Papiss Cisse is in the zone right now, after scoring two sensational goals in added time in our last two games, which helped us beat Stoke City last Sunday 2-1, and also beat a very good Anzhi side 1-0 on Thursday night, to go through to the last eight of the Europa League.
Papiss Cisse hits home the winner against Stoke
And that win against Stoke last Sunday took Newcastle to 33 points from 29 games and 13th position in the league table.
This is what Alan Pardew said in the Sunday Mirror today about his number one (number nine?) striker:
“Papiss Cisse is in tremendous form. Goals definitely change a striker’s mentality. His effort and work rate for us has been first class all year. But when you get those special goals at those crucial times, it’s got to give you a lift.”
“He is definitely playing against Wigan on Sunday, that’s for sure.” “We were a different team when Demba Ba was here. We had different players. For me, this is a more modern team, a more intelligent team and hopefully we can take that forward.”
“We had a fantastic run last year with both Demba and Papiss in team – seven wins in a row – it’s just that it didn’t work so well this season. But the team behind Papiss and Demba was weaker. We had no Yohan Cabaye for long spells, there was no Hatem Ben Arfa.”
“We didn’t have Moussa Sissoko either or Mathieu Debuchy’s delivery from right back. So a lot of things were against us then – it’s a little unfair to just look at Demba and Papiss for our poor start. I just think Papiss is in the zone now.”
“People get in the zone, you hear about this, and I think he’s in a goal-scoring zone. Some of his build up play this season, which he did so well last season in the wide area, hasn’t been so good, but he’s focused on goals.”
“He has strong confidence in his ability. But the goals have definitely given him a lift. It would be massive if we could get a win today. It’s a strange game to predict. We have some consistency in our form, Wigan have inconsistency, but they can definitely play at our level.”
It’s interesting that in the build-up to the game on Thursday night, Anzhi manager Guus Hiddink said he had watched Newcastle a few times and that we were a modern side – and Guus knows what he’s talking about in football.
It will be a tough game today against Wigan but a win could see us in the top half of the league table tomorrow night.
That would be terrific.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org