You can’t have failed to notice the Papiss Cisse story this week – front page news due to the opportunity of being able to use ‘Taking the Papiss’.
Just in case it passed you by, the story went that Papiss Cisse had told his north east based girlfriend he was going on holiday, only for her to then discover via the internet/social media that instead the Newcastle striker had got married to somebody else (a Senegalese volleyball player) in Paris.
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Cisse claims he wasn’t still seeing his north east girlfriend, now another woman living on Tyneside says she is another Papiss girlfriend who has been left heartbroken…anyway, you get the picture.
Whilst obviously having every sympathy for the ‘love rat victims’…I was more interested in the wedding itself, or rather the guests.
Looking into all the various reports about this Paris wedding, I can find no mention of a single Newcastle United player, coach, or club official being at the wedding.
You don’t expect to see the whole squad a guard of honour at the ceremony but it does hint to me at just how low the club has sunk, in terms of camaraderie and (lack of) team spirit & togetherness.
Papiss Cisse has been at NUFC for four and a half years now, getting on for half of his working career.
Yet he doesn’t appear to have had a single workmate at his wedding?
If you relate it to your working life and circumstances, one of your 30 year old workmates gets married who has worked with many of you for the last 4 or 5 years and there’s nobody he/she wants to invite.
The Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby teams had a real togetherness within the squads.
In Keegan’s time the whole squad appeared to stick together, win and lose together, socialise together. Out on the town after a match, you would regularly see pretty much the whole team out together – the rapport with the fans was first class.
Under Sir Bobby Robson it was slightly different. You still had the team socialising together at times, but there were two distinct groups. This though was more an age thing with the likes of Shearer, Given, Speed etc knocking about together, whilst Dyer, Bellamy, Bramble and others did their thing.
Yes we might have been left shaking our heads at some of the antics of the latter group away from the pitch, but in those days of competing in the top four and playing Champions League football, there was no denying that the team was all pulling together – those two separate social groups coming together on the pitch as a unit that performed so well, for an excellent two or three years.
No moaning about European matches, instead there was that remarkable statistic where I think it was 18 wins and 1 draw in a run of 19 Premier League matches played after midweek European ones.
Much as I despise many other clubs and players such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. When I recall seeing tabloid stories about key players getting married, there always appears to be a big team presence, there with their mates etc etc
At Newcastle these days, apart from the now broken Coloccini/Jonas partnership at the club, I can’t think of any others in the club who see the dressing room as anything else than where they get changed before they go to work.
Time after time you have seen in recent seasons that one or two bad results becomes a long chain of them, with nothing pulling the players together to fight and win as a group, on or off the pitch.
Mike Ashley made it his business to get rid of the players committee that formed under Chris Hughton and helped bring us back to the Premier League. Harper, Smith, Barton, Nolan and others had their cards marked when they stood up to the club owner, initially on the subject of how bonuses were paid.
Divide and rule appears to be Mike Ashley’s mantra both on the terraces and in the dressing room.