I really contemplated just posting another video of Papiss' wondergoal as the links today, but I decided against it. I'm not going to lie... I've watched it easily a couple dozen times and it keeps getting better every time I see it. The analyst from the commentary team (I should remember his name, but I don't sadly) said after Cisse's second "Have you ever seen a better two goals from a striker in one match? I haven't." And that really has become the story of the match. As important as the fact that Newcastle's win yesterday basically ended Chelsea's hopes of Champions League qualification through league position is the fact that it kept the Toon level with Spurs in the quest for the same goal.
Can I also just say how vital Davide Santon's off the line clearance on Lampard's header was? Not only did he keep it from going in (although it may have actually just hit the post had Santon not intervened), but he cleared it far outside of the danger area. Easily could have turned into one of "those goals that Newcastle just give up", but he made sure it was not.
So- the links today after the jump- Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and France, Alan Shearer and how Bobby Robson might have felt about this season, Cheik Ismael Tiote: Warrior, and Roberto Mancini takes a dig at Manchester United through a somewhat odd route.
Papiss Cisse and The Wonder Strike, or: Chelsea v. Newcastle wrap
"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." Yet he had already netted an impressive effort in the first period to set Newcastle on their way. He said: "I was also pleased with my first goal. It was important for the team. It was a good evening for me and the team."
I think that I'm pretty ready to vote for Cisse's second as The Best Goal In The History Of Ever™. And that's really all I've got to say about that.
The 26 year-old's banana volley, with the outside of his right foot, brought back memories of Roberto Carlos' free-kick for Brazil against France 15 years ago. Cisse said: "I just saw the ball coming back from Shola (Ameobi) and I just wanted to shoot as I had no power, so I just shot." His Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, was left stunned in amazement at the strike. He said: "An astonishing goal. Cisse took a chance. You could see he meant it and he's hit it absolutely true.
And this is further proof that Cisse's goal is up there for the voting as The Best Goal In The History Of Ever™... Roberto Carlos' goal, if you've not ever seen it... search it on the Youtube. It's disgusting... and maybe still not as good as Cisse's from yesterday.
Pardew told the Chronicle: "You have to remember the work-rate. "You can’t carry three flair players like Hatem, Demba and Cisse in your team away at Chelsea unless they put a proper shift in. "They did last night. They worked like they would have at the coalface. "I bet there were a few Geordies back in the day would have been proud of them."
As I think back on the match, I remember being very impressed with Hatem Ben Arfa. The formation as meant to be a 4-4-2 instead of a 4-3-3, which is a distinction that I would have assumed Hatem would have trouble with. Don't get me wrong, he's brilliant in the attack and I want him to go there, but he has shown in the past a little bit of refusal to play a pure right midfield role. Not yesterday. Here's my retrospective shout out to HBA and I'm sorry I didn't put you in the MotM poll.
Speaking of Hatem Ben Arfa
The budding footballers on show were keen to quiz Blanc over who would be chosen for his final 23-man squad later in May, but he was particularly cryptic on the Newcastle attacker's chances. "What he has done is not bad," Blanc said to Midi Libre. "Especially since we often forget that he suffered a serious injury last year."
I'm not going to lie... I have not made a habit of studying the French National Team's player pool to know if and how HBA would fit in, but I'm just gonna say that HBA is the kind of a player that you'd be wanting to take to a tournament like the Euros. Even if you don't start him, he could give any defense fits in a half hour at the end of the match.
Wor Al says Wor Bob Would Have Loved This Season
Shearer said: "Sir Bobby would have absolutely loved this season. It’s been something similar to the football we played under him. "Newcastle have had a magnificent year, they really have. I hope they can finish it off in style, but even if they don’t they deserve tremendous credit for the success they have had. Alan Pardew, his players and the staff have done a remarkable job at the club. I can only hope they follow it up next year. "We did that and it will be tough for them. But, listen, nobody expected Newcastle to do as well as they have done this season, so there will still be doubters who will say they will fade away next season.
I welcome the doubters. I hope they stay around for a long time. This squad, for whatever reason, has put its best performances in when the nay-saying has been at its peak and has had its biggest let downs when people were starting to buy in. Doubt away, folks, doubt away.
Also, It is absolutely true that Sir Bobby Robson would have absolutely been loving this season. I'm quite sad that he's not here to be sharing in this most improbable and magical season.
Manchester City Are Coming
"I’m much better," said Tiote. "I can’t remember any of it, but the most important thing is I feel great – it’s just a cut on the side. "I spoke to John Obi Mikel afterwards, and it’s fine. It was purely an accident from him. If you play in midfield, you have to let people hurt you and be ready for it. It’s fine for me, though. I will be OK for Sunday."
"If you play in midfield, you have to let people hurt you and be ready for it." Umm...
Dear Mike Ashley,
Please never sell this man.
Other Side of the Pillow (aka your biggest fan)
"Newcastle will be our hardest game - harder than United," he said. "It is strange but it is like this. They have had a fantastic season and are playing to get into the Champions League. "Their manager is one of the best managers here and it will be a tough game. It is another Champions League final on Sunday. We have two - Newcastle and QPR. We have to keep a big concentration until May 13."
I'm fine with Mancini taking a dig at SAF... it's funny that it is through Newcastle that he is doing it (how far we've come, eh?). I hope that this mind game infects his players and they come out and play less than their best.
Because, Well, Because LOL That's Why
Clattermole is right to an extent. He and Bendtner certainly proved that they were stronger than parked Newcastle cars this season. In the interest of not tempting bad juju into the Toon Army fold just now, I'll let you read this on your own and draw your own conclusions.