Newcastle supporters around the world jumped around their living rooms with joy last night at the sight of Kily’s last minute 98km per hour strike to put Senegal out of the African Cup of Nations.
As much as we may feel for Demba Ba and Cissè, our hearts want what’s best for Newcastle United, and most will admit they will be delighted to see them back in the black and white sooner than expected.
This is the thing though, will we? Senegal still have one game to play in their group, on Sunday the 29th of January. That certainly counts them out of our FA Cup fixture at the weekend but what about our next Premier League fixture?
Newcastle are due to play Blackburn away on Wednesday the 1st February, three days after Senegal’s last match. Chances are Cissè and Ba will be on a plane home on the Monday and home that night, if not then, certainly by Tuesday morning.
Good news in it’s most basic as we would expect them both to be available for Blackburn but I would expect all the travelling will have a significant bearing on their availability for Wednesday.
It is far more likely that they will be available for selection for the following game, Sunday the 5th of February against Aston Villa, and with it being in St. James’ Park it should be a nice welcome home for our Senegalese strike force.
That said, the more I thought about it the more I questioned. Demba Ba will almost certainly feature and hopefully he picks up where he left off and continues on his rich vain of scoring form, but as for Cissè, I am not so sure.
Having experienced how Alan Pardew handles new signings, Davide Santon being the prime example, I think we may be made to wait for the introduction of Papiss Demba Cissè to the Premier League.
With Leon Best fit and playing well, Hatem Ben Arfa looking better each game, and options available even beyond those two and Ba, I think Pardew may well take the same route as he did with Santon and ease Cissè into life in England.
Obviously in an ideal world I would love to see him come into the side straight away and hit the ground running, bang in a debut hat-trick and in-turn giving us a new number nine to worship but that’s the stuff of dreams to be honest, can’t see it happening.
Realistically, I think the best we can hope for is for him to be integrated immediately but via a cameo role from the bench for a month or so. The sooner he impresses, the sooner he will push his way into the starting line-up, but until then I think Pardew’s approach, and team, will remain relatively the same as it has been thus far. Remember Cisse also has to move from a different country, which is something his compatriot Demba Ba said he struggled with at the start of the season which is worth considering.
Having watched Senegal in their two games to date, the first of which he only made an appearance as a sub, I think it is clear to see the lad has genuine talent, great movement, technique and energy to burn. Given time could be a real top player for Newcastle but it may take time, despite many supporters desire to see him starting games straight away.
What do others think? Should he be given a chance to shine straight away or should we follow the line of ‘In Pardew We Trust’ and expect Cissè to be gradually integrated into the side?