Papiss Cisse has given an update on his return from injury but exactly how much help it will be is open to question.
The Senegalese striker says the last couple of months ‘have been frustrating’ but he is now back in training and feels ‘fit, sharp and very focused’.
Cisse says that he ‘can’t wait to get back playing again’ and no doubt Steve McClaren will be making much of having the number nine available again but does/will it make any difference at all?
Sadly the Papiss Cisse of today is not the one of early 2012 when he scored for fun.
This season the Newcastle centre-forward has only scored two Premier League goals; scoring from a couple of inches against Southampton on the opening day of the season and then the opening goal in the 5-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.
Most tellingly, Papiss Cisse hasn’t spent one minute on the pitch with Aleksandar Mitrovic in any of his thirteen appearances, with Steve McClaren’s negative tactics ensuring that he only ever has one striker on the pitch at any one time.
So unless McClaren has a radical change of heart, are we not going to simply see Papiss Cisse as another extra on the bench?
We have already seen Ayoze Perez punished for McClaren’s stupid tactics, after playing the Spaniard as an isolated sole striker at Everton, the Head Coach hasn’t given him a single minute on the pitch against West Brom and Chelsea.
Instead we were treated at Stamford Bridge to the sight of Seydou Doumbia lumbering around, the watching Newcastle fans hoping that he is still a little short of match fitness/practice, having not played since 8 December 2015.
The whole striking situation sums up this chaotic season under Steve McClaren, yes Newcastle were desperate for a proven goalscorer ready to come into the team and perform straight away to help pull us away from the drop. Yet instead we go somebody who is not going to be fit until at least two months after the transfer window actually opened.
Plus, if Steve McClaren continues with Aleksandar Mitrovic as surely he will, then it is odds on he won’t be playing two strikers against Stoke, so Perez, Doumbia and Cisse could all be sitting watching….
Whilst at the other end of the pitch Newcastle were desperate for a left-back and centre-half in January but brought in nobody – the shamble at Chelsea a tribute to that stupidity.
Only at Newcastle under Mike Ashley and his minions could we end up with four strikers but only one of them playing, yet not one fit for purpose left-back at the club and no decent centre-backs available either, unless Chancel Mbemba makes an unlikely recovery in time for two weeks tomorrow at the Britannia Stadium.
“The past two months have been frustrating but now I am back to Newcastle to resume training.
“I am looking forward to the rest of the season, I feel fit, sharp and very focused.
“I can’t wait to get back playing again as quickly as possible. I am in good shape.”