After a season in which Alan Pardew’s team punched above the weight, Newcastle United are burdened with expectations that wouldn’t be the norm were it not for their form that saw them within touching distance of a Champions League spot. Harsh but that’s life in the English Premier League.

One player who caught the eye was Papiss Cisse whose goals were often spectacular, goal-of-the-season contenders, the best one being his superlative banana shot against Chelsea.

With only one goal to his name this season domestically (two if we count this simply brilliant header for Senegal ) his season has started slowly with his finishing prowess deserting him.

…opposition teams sussing out the player…

It is a strange reversal: one that many people have label as “Second Season Syndrome”, a strange affliction caught by players after a surprising debut season. It’s not just a case of opposition teams sussing out the player or attributed to a sudden lack of confidence but it can be down to players needing more time to adapt to the physical demands of a league.

It’s not as if it hasn’t happened to other strikers, most recently Javier Hernandez whose form in his first season was excellent only for injuries and fatigue to derail his second season. The Premier League is (or perhaps we should say was) filled with players who started like a house on fire only to find themselves on the bench as their initial burst has left them and subsequently shipped off.

…they’re under-achieving compared to last year’s over-achievers…

However for Papiss Cisse the problem is more than just his own form, it’s the team he’s in whom, like him, haven’t reached the heights of last season.  Cisse was playing in a team that exuded confidence and were playing attractive football. Now they’re struggling for rhythm and cohesion, lacking the consistency from last year; they’re under-achieving compared to last year’s over-achievers.

Unless they can find some sort of remedy, “Second Season Syndrome” abounds for Newcastle United.

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