Moussa Sissoko is the player who maybe sums up Newcastle United the best, certainly for people who haven’t got a clue…but think they have.
As Newcastle struggle on game after game, month after month, season after season – so many outsiders wonder how such a talented team/squad underperforms, especially when they have players like…Moussa Sissoko.
The problem is, that Moussa Sissoko DOES look like he is going to do something any minute – but invariably doesn’t.
Yet when people just rely on highlights – even/especially pundits and the like, it helps to distort the picture even more.
Step forward Jermaine Jenas who had this to say on Yahoo Sport after the latest derby last Sunday:
“One of the biggest disappointments for me in the derby…and for this whole season in fact, was the form of Moussa Sissoko.
“Last season he was Newcastle’s main man and he was being linked with some very big clubs in the summer – but against Sunderland he just looked totally lost.
“Rafa Benitez needs to find a way to get the Frenchman back to what he was doing last year.
“If I am looking for reasons for optimism on Tyneside, the person who gives me most confidence from a Newcastle perspective is Benitez.”
This sums up the myth that has grown up around Moussa Sissoko.
Yes, he did look like a world beater when he first arrived and everybody remembers him scoring twice on his home debut as Newcastle beat Chelsea 3-2 and he gave Ashley Cole a few yards head start and beat him all ends up.
However, that is now over three years ago and what he has achieved since those opening few months is negligible.
These are the Premier League goals and assists since he arrived at Newcastle and the number of games played:
2012/13 – 3 goals and 3 assists (PL 12 starts)
2013/14 – 1 goal and 8 assists (PL 35 starts)
2014/15 – 4 goals and 2 assists (PL 34 starts)
2015/16 – 0 goals and 5 assists (PL 29 starts)
Jermaine Jenas talks about Moussa Sissoko being the ‘main man’ last season but these myths are built on false foundations.
Last season, Moussa Sissoko (playing as an attacking midfielder) scored four goals and got two assists.
To put that into perspective, the very limited Jack Colback scored three goals and got six assists, whilst full-back Daryl Janmaat scored one and got six assists – yet Moussa Sissoko continually talks about when at last he will get a Champions League club.
This season, Moussa Sissoko hasn’t scored a single goal and his five assists include three in the crazy 6-2 very open game against Norwich.
I think he struggles to justify why he is in a first eleven who are second bottom of the Premier league, let alone a team competing at the top.
Like so many Newcastle players, Moussa Sissoko needs to wake up and realise that if he does aspire to better, or even wants to remain part of Newcastle United, he has to step up and take responsibility – show us all that he is better than the nothingness that we have enjoyed for most of the last three years.
That could well be his…and our, salvation this season.