Moussa Sissoko has been a big topic of conversation amongst Newcastle fans this season.

The perception of most is that he thinks he is better than he really is and that he only stays at Newcastle because no ‘big’ teams came in for him, plus he knows he will get his game at St James Park which seemingly guarantees his place in the France squad for next year’s Euros, no matter how he’s actually playing for his club…

In advance of the Manchester City match, Steve McClaren appears to be thinking along the same lines.

Talking about Moussa Sissoko, the Newcastle Head Coach has made so cutting, but slightly contradictory, comments.

McClaren talks about the player’s ‘obvious ambition’ (wants to be away) but says he has to perform to a certain standard if he wants to achieve his ambitions (getting away from Newcastle).

The United boss went on to say that after spending a lot of time speaking to the player, Moussa Sissoko ‘seems to be committed’ (not the most wholehearted assessment…), but that even the player admits that he must do much better.

The contradictory part comes when Steve McClaren says that his stats show he is doing much more than last season and therefore he is ‘putting the effort in’.

My conclusions from that are that last season his effort must have been pretty rubbish (which it was).

Plus, whilst he may be running around a lot more this season, it is to no real purpose and you have to question what he gives to the team.

Many supporters would be happy if Moussa Sissoko was dropped but with such a small squad in terms of quality, plus injuries on top of that, it is hard to see that happening.

“He (Moussa Sissoko) is obviously very ambitious and that is great but like everybody else who is ambitious, I’m sorry, but you have to perform every week to a certain standard and he knows that.

“I’ve had lots of chats with him and he seems to be committed…but in terms of performance, I’m sure he admits himself he could do better.”

The stats:

“His work for the team, his stats and his running, all that high intensity, is more than he was doing last season.

“So he is certainly doing his job and putting the effort in.”

Revealed yesterday as well that Moussa Sissoko is doing another big TV interview in France whilst on international duty, Sunday night on Canal Plus.

Unless Moussa Sissoko and his teammates pick up at least a point today at the Etihad, then I think this is yet another badly judged move from the player, particularly when he claimed in his last interview that he prefers to stay out of the media spotlight…