JOHNGIBSON Keep fo­cus on United, not Chelsea ti­tle dreams


The Chronicle - - Safc -

FOOT­BALLERS are young men with the world wait­ing to be con­quered and of­ten they can en­gage their mouth but not their brain.

It is all too easy to speak out on any given sub­ject with­out con­sid­er­ing the im­pli­ca­tions of what they are ac­tu­ally say­ing.

All the more easy if you hap­pen to be speak­ing to some­one back home thou­sands of miles away as if the world was not a global vil­lage and what you say will not wing its way back to bite you.

Thus Kenedy, still only 22 years of age, fell foul of the foot­baller’s curse this week when talk­ing to Brazil­ian web­site UOL.

You would pre­sume he would want to lie doggo and take ad­van­tage of an in­ter­na­tional break which meant no games for a fort­night. But no, in the midst of some of the worst form in his life, miss­ing a match-win­ning penalty and giv­ing the ball away more than once to gift goals, he de­cided to talk about how much he is look­ing for­ward to go­ing back to Chelsea and be­com­ing a cham­pion.

I ask you, how is that for tim­ing?

I think right now Kenedy would be best off talk­ing about how grate­ful he is Rafa Ben­itez went back to of­fer him a sec­ond loan deal and how much he owes United’s boss and the fans.

How United are a big club and he needs to do well for them on a con­sis­tent ba­sis be­fore he de­cides his longterm fu­ture.

Be­cause right now Kenedy’s big­gest task is re­tain­ing his place in New­cas­tle’s team, never mind be­com­ing a cham­pion at Chelsea.

Look across the dress­in­groom and ask Chris­tian Atsu about a young player hav­ing a fu­ture at Stam­ford Bridge. Then con­sider even cur­rent su­per­stars were still kicked out by Chelsea in their for­ma­tive years – Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among them. Of course Kenedy has an abun­dance of nat­u­ral skills and the po­ten­tial to be­come a qual­ity player but there are no guar­an­tees. It takes more than abil­ity to make it. United fans have loved the young Brazil­ian, see­ing in him last sea­son what Chelsea saw when they brought him across to this coun­try.

How­ever, as can hap­pen with de­vel­op­ing kids, he has hit the buf­fers and needs a lift from some­where. Ben­itez has talked about his prob­lems hav­ing just be­come a dad and play­ing with a groin nig­gle.

One of Kenedy’s other prob­lems is be­ing ‘lazy’ when it comes to learn­ing English. Lazy, by the way, is the word he used to de­scribe his in­abil­ity to get a grip of the lan­guage three years af­ter ar­riv­ing in this coun­try - though he in­sists he is tak­ing lessons se­ri­ously now.

There was not a dafter lad – or a more tal­ented one – than Paul Gas­coigne, yet when he signed for Lazio I went across to live at his villa in Rome for four days and was sur­prised at how quickly he had picked up pi­geon Ital­ian. He spoke eas­ily with kids and fans which, to­gether with his au­da­cious tal­ent, made him in­stantly lov­able to the lo­cals.

If Gazza can do it then surely Kenedy can.

I only bang on about Kenedy be­cause he has real tal­ent and I don’t want to see it wasted.

It is easy to fall into the trap of say­ing too much with­out think­ing of the im­pli­ca­tions. We can for­give him that, even if in his case the tim­ing was bad.

The best thing he can do now is but­ton his lip, buckle down to the task ahead with re­lent­less de­ter­mi­na­tion and start play­ing like a cham­pion against Arse­nal to­day.

Romelu Lukaku, Chris­tian Atsu and Kevin de Bruyne are just three of the play­ers who have had to leave Chelsea to get first-team foot­ball

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