Papiss Cisse: ‘Don’t be scared, Joelinton’

Former Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse has offered some advice to current striker Joelinton – who carries the burden of the number nine shirt in the same way Cisse did during his spell at the club.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Cisse gave a brilliant interview about his time on Tyneside, the pressures of the number nine shirt and his friendship with the late, great Cheick Tiote.

Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote
Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote were the best of friends – they actually met up just a few days before Cheick’s passing…

Cisse said that the number nine shirt brings with it a lot of pressure.

“If I see someone wear it, I feel pressure for myself,” said the Senegalese. “I think, ‘Oh no, you have the No 9, bro’. You have to show yourself with this number because in Newcastle this number is big. I respect this number.”

Speaking on current number nine wearer Joelinton, Cisse said his best advice to the Brazilian is just “don’t be scared”.

“Sometimes strikers have tough moments – I had it – but you have to push again,” said Cisse. “Be strong, believe in yourself – you can do it. From my experience, the only thing I can tell Joelinton is don’t be scared.

“Go and do it. You will find your way because you did it in the past. Take confidence from your team-mates. Show them that you have belief.

“I know it’s very hard for him. If you don’t score, there’s a lot of pressure. When you have the No 9 on your back, it’s going to push you more because this number is heavy. It’s a big number. If you wear this number, you have to be ready.”

Joelinton has had a start on Tyneside to forget, bagging just one goal in the league all season long. That comes as a stark contrast to Cisse, who bagged 13 in his first 12 games following his arrival from Freiburg in January 2012.

The Brazilian, who also came from Germany with Hoffenheim, has struggled in the 18-yard-box area this season. For me personally, his performances have been decent – but the system just doesn’t work for a player like him. He’s not a natural number nine.

Hopefully United will be able to bag a new striker in the summer to play alongside Joelinton. Obviously there’s a lot up in the air right now with the potential takeover still rumbling on, but Joelinton still has a lot to give at Newcastle.

To read the full Cisse interview with Chronicle Live’s Ciaran Kelly, click this link. I highly recommend you do check it out – it was a great read.

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