ALAN Pardew is hopeful history can repeat itself at Newcastle United – with a little help from Papiss Cisse, writes Miles Starforth.
Cisse’s goals took the club into Europe the season before last.
The striker made a stunning start to his career at United, scoring 13 goals after his move from Freiburg in January last year.
But Cisse’s goals dried up last term as the club fought the threat of relegation from the Premier League.
And the 28-year-old only got off the mark in the league this season on Boxing Day, when he converted a late penalty in the club’s 5-1 win over Stoke City.
Loic Remy was on a hat-trick after netting twice when Hatem Ben Arfa was brought down in the box, but the ball was handed to Cisse.
United manager Pardew – whose sixth-placed side take on Arsenal at St James’s Park tomorrow – believes the goal can “kick-start” Cisse’s campaign.
“I just think it was a great moment for the club,” Pardew said.
“We all love Papiss. Our fans love him. It might kick-start his season, because it hasn’t got going.
“When he arrived in January two years ago he got 13 goals in that second half of the season.
“Touch wood, let’s hope he goes on a run like that.”
Asked about Cisse’s mood, he added: “I think all strikers want to score and play, and he’s not, so I can’t say he’s bouncing around.
“But he’s in good shape for us, and I’m very, very pleased for him.”
Meanwhile, Alan Pardew will change a winning Newcastle United team for Arsenal’s visit to St James’s Park – with Cheik Tiote guaranteed a return to his starting XI.
Pardew’s side recorded their biggest victory of the season on Boxing Day.
Newcastle beat Stoke City 5-1 at St James’s Park without the suspended Tiote, who was serving a one-match ban for picking up his fifth booking of the season.
In his absence Pardew handed Hatem Ben Arfa his first start for almost two months.
“Cheik’s a tough cookie to replace, and he’ll come back into the team for Arsenal, for sure,” Pardew said.
“He’ll play against Arsenal, I make no bones about that.”
Pardew must now decide who Tiote – who scored a memorable equaliser in the infamous 4-4 draw between the two sides at St James’s Park three years ago – will replace in his team.
Meanwhile, Moussa Sissoko will be free from the threat of suspension – if he can avoid a booking against Arsenal.
Sissoko is a booking away from a one-game ban, but his four yellow cards are wiped out after December 31.