With Demba Ba now proving the doubters wrong and looking like he has the firepower to fill his shooting boots there is an argument brewing to suggest that perhaps NUFC should look elsewhere as a priority for strengthening the team.
Seriously, that is how good Demba Ba has been in the last few games!
After a slow start to the season, a slow start that the player admits to I’ll add, Ba has started show the fans at St James’ Park the form that his career stats suggest that he is capable of. This will inevitably raise the question of whether or not we’ve actually managed to replace Andy Carroll already, without the presence of that elusive second striker over the summer.
The stats show that Demba Ba has scored eight league goals in nine league games (or if you want to be more impressed it’s actually eight goals in five games, as pointed out by Richietoon). That is not a bad return for a striker and leaves Ba needing just three more goals in his next ten games for the club to equal Carroll’s Premier League haul for us last season from the same amount of games.
On the goalscoring front at least, we seem to have replaced Andy Carroll. What about the rest of the game though? Carroll was a player who could bully opposition defences with his physical approach. He’d be a constant thorn in the side of the opposing defence and would have to be watched carefully at set pieces. It’s worth noting that Joey Barton set up the majority of Carroll’s goals and that when Carroll left both his own form dipped as did the assist rate of Barton.
How does Demba Ba measure up on that front?
Very well in fact. Ba is not exactly a featherweight striker. He is only an inch shorter than Carrol and is just as strong. If anything I would say that Ba has more to his game, such as pace like we saw against Stoke on Monday.
I said from the start that bringing Ba would prove to be a great bit of business and so far that is proving to be the case. Sure there is the issue of Ba’s knee problem, but as yet there have been no signs of it making an appearance. In fact the striker has been injury free for some time now.
I guess the question I’m posing now is whether you would take Andy Carroll back at the expense of Demba Ba? I know damn well that I wouldn’t. I’m not being emotional in my judgement, as it would be easy to use that to beat the Gypo with. I’m not even using his less that sparking start to life at Liverpool as a comparison. I’m not even saying that we don’t need another striker still and I’m not even fussed about the money. What I am comparing is Andy Carroll for Newcastle and Demba Ba for Newcastle.
For me it’s Ba. He has more to his game than just being a battering ram and has the ingredients to be somewhere near a 20-goal a season striker. What are your thoughts though?