If we are to start to pull away from the bottom of the league table as we did last year around this time – then we need to have on-loan winger Kenedy performing his magic on the left wing – like last season.
That hasn’t happened too much this season, but we expect Rafa Benitez to start getting the very best out of the Brazilian U23 International as this season progresses.
Kenedy had a poor start to the season when in stoppage time in the second game at Cardiff City he missed a penalty that could have been our first win of the season.
Instead, we had to wait until our 11th game at home to Watford before we got our first win – so that has to have affected the 22-year-old.
Kenedy and Rafa Benitez shown last season
As we reported this morning Rafa playing three center-backs has also forced Kenedy to play as a wingback, and it’s been difficult for him to adjust his attacking game to that new formation.
Rafa has admitted today in the Chronicle today that Kenedy is nowhere near his best form and was asked if the lad is suffering from a lack of confidence:
“No, I think he knows that he is not playing at the level he can play,”
“But don’t forget that he is an offensive player who we are playing as a wing-back in a defensive formation when sometimes he was defending two against one.”
“So we have to think that he has to adjust, he has to learn, and these kinds of games will be a good experience for him.”
Rafa makes a point of teaching his players about the game and what to do under various different circumstances.
The young Brazilian listens carefully to Rafa, and we are confident we’ll see Kenedy close to his best form soon.
That’s our hope in any case.