Former Newcastle United ace, Malcolm Macdonald, has lashed out at wingers Christian Atsu and Kenedy for their failure to give full-back Paul Dummett any form of defensive support on the left side.
The Magpies have not had the best start to the season, having lost three of four Premier League matches played so far, drawing the other.
Unarguably, their darkest hour came in the League Cup where a 3-1 defeat to second tier side Nottingham Forest has ended their cup quest in the second round of the competition.
“I admire him [Dummett] for his honesty and his dedication to the cause – and he needs it with either Kenedy or Christian Atsu playing in front of him. Neither offers any protection whatsoever,” MacDonald wrote in his column for The Chronicle.
“Kenedy is having a nightmare. I’ve never ever in my life known a player come off with a headache yet that apparently is why the Brazilian was subbed at Manchester City as early as the 52nd minute.
“As for Atsu, he simply doesn’t know how to use his greatest asset, his pace.
“When you can run as quickly as him, you should automatically knock any pass you receive 10 yards beyond the nearest defender and go.
“It then comes down to the player either fouling you or taking you on in a foot race he will almost certainly lose.
“As for Kenedy or Atsu helping out Dummett, they simply don’t as a rule, which is why United need Matt Ritchie back as quickly as possible. I’ve hardly ever seen a winger work harder when he hasn’t got the ball.”
Atsu’s disappointing performance this season has seen him make only two league appearances – both substitute outings – so far.
He, however, lasted for the entire duration of the defeat to Forest but his performance on the day only attracted another round of criticism.