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Alan Pardew explains why he used to play Papiss Cisse at right-back

6 years ago

Alan Pardew is at it again.

When advising England on what they should and shouldn’t do this summer, the Palace Manager has once again rewritten history at Newcastle United.

Talking about the quandary Roy Hodgson faces of how and whether to accommodate more than one striker, he has compared it to his days at Newcastle.

Alan Pardew says Harry Kane has to play through the middle and he could also play Sturridge or Vardy but if one them played, they would have to play out wide.

Pardew says that when at Newcastle he ‘alternated between Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, claiming that it was a tactic to keep them both hungry by taking turns playing through the window.

My memory tells me something very different and that is the first half season when Cisse played through the middle and Demba Ba played left of the three, with Hatem Ben Arfa on the right, it worked a treat. Newcastle going on to finish fifth.

However, the next season when Newcastle almost got relegated, Alan Pardew made the fatal mistake of bowing to pressure from Demba Ba and playing he and Cisse as a front pair, before then totally bottling it and allowing Demba Ba to play through the middle in the hope that would placate and keep him at St James Park. Ba of course jumping ship regardless in the January (2013).

Meanwhile, Papiss Cisse ended up in the ridiculous position of playing almost as an extra right-back – a totally pointless exercise. If ever a player could play only one role it was Cisse, having to go through the middle or else a waste of time.

Making him play second fiddle to accommodate contract rebel Demba Ba, was probably in hindsight a significant factor in fans never again seeing the Papiss Cisse they had seen in such explosive form in those final months of the 2011/12 season.

Yes another master class for the tactical genius that is Alan Pardew.

Alan Pardew talking to The Mail:

“England are still looking for their best team and system and are wrestling with how to use their strikers, but one position is clear to me: the need for Harry Kane to play as the No 9 through the middle.

“He is your out-ball, a player comfortable playing with his back to goal and, yes, he scored goals for Tottenham drifting in from wide, but is the most effective centre forward in the England squad.

“That means leaving out either Jamie Vardy or Daniel Sturridge, or playing one of them in a different role out wide…but any striker playing out there also has to occupy the opposition full back to stop him from attacking regularly. Goalscorers don’t always like to do this, they see it as donkey work.

“Strikers are usually the biggest egos in your group.

“When I was at Newcastle I alternated between Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba through the middle, with the other playing wide.

“My argument was to give each their feed of playing in the premier role while also asking them to play the support.”


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