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Papiss Cisse needs to get firing again for Newcastle

Newcastle United v Southampton - Premier League

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 24: Papiss Cisse of Newcastle celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St James

After having enjoyed a breathtaking first season in the Barclays Premier league in both the quality and the quantity of goals, this season has been, if nothing, a reality check for the toon no. 9 Papiss Demba Cisse.

Newcastle United this term have played 42 competitive games and Cisse has been a starter in the majority of the line-ups selected by Alan Pardew. However with a goal return of 8 (6*PL, 1*Europa and 1*Capital One cup), the season for the striker can only be described as disappointing. Yes, one could argue that throughout the season Cisse has had to play wide on the right and play the role of a provider of chances rather than the one getting on the end of it, and that he has been playing in a side that has been ravaged by injuries and has seriously lacked creativity. But the fact remains that Cisse has missed some gilt-edged chances and that, for a striker of Cisse’s calibre playing for a club like Newcastle United, is criminal. The two instances that immediately spring to mind are the header at home against Manchester United and one at home to Chelsea; these are two of many that should have been buried. Everyone loves a screamer but it is the bread and butter strikes that garner bulk of the points.

The lack of goals from Cisse is a surprise to many, including me, as the striker has never endured such a dry spell in his career. He has been a regular goal-scorer at both domestic and international level. At SC Freiburg he had a great goal scoring record, especially keeping in mind he was playing for a side that would find itself close to the foot of the table. It was this form that prompted Mike Ashley to shell out close to £10 million to land their man.

Goal scoring is not the only thing that the striker has been poor with; many fans have been disappointed with his hold up play and his failure to bring teammates into play; he currently has just 1 assist in the Premier League, the penalty that he earned against Wigan Athletic. In 26 games he has been caught offside 25 times and has been poor with his heading ability. It could just be a confidence thing as every player goes through a lean patch and you just have to hope that this is just one of those things and not a sign of things to come.

Newcastle United are currently 15th in the league table, having accumulated 30 points from 28 games. Although the threat of relegation should not be a concern but a few good results are still needed to put away any lingering doubts that some of the supporters may have. Europa league, I believe has been a priority for the club all along and the club are still in the running for what could be their first trophy since the Fairs Cup in 1969.

We hope there are more, but as things stand, there are at least 12 games remaining for Newcastle and there remain targets that are still to be met by the club. We hope the club’s coaching staff and the player himself sort the whole thing out ASAP.

Newcastle now have a fully fit squad to choose from and Cisse as the senior central striker should have ample services to score a hatful of goals. It will be a real acid test for the striker and it could determine his future at the club and could shape the club’s transfer policy for the summer.

On the brighter side, there have been some signs of improvement since the departure of several strikers from the club to the pastures new, but he is still no way near where the club and the supporters want him to be. One just has to hope that he pulls his socks up and brings about much needed urgency in his play and starts banging them in from 5 as well as 35 yards.

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