Papin backing under-fire Cisse
By Patrick Haond and Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marseille legend Jean-Pierre Papin has urged Djibril Cisse's critics to be more patient.
French legend Jean-Pierre Papin has urged Djibril Cisse's critics to be more patient, as speculation continues to grow that Marseille will decide against signing the striker in the summer.
The French international has struggled with his form since joining on loan from Liverpool, scoring four goals in 14 games, but appears to still be feeling the effects of a career-threatening leg break sustained just before the World Cup finals.
Cisse has been booed by l'OM fans in recent weeks and could only make Albert Emon's bench for the 4-1 victory over Lille at the weekend, with various reports stating that the French club will not pay the é¼12million (£8.2million) fee needed to make his stay permanent.
However, former Marseille striker Papin has defended the contribution of Cisse, stating the on-loan Liverpool man is still struggling to hit peak form after his serious injury.
"Don't forget that this boy has suffered a six-month break twice over," Papin told L'Equipe.
"Normally, when you suffer such injuries you need one year to come back to peak form, but nobody says it.
"He lacks a little confidence - the last second, the last gesture, everything that makes a goalscorer - but he hasn't lost it.
"It is simple, he doesn't play with 100 per cent of his talent, maybe 70 per cent.
"People try to demolish him, that is unfair."
Marseille coach Emon has explained that his decision to leave Cisse on the bench against Lille was merely a tactical choice given his expectations of the game that l'OM won 4-1.
"It was an emergency to win, even with half a goal," said Emon. "It was not topical to talk about personal cases, I made a decision for the game.
"We play very high with few gaps and Mickael Pagis is at ease in the centre to give good balls, but Djibril makes a lot of efforts with a very good state of mind."