jermaine Jenas suggested that Rafa Benitez got it wrong bringing off Kenedy early in the second half, believing the Chelsea loanee was the only NUFC player causing Crystal Palace problems at the back.
Sometimes the ex-NUFC midfielder creates a rod for his own back with his opinionated and outspoken approach, however I actually agree with him on this. Kenedy was causing them problems in the first half and looked one of our brightest players, and taking him off may have contributed to us being put on the back foot in the second half?
One thing I will say is Benitez perhaps felt he was tiring and needed saving for Man Utd on Sunday, however he was one of few players in our side who was making things happen, taking players on and looking likely to do damage in the final third.
Here’s what Jermaine said speaking on MOTD2 last night, explaining how we were on the front foot, but lost this after the Brazilian went off:
“Overall Palace were the better side. But I was surprised by Newcastle who were on the front foot, Benitez deployed a very attacking side.
“Kenedy was very progressive, but I was surprised he came off. He was the one player that could really give Palace some problems.
“The problem was that Palace were that good, that Rafa needed to make changes. I’m concerned about them [Newcastle], they simply don’t score enough goals.”
We started so well and Kenedy was key in this. Maybe he tired, but, in a game where a win would’ve been huge, it was a shame and a surprise to see him come off – although Rafa will have had his reasons.
I was disappointed to see Atsu come on over Murphy, however. The latter has done well in recent weeks when given the chance, but he’s not being given enough chances to kick on. Atsu has been quite the opposite. He’s getting games but isn’t doing enough.
Anyhow, back to Kenedy. He’s been brilliant in his first two games and hopefully him coming off early yesterday puts him in great stead to get at Man Utd from the get-go on Sunday.