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10 games without a goal - Is it time Newcastle dropped this striker?

Papiss Cisse hasn't found the net in 882 minutes of football, so why is he still in the team?

Alan Pardew has warned goal shy Cisse to up his game, but will give him another chance in tomorrow's Premier League match against Hull City.

Cisse hasn't netted for the Toon since scoring an injury time winner against Fulham in April - and Pardew is keen to stress that he has other options should the dry spell continue.

"Papiss is focused but he knows with every game that goes by when a striker's not scored, it's difficult for them.

"Their mood changes, some games you can see they're up and determined to get it right, other times they're down but I just generally sense this week that he's in a good place.

"Certainly on his side he is working hard and he needs to really concentrate now because he will come under pressure for sure if he doesn't score in the next couple of games.

"We have (Loic) Remy, we have (Yoan) Gouffran, we have players and that is the competition you need at the top. So therefore a goal for him would be a welcome addition to the squad."

Pardew was, however, keen to emphasise that Cisse's place in the team isn't under immediate threat.

There are two ways of looking at the Cisse situation.

Firstly, as the club's main striker, he has often led the line in the 4-2-3-1 formation which has left him isolated up-front, with limited support from midfield. Sadly, Cisse doesn't have the qualities of a lone striker. He is neither quick, nor strong enough to hold up the ball.

Secondly, in the games he hasn't scored, his general play has been poor. Cisse looks short of confidence, he doesn't really have a first touch and has made a habit of losing the ball. This is a major concern for Newcastle fans.

Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran, Shola Ameobi and young Geordie striker Adam Campbell are providing competition for Cisse this season.

Despite the dry spell, Cisse's overall goal ratio on Tyneside isn't far off 1 in 2 games, having scored 21 times in 53 appearances for the Toon.

However, now that Alan Pardew has options, would dropping Cisse really be a bad idea? Maybe, he can regain focus after a short spell on the bench. Or maybe he would be a better option off the bench? Only one way to find out. 

What do you think? Is it time to drop Cisse?

image: © mikebrown59

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