Speaking ahead of the match with Chelsea, Alan Pardew has insisted that there is no way he’d consider dropping one of his under performing players.
The Newcastle manager has insisted that Moussa Sissoko is perfectly suited to the modern era of English football, with all the necessary attributes of power and physique. This must go a long way to answering those fans who claim Vurnon Anita deserves to start ahead of Sissoko.
“I still think he (Sissoko) can be the player that we saw against Chelsea last season, though I understand why people are asking questions. He has had a chequered start where he has been fantastic in certain games and I thought he was brilliant on Wednesday night.
“I’d consider myself to be a big central midfielder when I played in the 90s but now I would be classed as a small one. Moussa has all the ingredients of a modern midfielder as he is strong, powerful and he has got that attacking ability.
“He is going to be a big player for Newcastle United and I will stick with him through thick and thin because I know that it is in there.”
What isn’t in doubt for me is that Sissoko’s instant contribution on his arrival against the likes of Villa, Chelsea and Southampton was a key factor in keeping Newcastle up last season.
However, what also isn’t in doubt is that the player has definitely failed to recreate that level of influence in matches since then, with equally the manager failing to bring out the best in the player either.
For the national team, after Cabaye it is Sissoko who is the Newcastle player most highly rated by a considerable distance, certainly judging by the game time Deschamps gives him.
However, for Newcastle he is becoming almost a Jonas (not Jonah!) figure as he puts in so much effort but little end product in terms of creating chances or scoring goals.
I think he has so much more to offer Newcastle United but will Alan Pardew ever be able to help find the key to giving it a chance to flourish?