At his press conference this afternoon, Alan Pardew said that Papiss Cisse was impressive in training today.
Papiss Cisse in training this morning at Benton
Alan said that not all his players did a full session today at the Benton training grounds, but everybody hung around so they could see what Cisse was like, and Alan said the Senegal striker will have impressed one or two, and he said it with a wry smile.
In his press conference for the Aston Villa game on Sunday, this is what Alan talked about:
“With Cisse coming in today and Demba back on the training ground, his personality around the place has given us all a lift.”
“There’s been a different flavour on the training ground this morning and it’s really nice. It’s a nice boost to have on the back of an important win.”
“You could definitely tell there was a different atmosphere. When you get two really good players back, everybody wants to show their quality and it was a nice atmosphere this morning.”
“Not all of the boys did a full session, but they all stand and have a little nose at how Cisse got on – and I think he impressed one or two.”
“The two guys coming in certainly will have buoyed everybody and I know there’ll be a fantastic atmosphere at our place.”
“Whether Cisse starts, whether Demba starts, whether they come off the bench – they’re going to have an impact, they’re going to have an impact of some type – and I’m looking forward to it.”
“It’s going to be a great day for us, hopefully.”
Alan is usually cagey about his team selection, and quite rightly he doesn’t want to give any thing away to the opposition.
But given what happened on Wednesday evening, we have a feeling that Demba Ba will start for Ameobi up front, but that Cisse will be on the bench for the game on Sunday.
So this is what we think the team will be:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Santon
Taylor (R) Perch Guthrie Gutierrez
James Perch deserves a start in central midfield, and we think Ryan Taylor will be preferred to Ben Arfa on the right wing, given the Frenchman’s mediocre performance in the first half at Blackburn.
Add to that Ryan’s ability to put the ball over to Demba Ba, his long throw-ins and his threat from free-kicks – especially with Yohan Cabaye not being available.
And what better way to introduce Pappis Cisse, than to bring him on in the second half in front of a sell-out crowd 52,387 – approximately – of mad screaming Geordies at St. James’ Park?
We love it!
Let us know what you think the starting eleven will be on Sunday.