The moment when Moussa Sissoko threw the towel in at Newcastle United
The player who has recorded probably the biggest drop in supporter approval/appreciation in recent times, is Moussa Sissoko.
When he first arrived at St James Park in January 2013, he hit the ground running and looked determined to try and win matches on his own, by pure effort if that is what it took.
These days, I really struggle to think of what he does in matches.
He tends to run about a bit, looks at times like he’s going to do something at any moment, then…no end product.
We have then got into a patter of every transfer window and pretty much every international break, Moussa Sissoko will give at least one interview in France, where he says he is desperate to play Champions League football and wants to be at a ‘big club’, but…he is happy at Newcastle.
Despite this, Sissoko is still probably Newcastle’s most saleable asset, first choice for his country and to an outsider he can look like a player that has everything the modern game needs in a midfielder.
Which actually I would agree with, the only problem being we hardly ever see it.
Once in a while he finds that fifth gear and motivation to do something; scoring that screamer against West Brom two seasons ago, the second goal at Manchester City in the league Cup win, or that towering header against West Ham on possible relegation day back in May.
You have to ask yourself though, if he shows what is possible why do we so rarely see it?
The only answer can be motivation, in my opinion. He doesn’t want to be here and for the sake of both club and player he should leave as soon as possible.
Looking back, I think it is clear to see the moment when he should have left…but didn’t.
Here is his Premier League record at Newcastle each season, with number of games played, then goals and assists (stats from official club website), then red & yellow cards.
2012/13 Played 12 Scored 3 Assists 3 (2 Yellows 0 Red)
2013/14 Played 35 Scored 3 Assists 8 (8 Yellows 0 Red)
2014/15 Played 34 Scored 4 Assists 2 (9 Yellows 2 Red)
2015/16 Played 6 Scored 0 Assists 1 (1 Yellow 0 Red)
I think what my own eyes tell me and the stats above, Moussa Sissoko should have left Newcastle after the World Cup in Brazil.
The main man Yohan Cabaye had left in January 2014, fellow French international Loic Remy didn’t hang around a second longer than he had to at the end of that same season.
Whilst the other French international regular Mathieu Debuchy was also out of the door after his summer in Brazil.
Moussa Sissoko came back from Brazil and when he saw the star signings were countrymen Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere to sort out the creativity/goals problems, he most definitely would have known the game was up in terms of the club achieving.
His motivation hit rock bottom I believe by the time August 2014 came around.
Just look at how his productivity dropped. Before that point he had started 47 Premier League matches and had 17 goals/assists, better than once every three matches he would score or create a goal.
Since August 2014 he has started 40 PL matches and got 7 goals/assists, a ratio of once every six matches he would score or create.
On top of this his frustration was also becoming apparent with more bookings and then two petulant red cards.
He doesn’t want to be here and everything from his body language, to the stats to his interviews over in France tell us so.
Sell Moussa Sissoko in January and put the money towards any two or three of what Newcastle still desperately need – a left-back, centre-half and another goalscorer.
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