Well he burst onto the scene and set the Premier League alight ten months ago, scoring a veritable plethora of cracking goals.
Even half chances were duly converted with aplomb as the ball rattled the back of the net a total of 13 times.
There seemed to be no stopping Newcastle’s new number nine and the new season ahead held plenty of promise for the Senegalese hit man. Newcastle fans were also salivating at the thought of more of the same from Papiss Cisse at the start 2012/13 season but unfortunately, and disappointingly, we have yet to see the striker find his range and as yet he failed to find the back of a Premier League net so far this season.
Plenty has been already been written about Cisse’s lack of goal scoring form but I thought I would like to put my spin on things and see if it stirs up some debate.
So to date we are yet to see many goals other than a one against Manchester United in the League Cup and a nice finish (offside?) against Bordeaux. There has been plenty of talk about him lacking confidence, not getting along with his striking partner Demba Ba and the inability of the two Senegalese strikers to play effectively together. His lack of goals could stem from a combination of these things but I think that there may be other issues at play.
During a game, if I notice a player is not getting into the game as they should, I immediately look to see what they are doing off the ball. I look to see if they are moving into space and presenting an option or working hard to help out their team mates. So with this in mind, the past four or five games I have been watching Cisse closely, hoping like everyone else that he comes good and crashes the ball into the back of the net. This of course has not happened but I have seen something in his play that may have changed from last season.
Wonder strikes aside, the one thing that really stood out for me with Cisse’ was his movement into space in and around defenders. His movement off the ball was sensational and more often than not he found space where there seemed to be none. His headed goal against Liverpool is a classic example of this. He drifted nicely behind the defenders while they were ball watching and finished it off in style. He seemed single minded in the task of putting himself in the best possible position to score.
Compare that to this season and I am seeing very few of these types of runs and Cisse seems content to stand between defenders if a cross comes in and hope that one of them will not deal with the ball as he should. A factor in all this may be the poor football we have played but the form of Ba has cast a bad light on Cisse’s goal drought. As an example, the first goal Demba Ba put away against Reading was the type of run that Cisse was producing last season. It really makes me question where this type of movement has gone from Cisse’s game. He seems to be playing with his back to goal more often than not and to me, it is simply not his thing.
I am not doubting that his confidence has dropped and that the delivery of the ball to him has been poor more often than not, but I think that this attacking part of his game has fallen by the wayside to a certain extent.
This is just what I have noticed this season with Cisse and his general play. I don’t think for a second that he is not putting the effort in and that is not really on trial here. I really think he is a cracking player and the goals will come, I just hope it is sooner rather than later.
What do you think?
By Aussie Magpie Fan