Moussa Sissoko | 3 Games | Massive impact

image Much has been said about NUFC’s ‘spending spree’ in January and in the eyes of most fans, other than bringing in a superstar striker, it really couldn’t have been a better window for the club.

In Matthieu Debuchy, Newcastle finally replaced the inconsistent Danny Simpson at right back and in Massadio Haidara, a superb young talent bolstering the strength of the squad at left back.

In Yoan Gouffran, the Magpies have a very mobile forward, who had a good scoring record in Ligue 1 and has shown a very impressive work ethic so far. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has as yet, not had an opportunity to show why so many top clubs across Europe have touted him for so long, but it is Moussa Sissoko who has really set the stage alight since his arrival at Newcastle from Toulouse.

At just €2m, Sissoko was a bargain that the Toon could ill afford to miss. The Newcastle hierarchy had planned to make the French international a summer addition, when his contract would have enabled him to sign for free, but with other clubs sniffing around and NUFC’s worrying league form, a push from Llambias and Co. and the wavering from Sissoko of his signing on fee, saw the North East side capture their man early.

In his debut against Aston Villa, Sissoko was on hand to provide Papiss Cissé an assist for a much-needed goal – a sublimely weighted pass through the Villa defence onto Cissé’s front foot which he duly slotted home. And then, at home to Chelsea, he literally stole the show with an outstanding performance in which he scored two and produced a breath taking display against some the league’s top and most experienced players.

Finally, in his third outing in England’s top division, Sissoko was on hand again, this time teeing up fellow Frenchman Yoan Gouffran for the equaliser against Spurs, ultimately not enough however to take any points this time.

That meant that in his first 3 Newcastle games, Moussa Sissoko had managed 2 goals (1 a match winner) and 2 assists – a fantastic impact so early in his NUFC career. If it hadnt been for some very questionable officiating against Metalist last week, his record would have continued too!

NUFC_Stats looked at some of Sissoko’s other numbers in comparison with the rest of the Toon squad & Premier League players, putting together some very interesting statements.

Only Sylvain Marveaux has produced more Premier League assists for NUFC
Probably more down to NUFC’s failings this season than Sissoko’s class, but to be the second top assistor already is impressive. His position so high up the pitch is very much responsible for this, together with his vision and passing range – as aforementioned, he would have more assists if not for bad referreeing in Europe.

No player at NUFC creates more chances per game in the league
Sissoko has produced 8 chances in the Premier League so far – that’s 2.7 per game, more than any other Toon player and the same as Steven Gerrard, which happens to be the 6th best in the league. Yes, he’s only played 3 games, so no one is getting carried away, but it is the positions in which he creates the chances which excites me most. Newcastle have very much been a ‘cross & hope’ at times this season and, as the graphic below shows, Sissoko is offering a lot more industry in and around the penalty area from his No.10 role.

Moussa Sissoko - Premier League chances created
Moussa Sissoko – Premier League chances created

No player at NUFC plays more through balls per game in the league
He only produced 2 through balls in his 3 games, but that’s only 1 less than Hatem Ben Arfa in his 13 games and Cabaye in his 15, so at 0.7 per game, he is the clubs most frequent. It is also exactly the same as the Premier League’s top ‘through baller’ Santi Carzola, albeit in 23 games less.

No NUFC player has more shots per game in the league
Sissoko has had 8 shots at goal, getting 4 on target and having 1 blocked. That’s a 29% conversion rate, the best at the club and 12% more than the Premier League average. His 2.7 shots per game average is 0.2 better than second placed Ben Arfa at NUFC, 1.8 fewer than Demba Ba and 3.1 per game fewer than league leader Luis Suarez.

No NUFC player produces more final third passes per game in the league
Two players at NUFC produce more passes per game on average than Moussa Sissoko (Cabaye & Tiote), but none have been as competent as the former Toulouse man in the final third – 47 out of his 59 attacking third passé have been accurate, which accounts for nearly 20 per game, way more than any other Toon player. He also plays more of his passes in the attacking half than any other NUFC player (86%) and along with only Yoan Gouffran (3/3), Sissoko is yet to misplace a single long ball in the league (6/6).

No NUFC player wins possession in the attacking third more per game in the league
This has been a bone of contention of mine for a while now – during the Ba/Cissé days, I found teams finding it all too easy to play out from the back and the stats proved me right with the attacking pair producing very low possession winning values for the attacking third. In just 3 games, Sissoko has won back possession in the final third 4 times, just 2 less than NUFC leader Papiss Cissé from 24 appearances.

As I stated earlier, and before anyone jumps on the proverbial bandwagon, no one is getting majorly carried away with Moussa Sissoko after just 3 games in the league and it is far too early to really compare him with anyone, especially outside of Newcastle United.

However, the early signs are that NUFC have a top, top player on their hands, a player that’s carries the majority of traits needed to be successful in England’s top flight. He is exceptionally quick, tall, athletic, strong, has a superb work ethic & attitude and has already proven that he has a cracking eye for goal.

The Newcastle hierarchy deserve credit for more shrewd business in the transfer market and here’s hoping for more of the same in the summer window after Sissoko and Co have helped secure the Magpies’ Premier League status after a very drab season thus far!

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38 thoughts on “Moussa Sissoko | 3 Games | Massive impact

  1. Excellent article Stats.
    I knew the lad had had an impact and impressive start, but didn’t realize it was quite as good as that like. I knew he’d be a brilliant player for us but he’s quickly become a player we can’t afford to miss games. Bizarrely though, the other stat that grabs me is that Marv has produced the most PL assists :shock:. That’s also very impressive when you consider his limited time on the field. It also adds strength to those who argue that he should be playing in place of Jonas.

    With the players we have now, if we can strengthen further in the summer then we should defo be back challenging the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Spurs for that top 4-5 spot IMO.


  2. While the other signings should have been made in the summer, full marks to the board on this signing. we now have a full XI of players that wouldn’t look out of place in the CL.
    Buzzing my tits off at the thought of HBA returning


  3. Statto another good article, I knew Sissoko had a good impact for us from we got him but I didn’t think his impact was that big, and I can only see him getting better the longer he’s here.
    I also liked the stat of Marv being the top assist but the only thing that im surprised about is that he continually comes 2nd to Jonas.


  4. Great article mate. Really well done. Deserves to be up until the match tonight so everyone can see it!

    You can measure some aspects of his impact with stats, but there are also other things you can’t measure such as the improvement in his team mates his drive and energy brings.

    I’ll be willing to be that the stats of other players will imporve because of Sissoko.

    For example I’ll bet the passing stats of our midfield improve as they have someone linking between the forwards and themselves. Sissoko gives them an option rather than having to go straight for Cisse.

    I’d also bet the work ethic has improved. When you see a player willing to put so much in it spurs you on to put more in yourself. ookn at the Chelsea game as an example.

    Top player and so glad we brought the move forward from the summer.

    Dave – You have mail!


  5. Toonsy agree 100% I have said from the 1st game that you can see that our older players have improved from the new ones came in, it seems to have gave them the lift they needed.

    ST yeah the thought of Benny mixing it with our team now is a real nice one, cant wait


  6. Great read Statto, quite impressive from “Sudoku” (as wor lass calls him 🙄 ) he’s nae Mick martin like, but he’ll do for now 😉

    Toonsy…hope the bairn’s getting better mate.


  7. Sharpy/Dave – Getting better seemingly but don’t know if he’s getting better or of it just seems that way because of the drugs. He’s more himself which is nice to see. Cheers for asking 🙂


  8. Dave..aye, seems around 4mb is the max we can get for now, a bit more than I had in Alicante and 3 more than I had here before so it’ll have to do 😐


  9. Toonsy – is he back home of still in Hosp mate?, probs is the drugs at the mo but him perking up and the drugs should fight it off soon enough. And a win the night would cheer him right up 😛

    Ritchie – your lass isn’t related to Sir Bobby by any chance is she? 😆


  10. RICHIE nice to see you back mate,subway and kc,wont be happy like losing all that trade,hope your settled now mate 😉


  11. Rich wrote that comment in 2010 and it’s only just caught up now. Slow. Like the man typing it 😆

    My broadband went slow as feck recently so I called Sky and moaned about it. They adjusted some settings their end and now it’s much faster. I can watch porn without it buffering now 😆

    Dave – Was it you who said about not getting ESPN on Sky Go?


  12. Toonsy/Ice…cheeky feckers 👿 😆
    Internets a ‘mare around here, funnily enough this 4mb is from Orange who we were only getting 1mb off before and we would have been stuck with that if wor lass hadn’t been Spanish and kept pestering them…and this package is cheaper than the old 1mb one and has more inclusive calls, dunno how that works like 😕


  13. Toonsy I can remember when our Dede had the samething when he was a couple of months old 🙁 it scared the shit out of me when he was struggling to breath and didn’t even have the energy to cry. 😯
    No I think it was Johno toon said he couldn’t get the game on espn, but then thats his fault for living down the south. 😆

    Richie atleast your online again as we did miss you as your one of the few that talks sense 😉


  14. I must admit I didn’t know too much about Sissoko apart from his reputation. But he is an outstanding player from what I’ve seen.
    Not just strong and powerful, but smart and technical too. Its crazy to think he’s still so young at just 23.

    A fully fledged France international at 23! The same goes for Mbiwa.

    Then we have:
    Santon, a fully fledged Italian International at 22!
    Tim Krul a fully fledged Dutch International at 24!
    Then when you think Ben Arfa is only 25!

    Debuchy, Cabaye, Gouffran, Marvauex, Tiote and Cisse are all (26/27).

    It means that if Colo and Jonas left at the end of the season the oldest member of our first team would be 28!

    It also demonstates that our “supposed youth talents” should have been much closer to first team ability than they are, meaning its unlikely they’ll ever be first team regulars.

    Shane Ferguson, Sammi Ameobi, Paul Dummett, Vuckic, Inman, Ranger (are all 21/22 years old)… Just a season or so behind these international stars. They should be impressing at Championship level at around 18/19.

    No wonder we buy French. If we can pick up similar talent in Holland and Belgium then I’ll be happy as…


  15. @JJ – Completely agree about our homegrowns. With the exception of Vuckic, who’s had catastrophic luck with injuries.

    IF (big if) he can stay fit, reckon he could be a star. And – on topic – learn a lot from Sissokho about the #10 role.


  16. JJ
    The majority of our first team squad are internationals
    Anita (occasionally)
    Jonas (occasionally)
    Ben Arfa (should be/will be)
    It seems so good to have that quality right through the team. Gouffran and Marveaux could be included as they have international experience but aren’t that near their international team squad.


  17. Blip
    I’ve always wanted Harris to do well as he looks like he could really be something special a bit of a Lampard, but he’s made of glass and so I see little future for him.


  18. Big Dave says:
    February 21, 2013 at 11:32
    No I think it was Johno toon said he couldn’t get the game on espn, but then thats his fault for living down the south.

    Damn Free State 😆 😆


  19. Does anyone know, I’m not sure how likely it is… But if we were to win the Europa, would we automatically qualify for it next season. Like Chelsea in the CL?


  20. JJ – your post was spot on til you put Ranger on the list – Campbell maybe but nee way Ranger.
    But you make a valid point. That said, I want to clear some of our squad players out this summer and get them replaced.


  21. Sharpy @29

    I think you misunderstood part of JJ’s post @ 19. He included Ranger in his list because he was talking about players aged 21/22 who haven’t, in his opinion, reached the level that they should have done by that age. He didn’t mention Campbell because he’s several years younger, so it wasn’t relevant to the point he was making.


  22. MDS true mate your reet,but you know what some fans are like they want him coming out all guns blazing even if he has been out two months 😐


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