Papiss Cisse – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
There are a number of Toon players that have the ability to both exasperate and exhilarate, but surely there are none who come close to Papiss.
Chance after chance, a heavy touch here, denied by the woodwork, sometimes it just seems that the back of the net is territory that the number nine is destined to leave unexplored. But then, roll into the final five and all of a sudden he becomes Shearer reincarnated, finishing with deft touches and the poacher’s canny finisher instinct.
How then do we get him to bottle this final five and extend it over ninety? Too often it is the case that the delivery is sorely lacking, but today, spearheaded by Marveaux’s creativity and two impressive performances from full-backs Jonas and Simpson, supply was in great demand.
For once the aerial balls in, both from open play and corners (Cabaye I love you dearly, but we have a new corner taker), were of good quality and we could have had a few from the head. Shola, Sissoko, Gouffran and Papiss himself all put Schwarzer and the goal frame to the test.
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Cisse’s game of late has been some of his decision making. Twice today he could have laid the ball on for Marveaux, who had worked himself into great attacking areas, but on both occasions he took the wrong decision. With his back to goal he is often tardy in possession and guilty of either coughing up possession or laying off a poor ball which puts a teammate under pressure. Given the threat we pose on the counter, with Marveaux’s pace out wide and Sissoko’s power down the middle we need our nine to hold the ball up a little better and release either of these two into space.
Something which I have noticed this season, which I never saw last time around, is a heightened sense of aggression creeping into his game. Scything hacks from behind, bust ups with opposition players (there was the throat choke a few weeks back and a couple of heated arguments) and the goal celebration which almost saw him shatter a few advertising boards on the touchline are just a few examples of what I mean. I love a bit of needle on the pitch but I have grown accustomed to the toothy grin and happy-go-lucky attitude we were treated to last season. Of course banging in 13 goals in 14 games makes it somewhat easier to smile!
So, that just about covers the bad and the ugly.
To finish, Papiss take a bow. That swivel, dink over the top and falling to the ground finish had me going bonkers today. Celebrating with the fans is always a favourite of mine and I love seeing the players hot foot it into the crowd, but Alan ‘the Silver Fox’ Pardew, your reaction was next level good sir! By far my favourite celebration of the year!
We may have lost Demba but we still have Papiss which should mean plenty of frustration from my side but hopefully a goal or two that will keep us afloat this year, help send the mackems down next week and ensure more injury time glory for the mighty Toon.
Howay The Lads!
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