He's back... In case his brace against Hull two weeks ago wasn't sufficient evidence, Newcastle's number nine appears to be back to his instinctive best. Cissé is a painfully frustrating striker to rely on. Neither quick nor big and strong, he lacks the physical tools to threaten an opposing back line. I literally cannot remember any time he touched the ball in the first half besides his goal. But when he finds his scoring touch, look out - 13 goals in 14 matches at the back end of 2011-12 demonstrate exactly what a terror he can be.
...at the worst time imaginable. For the sizable majority of Newcastle fans desperately hoping to be rid of Alan Pardew, Cissé's revival could not be more poorly timed. By virtually every measure, the performance today was terrible. Pardew's side managed to be both frail at the back and toothless up front, looking every bit like a team whose place in the relegation zone is deserved. Swansea had double the possession, most of the best chances, and looked in total control of the match until Cissé evened the score at 2-2. And since we know that Mike Ashley won't dare cut Pardew a severance check until the last possible moment, a result like this simply strings all of us along for a little while longer.
Captain Shambolic As I tweeted during the match, Fabricio Coloccini looked simultaneously over-the-hill and naïve, which is a deeply troubling development indeed. It's frankly amazing that a center back whose calling card has long been his ability to read the game suddenly looks like he's never played before. For Wilfried Bony's goal, the captain was undressed by a simple one-two between Bony and Gylfi Sigurdsson. A few minutes later, he weirdly didn't bother to follow Sigurdsson, who was clearly onside, on a ball over the top that the Iceland international couldn't quite control. Normally in a situation like this, you'd want Coloccini replaced. Of course, Newcastle perma-loaned its Coloccini cover, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who's currently getting rave reviews at Roma. So for better or worse, we're stuck with Colo in the starting XI. Seems like a recurring theme at this club.