The results of Newcastle since the end of the transfer window speak for themselves, namely a two-win streak over Aston Villa and Chelsea. Likewise for its french newcomers, especially Moussa Sissoko who brightened saturday's fixture with his two goals. The input of the new guys produced the expected effect on the team, and Pardew didn't miss to emphasize this change "I actually thought he was outstanding. He was brilliant. You see the difference a lift can give, an injection of players, an injection of a victory.". For observers, particularly french ones like me, this sudden succes constitutes a surprise, not on the ability of Moussa to give a hand to the team, but in his easiness to play at the spot of attacking midfielder.
Regular viewers of Ligue 1 all know like me that he used to play defensive midfielder under Alain Casanova's order, and seeing him be so reliable, in no time at all, like n°10 is raising some questions in my mind. Either his skills have always been under used by his former coaches, or English Premier League is more adapted for french-trained players than is the Ligue 1, which would be a huge paradox. We already know that, generally, EPL allows to french players who succeed in their native championship to step up their game and take an other dimesion. It have been the case of players like Henry, Evra, Cabaye or recently Giroud. But it is less frequent to see a player blossom in a new role, with such grit and comfort. That comes probably from a narrow-minded french habit which consists in making perform a player in always the same position, as long as he is good at it, without taking in account the extent of his skills. Alan Pardew didn't make this mistake by positionning Sissoko attacking midfielder from the first game, and I have got to admit, it was a huge shock in France. However, it seems obvious with hindsight he could make it, with his technique, leadership and quickness that making him such a good player.
What happens next is looking bright for the Magpies, with the discovering of great players like Mapou Yanga M'Biwa if they fit into the demands of English football, but there is no doubt they will, Sissoko opened the way for it.