SholaAmeobi29Amongst the subjects covered by Alan Pardew in the lead up to the crucial match with QPR, was the ongoing subject of what to do with his strikers and this is what the manager had to say;

“It’s natural for pressure to be applied when you have one striker scoring and one not. We are having to work our way through it and that’s what we’ll continue to try to do.

Sometimes with players you need to show loyalty and sometimes you need to show faith, I’ll always do that with my strikers.

However, there does come a point when I have to say ‘OK – let’s try something new’. Shola is knocking on the door at the minute. He wants to have a go and that’s something I will need to look closely at over the next couple of games”.

Pardew’s quotes were then interpreted that Cisse had ‘…the next couple of games’ to score goals or else he was up for the chop.

Well we’ve had one of those couple of games and Cisse was replaced by a goalscoring match winning Shola Ameobi!

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It is sheer bad luck, or possibly bad judgement in the summer transfer trading, that we have been left with a wafer thin squad which does happen to have two outstanding goalscorers but who want/need to play in exactly the same position.

Amazon_Gift_Card_Christmas_2012_The_Mag_Shop_2Ba has the more all round game while in recent matches Cisse has actually started to play a lot better in his enforced right wing spot of a front three, or middle five as it actually appears to be.

The boos when Cisse was substituted were recognition that he is contributing to the team but rarely getting the chance to do what he is best (outstanding?) at, which is sticking the ball in the net.

The Boxing day match at Old Trafford is a chance for Alan Pardew to maybe try something different, especially with not many fans expecting anything.

I would put my bottom dollar on the manager playing Shola up top with Ba behind him, then Obertan on the right to try and stop the threat of Evra coming forward, something Alan Pardew is always keen to put forward in his assessment of what Obertan can offer.

Despite Jonas getting hauled off on Saturday I think Alan Pardew will play him as usual but in a 4-4-1-1 formation of;

Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Obertan, Anita, Perch, Gutierrez; Ba; Shola

What Papiss Cisse will make of it is anybody’s guess.

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