This is from FrenchFootball (affialated to FootballItalia) ...
Analysis: Cissé to prove Rafa wrong by Matt Spiro...
Djibril Cissé will be desperate to show Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez just what he has been missing when he spearheads the France attack in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Switzerland and Cyprus.
The former Auxerre striker has tried hard to hide his disappointment at Benitez’s peculiar selection policy this season.
His obvious affection for Liverpool and his determination to succeed in the Premiership had, until this week, prevented him from speaking out.
But there is only so much bench-warming that Cissé is prepared to do and he has made that perfectly clear in an interview with France Football Magazine. Now he must back those words up by firing Les Bleus into the World Cup finals in the absence of the injured David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry.
Liverpool fans and many neutrals will hope the Frenchman succeeds after having his patience stretched to the limits by Benitez this season.
The first signs that Benitez lacked confidence in Cissé surfaced in August when reports emerged that Liverpool were looking to offload him to finance a move for Michael Owen. While the France international waited anxiously for his club to quash the speculation, Benitez’s silence spoke volumes.
This season the Spaniard has experimented with a host of lineups and formations, though playing Cissé in the centre forward position does not seem to have entered his mind.
Watching the cumbersome Peter Crouch lead the Liverpool line every Saturday must be as hard for Cissé as it is for the Anfield faithful, but it is the occasional inclusion of fellow Frenchman and relative novice Florent Sinama-Pongolle ahead of him that will have hurt Cissé’s pride the most.
After seeing his first season in England ruined by a double leg fracture, Cissé showed fantastic resilience and courage to come back and he began the current campaign full of optimism. Four Cissé goals helped Liverpool qualify for the Champions' League group stage, while a quick-fire brace accounted for CSKA Moscow in the Super Cup final.
Cissé was not back to his devastating best, but he showed that his two principal qualities - electric pace and ferocious shooting - had not deserted him.
What the 24-year-old really needed now was the confidence of his manager and an extended run in the first-team. Benitez had other ideas.
Like so many Premiership managers these days, he seems intent on creating a team that will not concede goals, rather than one that will score them. His current insistence on the 4-5-1 - even at home - is bad news for Cissé and a shame for the Premiership.
Crouch’s qualities as a target man make him the obvious choice to play as the lone striker, even if that might change when Fernando Morientes returns. Cissé, meanwhile, will be given the occasional start on the wing or 10 minutes up front at the end of the game.
The result so far: four goals in six games, 13th place in the table.
Liverpool’s recent matches against Chelsea provided perfect illustrations of why Benitez must change his philosophy.
In the Champions’ League Cissé started on the wing - a position he showed he is not suited to by consistently running down blind alleys and distributing passes that were so wayward not even Crouch and his telescopic legs could get anywhere near them.
Benitez then spent the following days telling the media that he “knows how to beat Chelsea” and that “they are afraid of Liverpool”.
Fighting talk, but those arriving at Anfield last Sunday hoping to see a three-pronged attack with Steve Gerrard and Luis Garcia providing support were disappointed. Again Benitez chose a 4-5-1, this time with Cissé on the bench as John Arne Riise joined Dietmar Hamann, Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Garcia in an already-crowded midfield.
Liverpool’s attempts to outwit Europe's meanest defence with long balls drilled towards Crouch predictably failed.
It made for painful viewing, though Benitez bizarrely waited until the 82nd minute, when his side were 3-1 down, before introducing his one penetrating forward. Chelsea scored a fourth before Cissé had touched the ball and the hopelessness of the situation hit home.
Benitez’s record suggests he is an intelligent man, but encouraging such negative football when he has so many talented strikers at his disposal is unacceptable. Cissé may have been Gérard Houllier’s signing, but his ability is recognised by Coaches throughout Europe and he deserves to be given a real chance at Liverpool.
Having scored twice in his last start for France, Cissé will be hoping that his international career is at last starting to take off. Whether the same could happen to his Liverpool career depends on Benitez.