It was a huge coup that Newcastle were able to get the great Papiss Cisse to the club yesterday.
Alan Pardew – looking forward at Newcastle
And it reflected well on the club that they were able to get the job done yesterday, and nobody seemed more excited at the coup than manager Alan Pardew, who is building a top side on Tyneside.
It seems that Alan had pointed to Cisse when Andy Carroll was sold, as the man who could replace Carroll on Tyneside and wear the iconic number 9 shirt.
Cisse is 26 years old – the same age as Demba Ba – so he looks to be in the prime of his career and Alan had this to say about his new striker:.
“He’s not young, he’s a good age. He is in the prime of his career. He has been under pressure in is career, so he understands it.
“He is going to be surprised at the pressure that comes with this.” “I have tried to explain that to the player, but I don’t think he is going to understand it until he arrives.”
“But I think he will attack it in an honest way. He’s an honest footballer and I think our fans appreciate that.”
“I hope they have a little bit of patience at the start because he is going to find it difficult to get in the team, let alone be worthy of the jersey.”
“So I hope our fans are patient with him and give him every opportunity.”
Cisse said last night that he would talk to Demba Ba about then Newcastle club during the African Cup of Nations which starts this Saturday, and they will have plenty of time to talk about the club.
And we suspect that Cisse will take time to learn about the history of Newcastle United, and there’s quite bit to learn too – and that goes for Demba Ba too.
The acquisition of Cisse is a statement by the Newcastle club that they mean to be a force in English football again.
And if we can get a good center-back into the club this month we should be in good shape to pile up those points in the league over our last 17 league games, and hopefully qualify for Europe.
And there’s always the FA Cup too.
Alan Pardew seems excited that Cisse is coming to join up with some of the very good players Newcastle already have on Tyneside.
This is what Alan said last night:
“To join him with players like Cabaye, Demba and Ben Arfa – it really does look exciting now,”
“He was the second-top goalscorer in the Bundesliga last year and he’s had a good return already this year, so he’s in good form.”
“He’s a player who plays off the shoulder and wants to go in behind, but he’s got a little bit more to his game than that.”
“I really hope the fans are going to love him.”
Since Alan Pardew arrived on Tyneside, Newcastle have signed Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Davide Santon and now Papiss Cisse, and we think every single one of them is a top player.
Certainly the standards at Newcastle have increased significantly, since Pardew took over at Newcastle 13 months ago.
And as we mentioned last night, the Newcastle manager took the opportunity to challenge the players who will be playing for Newcastle until Tiote, Ba and Cisse return from the African Cup of Nations.
This is what Alan said about going forward:
“It is going to be interesting to see how everyone evolves now. “
“Players like Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola – there is good pressure on them to produce, and that is what the big clubs are all about.”
“You want to bring in new players and then say to the others ‘come on then, step up to the plate’.”
“While they Ba and Cisse are away at the African Nations, we are going to need them to do that.”
There is increasing competition for places at Newcastle, and that has to be a good thing.
A center-back and maybe one more player such as Ravel Morrison brought in during January, and then say five or six new players in the summer, will make Newcastle into a really formidable team next season.
Things are certainly moving in the right direction, and quickly too, under Alan Pardew.