Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse Give Newcastle United A Repeat Performance
As well as a sound defence, especially early on, Newcastle United’s 2011/12 season was built on Demba Ba scoring for fun early on and then Papiss Cisse taking the baton for the second part of the campaign.
With the news yesterday that Cisse has been playing through the pain barrier with a rib injury and could potentially miss some of the four remaining matches, I was yet again surprised/amazed by the reaction of some fans.
While Gouffran could potentially play through the middle and has got a half decent scoring record in France, it would be a big ask to ask him to lead the line and the fact Alan Pardew has subbed him in nine of the ten matches he has started doesn’t suggest a great vote of confidence, at least not yet.
More bizarrely though is a number of fans dismissing Cisse’s possible absence with comments along the lines of ‘so what, Cisse’s missed loads of chances and we’ve got Adam Campbell and Shola who can play there’.
Well yes, they can play there, but the question is can they score goals?!!
Campbell is just starting his career and we can’t have any expectation of him just yet, while Shola…have you seen how many he’s (not) scored?
Shola has scored three goals in the last two league seasons, making forty nine appearances, even with most of those as a sub it is a shocking statistic for a ‘striker’.
To give you some idea of just how reliant we are on Papiss Cisse for goals, since Demba Ba left, Cisse has scored in every league match Newcastle have won – apart from the Chelsea win.
In terms of symmetry with last season, in the first half of the season when Cisse was having to play second fiddle to Ba as main striker, Demba Ba scored in every league match Newcastle won – apart from the one against QPR when Shola scored his solitary league goal of the season.
It is an impossible situation to be so reliant on one player to score the goals and while I’m not saying it would be impossible for Newcastle to win one of the four remaining matches without Cisse, the statistics tell you that you’d be a mentalist to expect them to.
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