Our scouts must’ve been laughing it up in the last transfer window, reading the continuous stream of names that flowed out of the sports news channels, message boards and newspapers.
Naturally this included numerous prospects, misfits and over-hyped, overpaid players from Anglo-French clubs because of the ever increasing French speaking members of our squad.
Then came the news on the 17th day of the transfer window that Newcastle had made a swoop for a little known striker who played in the Bundesliga for Freiburg. Papiss Demba Cisse was transferred to Newcastle after much speculation about him being in a transfer tug of war which spanned Tyne & Wear. Did the Mackems pay for his flight?? He’s scored 13 in 12, I don’t care if my public sector pension paid for it!!
As well all know he wasn’t able to play for a few weeks after signing because of his participation in the African Cup of Nations for Senegal, and actually jetted out to join up with his international team mates immediately after signing. This could’ve, and probably should have, made it massively difficult for him to settle in a new country never mind a new team. The one thing Newcastle had in their favour was that Demba Ba was also going to the ACoN with Papiss and would probably educate him before he was thrown to the Lions….of Little Benton.
So just how good is he? Lets face it for £10m he’s probably the best and most natural finisher many of us have seen at St James’ Park since Alan Shearer but even then he was a totally different type of finisher. Shearer’s greatest asset was knowing when to arrive to meet the ball and the finishing followed. Cisse’s style of finishing is instinctive, on impulse, he sees the ball, gets it under control and just hits it. During his first few games I wasn’t sure, like many others, whether he would make it in this country. Granted he was full of running but he didn’t seem to have enough strength and power. However he has developed a quick understanding of the English game, and the effort he puts in is so refreshing. His running and hassling of opposition defenders reminds me of Oba Martins but our unlike our Nigerian friend he gives 100% for 100% of the game.
The change came for Cisse when Alan Pardew changed our formation. It was the right time to change it when we had struggled to beat QPR, Villa and Blackburn, drew with Wolves and the Mackems, and suffered defeats at Fulham, Spurs, Brighton, and not to forget heartbreak at Arsenal.
Cisse got off to a good start against Villa but we were struggling to find form and Ba looked out of sorts. Pard’s looked to a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3, if you like, and Cisse found his position, straight through the middle. Ba’s influence should not be discounted even though he couldn’t buy a goal. He was/is Cisse’s big brother and translator in chief, and in return Cisse took the heat off him and the team by bagging goal after goal. Pards played the same formation away at West Brom, as he had when Norwich visited SJP a week before and it worked again with Cisse, Ba and HBA starring again. Then we all know what happened against Liverpool, Swansea, Bolton, Stoke and, ahem, Wigan. Forget the result at the DW, Cisse was fcuking class in the second half and should be proud of himself for keeping going. Pard’s took that defeat on the chin and rectified it with a change in formation at Chelsea. Two wonder strikes later Cisse’s name has been on everyone’s lips since, and rightly so.
All in all you really cant underestimate how good a goal it was at Chelsea but it’s certainly not all he has to offer. In the 13 goals, there has been such a big difference in most of the goals he has scored;
Aston Villa – The snap shot, half volley with the outside of his right foot on the edge of the box.
Wolves – Acrobatically and instinctively turns the ball in from about 8 yards after a Tiote shot.
Norwich – First time half volley from 18 yards after beating the defender to a ball fizzed at him.
West Brom – Easy side foot finish close in from a HBA cross.
West Brom – Side foot from further out this time after good work from HBA and Ba.
Liverpool – A diving header at the back post after peeling off a defender & meeting a floated HBA cross.
Liverpool – Wrong footed keeper with a drag back and lashed the ball home.
Swansea – Through on the keeper after a first time good ball from Cabaye and slots comfortably home.
Swansea – Technically his best? Maybe…after receiving a through ball he maintains forward momentum but flicks out his right leg to meet the ball, the striker somehow managed to conjure up an incredulous chip in front of the away fans.
Bolton – Easy side foot finish close in from a Shola cross.
Stoke – Cisse meets a through ball after running across the back of the defenders and roll it past the keeper.
Chelsea – Santon’s ball inside to Cisse, who controls and flicks ball up, and volleys past Cech.
Chelsea – One of the best goals I have ever witnessed. Shola knocks the ball down, and Cisse hits across the ball first time and the ball whips over Cech. What a goal!!
Can he get better? Of course he can, but he could also do is ACL having some Cheese and Onion Disco crisps for his dinner next week!! I fully expect him to get better, why shouldn’t he, but we might have a struggle in holding on to him as other teams will be interested. All our hierarchy have to say to interested parties is, if you want him, pay us 35 or 40 mill.
When the deal for Carroll was mooted I thought no way, don’t let this happen but now I have so much faith in our scouting network that I think we could lose most players in the team but have someone lined up to take their place. Anyway lets hope that wont happen eh!!!
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