It’s been one of the ongoing transfer stories this summer – Moussa Sissoko to anywhere apart from Newcastle United.
Even with Rafa Benitez signing a new deal to stay on as The Toon manager, it seems like the French midfielder is doing everything he can to move away from the North East this summer.
You name the club, Sissoko’s been linked with them, but recently, the odds have really begun to swing in favour of a move to European giants Real Madrid. Managed by Zinedine Zidane, there has been talk of a transfer to the Spanish giants but some Newcastle fans have truly questioned whether their midfielder is good enough to make the step up to La Liga, and one of the best teams in the world.
And in short, I don’t either.
And the game that gives me the evidence for this was Newcastle’s 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth last season.
Take yourself back to the 5th of March last season and it was Eddie Howe’s Cherries side who were to visit St James’ Park next. By no means were Newcastle on a great run- they’d lost four of their last six games but there was real optimism that this might be the one to turn favours back in the Geordies favour.
But no, it was by far one of the worst performances Newcastle United have ever displayed at home and the showing was completely summarised by one man in particular: Moussa Sissoko.
To say he wasn’t fit to wear the shirt that day was an absolute understatement and when he was hauled off midway through the second half the cheers that erupted around the famous St. James’ Stadium were ironically loud. Louder infact than the cheers that greeted Perez’s goal in the 80th minute to then bring the game back to 2-1.
Some have touted it as the worst performance they’ve ever seen in a Newcastle United shirt. Sissoko looked completely incapable of retaining possession, picking a pass or tracking back, and by word did the Toon supporters tell him about it.
His expression when he was taken off was that of pure shock- as if to say “how did it get this bad”?
But it was that bad. It was awful.
However, fast-forward to this summer and the performances Sissoko showed at the Euros. Powerful, captivating and strong- he led his country on a handful of occasions during that tournament. His performance contrast has nothing to do with quality- its all about attitude.
If your employers are paying you to play, do a job and help the team, then you should do everything in your power to help your side do that. Sissoko’s down-right refusal to play to his full potential completely undermines his ability to play for Real Madrid.
Being a Madrid player is much more than your ability on the pitch. It’s your attitude, your outlook, your ability to help your team-mates.
Has Sissoko got this? Not on your nelly.