Football

Cisse is this season's best

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Jumping for joy: Cisse just gets better. (©GettyImages)
Jumping for joy: Cisse just gets better. (©GettyImages).

In almost eight years at Stamford Bridge, Petr Cech has never been made to look so helpless.

But, as Papiss Cisse unleashed an astonishing volley on Wednesday evening, there really was very little the Chelsea goalkeeper could to to prevent the ball flying into his net.

It was a quite remarkable strike from Cisse - the best of the season, some will say - and perhaps one of the finest seen in the 20 year history of the Premier League.

With an instinctive waft of his right boot - a tool that has been a potent weapon this season - the Newcastle striker propelled a strike towards the opposition goal at warp speed and laced with the most vicious of swerve.

Just as Dennis Bergkamp did in August 1997, it would seem as though Cisse is having a goal of the month competition against himself, with his first strike against Chelsea also set to be a contender for May's prize.

“It was a wonderful goal,” the 26-year-old told the Shields Gazette about his outrageous second against Chelsea.

“It was the best goal of my career – I was so happy to score it.

“When the ball came to me, I was only thinking about scoring. It was an instinctive finish.

“I was also pleased with my first goal. It was important for the team. It was a good evening for me and the team.”

These goals represented Cisse's 12th and 13th since being handed one of the most iconic shirts in British football, and few would now doubt the Senegalese forward has the credentials to be adorned by the No.9.

Recalling a season in which one team has benefitted to a greater extent than Newcastle from their shrewd transfer market operating is a far from a simple task, and Cisse has been the finest signing of the lot.

How much influence Alan Pardew has in the recruitment of new players is open to debate, but he must be praised for his acquisitions, with the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba having performed to distinction this term.

While Ba propelled the Magpies to dizzy heights at the start of the season and Cabaye has been the model of consistency in midfield, Cisse's headline grabbing performances mark him out above all others.

In fact, Cisse should not only be considered Newcastle's signing of the season, but also as the best piece of business by any Premier League club this term, despite only joining the club in January.

Sergio Aguero could fairly lay claim to this title, while the impact of Scott Parker at Tottenham must not be overlooked, nor that of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, or even Cisse's team-mate Cabaye.

Cisse, though, arrived at the Sports Direct Arena having only completed one full season in a top-flight league; playing the previous campaign in the Bundesliga with SC Freiburg.

Prior to that, the Senegalese had only made 26 top-flight appearances in a career spanning seven seasons, hence his signing could have been considered somewhat of a calculated risk by Newcastle.

Although he had netted 22 times in the Bundesliga last season, Cisse came to Tyneside with no great reputation, unlike the other players considered to be among the finest acquisitions of the current campaign.

Aguero was already regarded as one of the best strikers in the world before moving to Manchester, Parker came to Spurs an England regular, Mata can boast a World Cup winners medal, and Cabaye helped guide Lille to the French title.

It has, then, arrived as no great surprise that any of these players have thrived at their new clubs, while Cisse has exceeded any expectation by some distance.

Not only do his individual statistics highlight someone brimming with confidence, but his goals have also contributed to a rich vein of form enjoyed by his club.

Of the nine matches Cisse has scored in for Newcastle since his arrival, eight have ended in victory for the Magpies - with the other a draw - and nine of his 13 goals have had a direct influence on the result.

Cisse can argue to have won Newcastle 16 points almost singlehandedly, and only Robin van Persie has had a greater single influence in the Premier League this season.

The Arsenal captain my have triumphed at the end of season awards but, when it comes to recognising the signing of this campaign, there is only one winner.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Newcastle United
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