Despite Queens Park Rangers' January matches not being the most attractive to watch, the team seem to have upped their game. Well, all except one man: Djibril Cisse.
After a stellar start to his QPR career, there was much hope for Cisse this year. However the promise he showed at the end of last season has not transferred through to this.
The manager, players and fans alike all had big plans for 2012-13, but it shortly became apparent that this season was going to be even tougher than the last. And Cisse has been one of the many whom looked disparaged by the whole affair, after he realized QPR weren't going to be challenging for anything other than Derby County's lowest points record (via BBC).
Mark Hughes kept faith in Djibril Cisse, despite some very poor performances and apparent lack of work ethic. However since the introduction of Harry Redknapp, the Frenchman has been left somewhat out in the cold. More specifically, spending the last three games sat wallowing on the bench after his poor performance against Liverpool (via Soccerbase).
'Arry is a man who is not afraid to pull the rug out from underperformers and has been very blunt in his criticism of certain players since he took over at Loftus Road. Although usually shying away from naming names, the insinuation is always there, and his comments after the Liverpool game seemed to suggest Cisse has not been pulling his weight (via West London Sport):
I know what the problems are but I don’t want to say publicly with one or two. You have to have everybody who works as a team if you’re going to get out of trouble. You only need one or two who don’t buy into that, or can’t do that, and you have a problem.
It is without doubt that these "one or two" do not include Jamie Mackie, Ryan Nelsen, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry or Adel Taarabt, all of whom have been lauded for their efforts and unrivaled passion for the club (via talkSPORT). But this work ethic is one Cisse does not seem to have bought into.
Harry Redknapp has been quoted many times regarding the low morale and unmotivated players at the club, and he will not pander to egos. Not even ones with original hair styles. His tough talking has gone some way to make amends for the mess Mark Hughes left behind (via BBC), and he has made it blatantly clear that if you don't put the effort in, you won't get games. Something Cisse is learning the hard way.
However despite all of Djibril's flaws, there is little doubt that he is a top striker. His finish against Wigan Athletic proves that, as does his purple patch last season for the Rs. Cisse has all the technical ability that a striker desires, but his blase attitude to the plight of his team, and his inefficient work rate do not measure up to his skill.
With Rangers currently struggling for goals, they need a striker who is willing to not only put in a shift, but able to find the back of the net on a consistent basis. Neither of which Cisse is currently able to do, which has led Redknapp to claim he is open to offers for the striker in the January transfer window (via Daily Mail).
Cisse, of course, has his critics, and rightly so judging by his form over the past five months. But if he begins to put the same amount of effort into playing for QPR, as he does into selling perfume (via Metro), he could still turn it around in time and become Rangers' savior once more.
But that's a big "if." As at the moment, his performance is reminiscent of Eau de Toilette. And his attitude stinks.