SholaAmeobi29Amongst the subjects covered by Alan Pardew in the lead up to the crucial match with QPR, was the ongoing subject of what to do with his strikers and this is what the manager had to say;

“It’s natural for pressure to be applied when you have one striker scoring and one not. We are having to work our way through it and that’s what we’ll continue to try to do.

Sometimes with players you need to show loyalty and sometimes you need to show faith, I’ll always do that with my strikers.

However, there does come a point when I have to say ‘OK – let’s try something new’. Shola is knocking on the door at the minute. He wants to have a go and that’s something I will need to look closely at over the next couple of games”.

Pardew’s quotes were then interpreted that Cisse had ‘…the next couple of games’ to score goals or else he was up for the chop.

Well we’ve had one of those couple of games and Cisse was replaced by a goalscoring match winning Shola Ameobi!

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It is sheer bad luck, or possibly bad judgement in the summer transfer trading, that we have been left with a wafer thin squad which does happen to have two outstanding goalscorers but who want/need to play in exactly the same position.

Amazon_Gift_Card_Christmas_2012_The_Mag_Shop_2Ba has the more all round game while in recent matches Cisse has actually started to play a lot better in his enforced right wing spot of a front three, or middle five as it actually appears to be.

The boos when Cisse was substituted were recognition that he is contributing to the team but rarely getting the chance to do what he is best (outstanding?) at, which is sticking the ball in the net.

The Boxing day match at Old Trafford is a chance for Alan Pardew to maybe try something different, especially with not many fans expecting anything.

I would put my bottom dollar on the manager playing Shola up top with Ba behind him, then Obertan on the right to try and stop the threat of Evra coming forward, something Alan Pardew is always keen to put forward in his assessment of what Obertan can offer.

Despite Jonas getting hauled off on Saturday I think Alan Pardew will play him as usual but in a 4-4-1-1 formation of;

Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Obertan, Anita, Perch, Gutierrez; Ba; Shola

What Papiss Cisse will make of it is anybody’s guess.

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  • I feel bad for Cisse. He’s being forced out into a position he doesn’t play and then being told he’s playing badly because he’s not scoring. Notice ba didn’t score when he played out of position last year. He didn’t get the boot though did he, he got moved to centre. It’s ridiculous.

  • glasshalfempty

    The boooos were a joke. Pardew got his subs spot on and we win the game. Shola a hero but he’s still useless for some – can’t win.
    The problem for me is Ba is the better footballer and can play the wide role. Cisse is nothing without a Cabaye and/or BenArfa to create the chances for him. It’s the old issue of how do you keep players happy?? Personally I’d play Ba OR Cisse and not both. Ba is the man in form. But then should he play wide for the benefit of the team, or is that just going to make his decision to leave easier than it already seems to be in his mind!!! It’s the same arguement that goes back to the start of the season when we were apparently sniffing around Carroll. I’d have him back but not to replace Ba or Cisse but to rotate into the team for specific games where he will do damage. OR to replace a striker out of form. That’s what a squad is about. At that time though lots of people on here were perfectly happy not to have Carroll because we had Cisse and Ba.
    We’ll get nowt on Boxing Day and hopefully the goal difference won’t take too big a hit. Shola and Marveaux should get a chance for me as Cisse and Jonas are off the boil.
    Hindsight, a wonderful thing – but in terms of the squad hindsight wasn’t needed and now we’re in the clarts!!!!!

  • Rob Brown

    There are many things in the world that do not make sense. Men with Diamond earrings, the strange desire to tattoo one’s entire arm, wearing trousers so low that everyone can see your underwear. In there somewhere has to be buying a player because he plays so well in a certain position, and then playing him in a different role.

    A bit like the earrings, the pants and the tattoos – what is the point?

    Carroll going to Liverpool was another example. And Sunderland.

    Nothing in particular with the Mackems. Just generally – what’s the point?

    I feel bad for Cisse not just because he’s being played out of position, but more because he is being compared to, and even replaced by Shola.

    If ever there was a miscarriage of justice, then that has to be it.

    While going through a horrendous drought Papiss has still retained a scoring record of just worse than one every 2 games, while Shola is a long way behind one in 5.
    If Ba is out of here in January then Pardew should put Cisse up the middle now, otherwise we will lose both.
    But we would still be fine. We would still have Shola

  • Jezza

    It won’t make any difference to this particular game. We’ll get hammered no matter what team we put out. I would say that if Pardew expects another flash of brilliance from Ameobi in the next match he’s in for a big let down. For ten years or more we’ve been watching Ameobi making the odd spectacular match winning contribution then follow it up by doing absolutely nothing in the next dozen games. That’s how he is. If Ameobi was able to play at his best with any degree of consistency we’d have long ago sold him for £25 million or so.