Yesterday’s performance in the 2-1 Premier League win over Aston Villa at Villa Park was refreshing as Newcastle United played with verve and intent, and as far as I could see there was only one position in which we were lacking – centre forward.
There were great performances all over the park yesterday, from Hatem Ben Arfa and Loic Remy looking threatening on the wings to Moussa Sissoko and Vurnon Anita keeping things simple in central midfield, everyone put in a good shift.
However, Tim Krul had an off day, flapping at one cross and coming for a corner and getting nowhere near, allowing Christian Benteke to equalise for Aston Villa, but the Dutchman can be cut some slack for all the great performances he’s put in.
Unfortunately, one man who played pretty poorly and has consistently been doing so for a number of months is Papiss Cisse.
Cisse’s blistering start to his Newcastle career is now nothing more than a distant memory, as scoring now looks like an alien concept to him.
The Senegal striker is too regularly caught out of position, leading to a huge number of offside decisions against him, while in front of goal he looks desperately short of confidence and is showing none of the finishing instinct he previously had.
Apart from the odd flick here and there, Cisse was once again below par and his goalscoring drought now stretches into double figures.
It’s a real shame we didn’t buy a striker to give him some competition, as while Alan Pardew can give him a kick up the backside, Papiss still knows he will be starting every week.
Hopefully Cisse just needs one goal to get him on the scoring trail again, but I fear his loss of form may run deeper than that and maybe we’ll never see the likes of the strikes against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge again.
With a firing centre forward in the team that started yesterday, there would be no reason that Newcastle couldn’t be challenging in and around the top six.