The Senegalese attacker has had a barren spell in front of goal, but the St James’ Park outfit will hope his goal against Leeds will be the first of many this term.
Newcastle bounced back from the disappointment of a home defeat to Hull with progression in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night. A 2-0 win over Leeds has set up a home clash in the fourth round against Manchester City, but the most important feature of the victory could well be Papiss Cisse getting back amongst the goals.
The Senegalese forward has been having a hard time of it recently and it is visible that he is not the confident striker that burst onto the scene in the Premier League after a January 2012 switch from Freiburg. Cisse had gone eleven games without a goal prior to his 31st minute effort last night.
Alan Pardew admitted after the Leeds victory that he was glad to see his African marksman back on the scoresheet.
“Papiss had a couple of big chances before that and snatched at them,” said Pardew. “Goals can settle a player down and hopefully it will.
“He has not been as powerful and as good as he has been. All strikers when they are not scoring don't feel like they have done their job.
“Goalscorers want to score goals. He is always disappointed if he has not scored goals. He has had a few good chances in the last few games. How important this will be we will see.”
Cisse has the ability and potential to be a 20-goal a season striker, and showcased this clearly in the immediate aftermath of his switch to England. Thirteen Premier League goals, including some memorable long-range efforts, ensured Newcastle’s fifth-placed finish in the division and had the African as one of the most feared forwards in England.
Eight goals in the league last season epitomised Newcastle’s drop in fortunes, and with a quiet summer in the transfer window, pressure is on Cisse to deliver consistently and get the goals that will fire the club back into the top-half reckoning.
Cisse and countryman Demba Ba struck up an effective partnership in their joint time in the North East, and Pardew will hope that the 28-year-old can work together well with summer addition Loic Remy.
The France international has already shown a glimpse of what he is capable of with a couple of goals in the early days of his time at the club, and together the pair have strength, pace and movement that will trouble Premier League defences.
Cisse’s confidence was showcased in his memorable long-range goal of the season effort against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Newcastle’s 2-0 win at the end of the 2011-12 campaign. If Pardew can get the Senegalese star firing on all cylinders once more and in the mindset he was in when he first moved to England, the current doom and gloom around the club would certainly be lifted.
image: © mikebrown59