I feel as though I should in some small way take my due credit for the signing of Papiss Demba Cisse. For nearly three weeks I was hanging on most stories out there regarding the transfer market and potential Newcastle UInited moves. Then came a time which enforced an absence from my computer, and poof. I'm not paying attention, and they sign a striker, and a fairly sought after one at that. And they give him the number 9 shirt. There you have it-- how I influenced the signing of Cisse.
In all seriousness, however, many many great things happened during my absence. We defeated QPR on a goal from Leon Best (finally!) went 6th, and very nearly ended up joint-5th following Arsenal's defeat by Stoke. Any way you slice it, despite the warts on this squad and it's makeup, we look every bit a challenger for a top-6 spot, which makes Sky and the talking heads very uncomfortable. Brilliant. Let's get some links in- as a small disclaimer, I'm going to start including less reaction to the stories in the hope that I can blow some of those reactions out into full-blown posts. You're welcome to raise cane if you want, and I will listen to all feedback. Links!
As Newcastle sign a new striker – Papiss Demba Cissé – we take a look back at nine of the legends that have worn the famous black and white No9 shirt
I'm pretty certain that any of us could have come up with this list off the top of our heads, but hey, it's fun to look at them anyway. #Legends
"It's a positive," said the Magpies full-back. "There have been plenty of rumours, but signings show ambition. It is nice for the players that are already around to see it."We are doing well, but we have lost a couple of players to the African Nations Cup, so it's nice to hear of more coming in. "We want to keep strengthening because we want to become a better unit, we want to finish higher. We don't just want to be happy with where we are. We want to keep improving." Senior St James' Park sources have been at pains to stress that Cisse's arrival does not mean Demba Ba is set to depart this month. Ba, who plays alongside Cisse at international level, has been the subject of considerable speculation after details of a release clause in his contract became public. However, there is no desire to sell the in-form striker this month, and Alan Pardew has already spoken of his keenness to see Ba and Cisse reprise their international partnership at club level.
Of course any striker signing was going to be a replacement for Ba instead of a delivery on a 12-month-old promise.
Demba Ba is hot property right now in the English Premier League and there has been lots of rumours about him leaving the club during this window and possibly the summer...
So this is ridiculous, but not unexpected. It does bear pointing out that, at present, Newcastle United are a top-6 side.
Shearer said: "It’s one of the most iconic shirts in football, certainly in this country, and I’m delighted somebody has come in and is going to wear it. "I hope Cisse enjoys the experience as much as I did. It’s a privilege, and some great names have been there before. "I can understand why it was kept empty when Andy left. "There are expectations, but the biggest is a simple one – that you score goals. That’s what comes with the shirt. "I have heard people say that it can be a heavy shirt, but I think there’s a responsibility. "Newcastle is a big club with a terrific crowd and if you work hard, fans will take to you. The most important thing is that Cisse wants to wear it. That’s encouraging."
I guess it's good that Cisse had the desire to wear the Number 9. It will be interesting to see what happens if Demba keeps scoring at his rate and Cisse struggles...
Pardew is confident he will cope, but knows he will need time to settle into his new role. He said: 'He's not young, he's a good age. He is in the prime of his career. He has been under pressure in is career, so he understands it. 'He is going to be surprised at the pressure that comes with this, but I think he will attack it in an honest way. He's an honest footballer and I think our fans appreciate that. 'I hope they have a little bit of patience at the start because he is going to find it difficult to get in the team, let alone be worthy of the jersey, so I hope our fans are patient with him and give him every opportunity.'
Lately, Newcastle United fans have been slightly less than patient with some recent acquisitions. I wonder how much leeway Mr. Cisse will get if he doesn't score right away?
FRASER Forster believes his long-term future lies away from Newcastle United. The goalkeeper is on a season-long loan at Celtic, and the Scottish Premier League club have an option to buy the 23-year-old. Hexham-born Forster hasn’t made a competitive first-team appearance for United, where Tim Krul has established himself as Alan Pardew’s No1.
Another one from the Department of This Is Not Surprising. I don't see any way back for Fraser at this point, save the departure of Tim Krul, which i hope does not occur.
NEWCASTLE UNITED have run the rule over Portsmouth goalkeeper Stephen Henderson. The Chronicle understands that United despatched one of their men to Pompey’s Fratton Park to check out Henderson during their 1-0 home loss to West Ham United on the south coast last weekend. Henderson may have ended up on the losing side but still pulled off several key stops in the game, however he was narrowly beaten by a Mark Noble penalty. With Pompey still in administration after going into financial meltdown since relegation from the Premier League in 2010, the Fratton Park club are not in a position to turn down cash bids for their players. And the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international could be available for a knockdown fee.
This really opens up a bunch of questions about the goalkeeping situation if it is true and the club act on it. Got some thinks on this one-- may expound upon them later.
Thanks for reading, thanks for coming, thanks for participating. Feeling good to be a top-6 side!