At times last season, it was embarrassing to see the gap between Papiss Cisse and our often pedestrian midfield, particularly when for the umpteenth time in a match the ball would be hoofed up to the number nine to try and win the ball and protect it before that pedestrian midfield sauntered up to support him.

PC0008_Papiss_Cisse_Newcastle_United_NUFC (2)Of course when I say ‘try and win the ball and protect it’, that totally isn’t Cisse’s game and his efforts to do so were less than enthusiastic. Having said that, the most important thing for any team must surely be to play to the strengths of your strikers, or in our case ‘striker’ last season.

Even worse were the attempts to play Cisse wide right, at least when you had Demba Ba through the middle you could understand the trade-off up to a point. However, once Ba had left for the bright lights, it was horrific to see our best/only chance of goals playing out wide to accommodate Shola through the middle, on a number of occasions.

Looking forward though, Alan Pardew is clearly desperate for the day when he can pair Papiss Cisse with another quality striker, this is what the manager had to say yesterday as we await the identity of who this mystery forward will end up being;

“It is unusual but nice to be able to talk about Papiss as a football player after all that’s gone on. I must say the 2 days of training he has put in have surprised me.

He’s looked in really good fettle and will have at least half a game at St.Mirren.

I’m pleased it’s all been sorted and we’ll bond round him and support him. He’s an important player so we’ll try and get the best out of him.

It was a taxing situation for him but he’s fine, we’re a resilient bunch in football and you have to bounce back in our world, or you’ll be in trouble.

Papiss can play a big role for us this coming season and I fully expect him to kick on and make a positive contribution.

He was a little isolated at times last year, on his own up front, but if he can get a relationship going with whoever might play alongside him, I can see him thriving.”

6 comments
North East corner
North East corner

Look after the last couple of years we are all reviewing our arrangements concerning our commitment to the club. Many have decided not to renew some are waiting to see what happens in the close season. My decision in January was to renew for another year on the '10 year deal' but another fiasco like this year and another 'no show in the FA cup and it was 3 strikes and out and that would be it for me. The club realise they are losing a degree of control as supply now exceeds demand as far as match tickets are concerned it will be interesting to see what the response will be from them. The appointment of head coach will give some indication what might be in store ....watch this space

fishandchips
fishandchips

I think this just talk off big Al as the lads he goes with from the pub I drink in and the owner off that pub are still going but just not chipping in for the seasons box because its to expensive to watch shyte so its just a seat in the stand for them this season ,,, black bull.barrack road

wor monga
wor monga

Another Smithfield ‘exclusive’…massive panic here…the sky is falling again…Big Al’s boycotting, he’s disgusted and won’t be going to the match any more …


Ah…but hang on…turns out it’s more down to his Match of the Day commitments…he still loves the Toon!!


… and probably closer to the truth that his mates only need the box anyway…because he would be there with them. 

mactoon
mactoon

Where does it say hes considering boycotting? His mates are "not up for paying for the box" but he cant get to every game cos of match of the day..


"if I do get a Saturday or Sunday off and I can go then I do love going.”



Kevin Halliday
Kevin Halliday

Oh, nice one Alan. Great news this but what took him so long. Not a dig at all.

Hughie
Hughie

No he isn't, can you read?