Alan Pardew: Cisse’s starting berth under threat
Alan Pardew has hinted he may have to reshuffle Newcastle’s forward line if Papiss Demba Cisse’s barren run in front of goal continues.
The Senegalese striker made an immediate impact at St James’ Park upon his arrival from Freiburg last January, but he has struggled to recapture that form and has just two goals to his name this season.
By contrast, Cisse’s compatriot Demba Ba has enjoyed a purple patch, establishing himself as the Magpies’ leading goal scorer, his strike in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City his 11th of the campaign.
Fans of the Toon Army have questioned whether Cisse and Ba can play together, even after last season’s scoring patterns, which saw Ba’s goal tally dry up as soon as Cisse arrived at the club.
And Pardew has not ruled out changing the Toon’s attack for Saturday’s visit of QPR and the Boxing Day clash at Manchester United, revealing that Shola Ameobi is now competing for a starting berth.
“It’s natural for pressure to be applied when you have one striker scoring and one not scoring,” Pardew told the The Shields Gazette.
“We’re having to work our way through it – that’s what we’ll try to do.
“Sometimes with players you need to show loyalty, and sometimes you need to show faith. I’ll always do that with my strikers.
“But there does come a point when I have to say ‘OK, let’s try something new.
“Shola (Ameobi) is knocking on the door at the minute.
“He wants to have a go, and that’s something I’ll need to look closely at over the next couple of games.”