Moussa Sissoko has explained his struggles to start for France by claiming his team-mates, including Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, “all play in big clubs”.
Let’s start with the quote. Speaking to France Football about why he is so regularly left as a substitute when on international duty, Newcastle midfielder Sissoko said the following: “Today, look at those who play in my position. There’s Blaise (Matuidi) who did extraordinary things at PSG (last season), Paul (Pogba) who is wonderful for Juventus, Yohan Cabaye who has just signed for Crystal Palace and Morgan Schneiderlin who is now at Manchester United. Compared to me, they all play in big clubs.”
Few ways to look at that:
1) When Sissoko talked about the ‘bigger clubs than me’, he was referring more to Paris St Germain, Juventus and Manchester United than Crystal Palace, who are the odd ones out in that quartet. It may not have been Sissoko’s intention to slight Newcastle in comparison with Palace.
2) Sissoko enjoyed his time at Newcastle under Alan Pardew more than under John Carver and Steve McClaren, given that he was able to play Europa League football and draw fluttering eyelashes from bigger clubs. The midfielder was therefore giving props to Chunky.
3) After spending most of last season hinting at a move which never came, Sissoko is getting peeved with the situation at Newcastle. The idea was that regular football would mean he could start for France at Euro 2016 in his home country, but this idea is becoming slightly diluted. Sticking the boot in to Newcastle might be a way of starting his hints at a move next summer (or January) nice and early.
Whatever the story, it’s an unfortunate thing to say.