Alan Pardew: Cisse has been a more complete player this season

Alan Pardew has defended Papiss Cisse from recent criticism, suggesting the striker has been a more complete player this season.

Papiss Cisse started life in the Premier League at Newcastle United with a bang. He produced 13 goals in 13 games last season but has slipped way off the pace in this campaign with just seven goals in 27 matches.

It is a ratio which has caused some Newcastle fans to jump on his back and demand answers as to why he’s not been playing at the levels that everyone expects. Well Alan Pardew has stepped in to take some of the criticism away from his player.

“He’s still had a great year for us – without the goals. In some respects he’s played a lot better for us this year.”

It’s a very fair point because Cisse has been forced to adapt to different conditions in the Newcastle attack. He also lost a close friend in Demba Ba in January, who was someone that complimented the attacking side of his game well.

“He just hasn’t got the goals and they haven’t broken for him. That goal will do him the world of good.”

Another fair point because strikers are players who thrive on confidence. When they are confident and playing well, they produce a little extra which can make the difference in tight games.

That goal against Stoke last weekend was by no means the most flamboyant or entertaining goal you are likely to see, but it is one of his more important strikes because of what it will do for him personally.

“You can’t take somebody like him off unless the game plan changes.”

Pardew is spot on again because Cisse is the sort of player who can score a goal from literally anywhere on the pitch.

His goals against Southampton this season and Chelsea away at the back end of last season show that he can pick a goalkeeper out of position from anywhere, and exploit that with a precision finish.

He’s a game changer and while he may not be in the best form of his Newcastle career at the moment, the fans shouldn’t care one bit as long as he keeps working hard, doing the right things and working his socks off to take even the most remote of chances.

Newcastle fans, do you agree with Pardew’s comments?

image: © mickyb59

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