Goat, goals and a new Toon hero: Cisse is settling in at Newcastle
22:43 GMT, 1 April 2012
Feed him goat and he will score. But
it is not food that wins a Geordie's heart. As their new No 9 Papiss
Cisse will testify, it is goals.
Seven in seven to be precise.
While one former Newcastle idol
struggled in his first appearance in a red shirt at his former home,
Cisse's dream start to life in Newcastle continues.
He may not speak a word of the
Queen's English. He may have to rely on team-mate Demba Ba to translate
the wise words of his manager.
He's got punch: Papiss Cisse celebrates his first goal in the 2-0 win against Liverpool
But Cisse is converting the chances that the No 19 and his pal from Senegal was taking earlier in the season.
He is relishing Newcastle and Newcastle is relishing him.
As one of the few January signings to pay off (Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres come to mind), he is pushing Newcastle to their long-awaited and unexpected return to European competition.
Newcastle held an 'African Day' at their training ground on Friday in a bid to continue Cisse's slow integration into other aspects of life at the club.
Red peril: Cisse fires home the second to kill off Liverpool
'We had curried goat and perhaps it fuelled him up,' said Newcastle boss Alan Pardew. 'It was lovely and it probably helped him a little bit.
'His English is not great and he has had only one English lesson since he came, I think, but his overall performance was probably his best for us yet and he gave Jamie Carragher problems all day.'
Cisse's two goals may have been created by the brilliance of Hatem Ben Arfa but still required his clinical expertise in front of goal.
It must have delighted Pardew, who paid Wolfsburg 9million 12 months after reluctantly selling Carroll.
Toon terror: Cisse (center) celebrates his brace as Newcastle push for Europe
Money had not been invested as quickly as supporters wanted, but scout Graham Carr has identified players like Cisse, Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Davide Santon for a combined 26m (about 100m less than Liverpool have spent).
The Geordie wearing Liverpool's No 9 shirt actually had a blinding opening nine.
But after he had tumbled, for whatever reason, as he circled Tim Krul, Carroll's head, mouth and impact went.
He had a rant at his former manager, long before he did the same with his current boss.
'I felt for Andy,' said Pardew, who had shook his head sadly at him after the striker had hurled several unpleasant profanities towards the Newcastle dug-out.
Sad end: Carroll trudges off and Pardew (right) said he 'felt sorry' for him
'Andy needs a game plan that is going to work for him and Liverpool struggle with the players they have.
'When we had him here we were probably more direct than we are now. He was magnificent and he will be again. It is just a question of getting that right.'
Few players influence and guide a team as much as Newcastle's captain Fabricio Coloccini, who could be out for a month.
And after they surrendered at Norwich without him, Pardew must have been worried about Carroll's long-awaited return, particularly when he saw another former Toon favourite, Craig Bellamy, line up against unlikely left back Jonas Gutierrez.
But after a lively opening, both disappeared. And that had as much to do with Newcastle's efficiency as Liverpool's incompetence.
James Perch and Mike Williamson understand the work ethic.
'It is not a surprise with James,' said Pardew. 'He has that professionalism to do the best he can do.'
Work ethic: James Perch (left) caused Liverpool plenty of problems
He could have meant any Newcastle player.
Cheick Tiote put in another 'exactly what it says on the tin' performance and with former Liverpool trainee Danny Guthrie, destroyed the few scraps Steven Gerrard, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey created.
Cabaye has found his passing range again and Cisse and Ba are relishing the freedom they have to terrorise Premier League defences.
But of all the star performers, Ben Arfa stood out.
Fleet of foot, with an array of passing and tricks that can win matches l ike this, Chris Hughton's 5m signing is another maverick Frenchman who, like David Ginola and Laurent Robert, is adored by Newcastle fans.
Stood out: Ben Arfa (left) produced a solid display
And he can make his manager despair and delighted in the same game.
Pardew added: 'I am very pleased with him. Players with a special talent sometimes look at you because they want to play, but he wasn't match fit.
'He was not really sure of how we played, where he should and shouldn't be. But he has listened to me and my staff, taken it all on board, and he has been very diligent.
'Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see him make the French squad for the Euros.'