Glad NUFC Have No Senegal Defenders!
As Newcastle fans we are used to having our hopes and expectations crushed at the earliest and cruellest opportunity, shame we had to pass this ‘luck’ on to our shiny brand new Senegalese strike force.
I doubt very much whether the interest and number of fans tuning in to an African Cup of Nations match has ever been a tenth of what happened last night.
At five to nine we found out that Papiss Cissé would be starting on the bench and then we had an hour of the most shambolic defending I’ve ever seen as Senegal conceded twice but it could have been seven or eight.
Midway through the second-half, Newcastle United’s latest number nine made his appearance and almost instantly helped turn the game as his audacious spin and volley presented a great headed chance which Ba could only put against the…bar.
Up to that point Demba Ba had been feeding on scraps with his team repeatedly losing possession in midfield, though when he did get the ball the erratic play of his team mates seemed to be contagious as he struggled to impose himself, combining some quality touches with less able moments.
Our first sighting of Papiss Cissé, in difficult circumstances, saw glimpses of a very lively striker with what looks great movement, while his goal record speaks for itself.
To give some context to their defeat Senegal are ranked 43rd in the world with Zambia 71st, so it was a shock result and one that they’ll look to put behind them when they take on Equatorial Guinea (ranked 151st!) on 25th Jan 7pm and Libya (ranked 63rd) on 29th Jan 6pm. They’ll need two wins or it will be an early bath and flights home to Newcastle four our strike force.
Meanwhile, the slightly forgotten about Cheick Tiote and the Ivory Coasters (ranked 18th) kick-off their opening stage matches against Sudan on 22nd Jan at 4pm, followed by Burkina Faso 26th Jan 7pm and rounded off with Angola on 30th Jan 6pm.
Let’s hope they all come back fit and well but message to our Senegalese strikers, don’t bring any of your international defensive team mates home with you!
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