How Newcastle United Can Get Papiss Cisse's Goalscoring Back on Track
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It’s 1,066 minutes and counting since the Senegalese striker last scored in the Premier League—a run of 13 games that stretches back to the beginning of April.
Though the No. 9 has found the net in both the Europa League and the Capital One Cup since his winner against Fulham six months ago, frustration has blighted his efforts in England’s top-flight.
And manager Alan Pardew knows he must find a formula to get the 28-year-old back on track if his drought is to end.
At the other end of the scale, fellow Magpies forward Loic Remy is in a rich vein of form, and his exploits in the Toon’s attack have deflected attention away from Cisse’s shortcomings.
With five goals in his last three league games, Remy is currently carrying the burden for Pardew’s men, but should his form dry up, United will need input from elsewhere.
Since his move from SC Freiburg in January 2012, Cisse has largely scored in clusters.
Following his £10 million arrival from the Bundesliga, the former Metz man hit the ground running, netting 13 times in 14 appearances for his new team, including this remarkable effort against Chelsea.
The following campaign, however, it was the end of October before Cisse registered his first league goal of the season, and he would add just two more before the end of the year.
Come 2013, the picture changed once more, and when Demba Ba left for Chelsea, he picked up the mantle with purpose, scoring eight times in all competitions between January and April.
Tactically, Pardew is at least trying to play to his striker’s strengths, using him in the centre of a front three just as he did to great effect following his arrival on Tyneside 21 months ago.
But Newcastle’s 52-year-old boss has little option but to stick with Cisse purely out of a lack of viable alternatives.
Aside from Remy, who is only on loan at St. James’ Park, there is a dearth of central attacking solutions at the club, with Shola Ameobi starting only twice so far this term.
Beyond that, youngster Adam Campbell has failed to live up to early expectation while the likes of Yoan Gouffran and Hatem Ben Arfa are far more effective in wide areas.
Pardew, as well as United’s fans, spent the majority of the summer crying out for a new centre-forward, and seven games into the new season, it’s easy to see why.
The signing of a top-class striker in January could give Cisse the rivalry he needs to kick-start his career in England. And until that competition arrives, Pardew must hope that Remy keeps his form going and Cisse breaks his duck.
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