How long will Ba be away for?

Listen up Demba

Quite a few people have been asking just how long Demba Ba will be away at the African Cup of Nations in January and what games we’ll miss.

The short answer is that he’ll miss miss five game at most although there is a slim chance that he could only miss four depending on what date Senegal want him to join up with their squad. Remember, Alan Pardew is hopeful that he can retain the 26-year-old until after the QPR game.

The hope appears to be diminishing however with the news that Senegal manager Amara Traore and his bosses have patched up their contract differences which had threatened the build up to the tournament and has led to friendlies against Sudan and Tunisia being cancelled although now there is fresh hope that the fixtures can be rekindled.

If time is an issue however, or if either Sudan or Tunisia have made alternative plans, the other option is allowing Demba Ba to remain with Newcastle until after the QPR game meaning that he will have been training and will be match fit for the start of the tournament on the 21st of January.

So after that, what will Demba miss? Well we’ll take a look at the worst case scenario, that being he gets called up for the 8th January and that Senegal reach the final which is due to be played in the 11th of February.

QPR (h) – 15-1-12
Fulham (a) – 21-1-12
Blackburn (a) – 1-2-12
Aston Villa (h) – 5-2-12
Tottenham (a) – 11-2-12

The Premier League will break for two weeks after the Tottenham game for an international break which means that our next game will be home against Wolves on the 25th February so Ba will have a couple of weeks to rest and recuperate, which he’ll need providing he reaches the final!

I don’t think it’s too bad to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll be a miss, a huge miss, and we still need a striker regardless, but as far as a run of games goes we could have been hit a lot worse with Tottenham being the only team that concerns me, although they’d concern me with or without Ba in the side in fairness.

Of course there is a very real possibility that he could return sooner. After all, I did use the worst case scenario. If Senegal get knocked out in the qualifying round we could see Ba back for Blackburn. However should Senegal (as expected) progress further than we’ll likely lose Ba for the Villa game as the Quarter Finals are due to be played on the 4th and 5th of February. From then on Senegal would have to make the final for Ba to miss the Tottenham game as both matches are scheduled to be played on the same date (11th).

Hopefully this clarifies things a little. It’s not ideal but it’s also not a surprise that Ba is going away with Senegal. We knew about it from the start and his form has made it so that he had no chance of being left out.

Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed on the injury front…

62 thoughts on “How long will Ba be away for?

  1. I have a strange feeling that Best will answer the call when Ba leaves. It has happened before, hasn´t it. I just hope Benny gets the time now. Read on skysports that Pards won´t get a striker in during the window but will bolster the defence. Hope that Mr Ashley and Ms Llambias has done the math and doesn´t sell to many and cause a slip in the table… that also cost money. a win at Anfield tonight and a happy NUFC year to you all!


  2. Best did it once before and he deserves another shot IMO .

    He’s one of those players that I can’t make my mind up whether he is good enough or not.

    He stepped up to the plate last time but his current role has stifled his goal scoring opportunities yet he’s done ok playing second fiddle to Ba.


  3. The problem is though that they are all very winnable games. But to win games you need to score goals. If HBA, Shola and Best are unable to find the net, it will be a case of what could’ve been.

    With Ba- 10 points from those is reasonable
    Without Ba- 5 is much more likely


  4. I would be looking to taking 10 points from those games. With Ba and his goals. Without him and not forgetting without Tiote also, then I’m just hoping we come through it comfortably and that Ba and Tiote come back injury and malaria free…


  5. Who would have thought Ba would have scored this amount of goals? I always said he’d score but I never expected this. He’ll be a gell of a miss, not just his goals, but his all round play and everything.

    Same again next year unfortunately 🙁


  6. I feel it in my bad arm that we are going to get stuffed tonight. I hope I’m wrong.

    I fear Bellamy the most but Carroll is always going to come back to haunt us.


  7. I think well get something, Ba is red hot and they arent exactly unplayable at anfield, I can see us nicking a point if Blackburn, Swansea, Norwich and even the mackems are getting in on the act then we can too.

    Love Joses optimism as well… 🙄


  8. I can’t see either Tiote or Ba being back for the spurs game. Even if neither team make the final there’s a 3rd/4th place play off the day before. I don’t know a lot about African football but the betting odds suggest that both of their teams will progress well past the group stages..


  9. Ba is going to be a big loss and where the goals aare gonna come from is going to be a worry. Out of the 5 game if we got another 8-10 points would be a great achivement. We got to look at our two home games and away to blackburn to get most of our points imo. In regards to toniight , no reasonw e cant go there and get a result. I dont think Liverpool are that good of a team. They do pass the ball very well and good movement in the side, but the lack pace and a goal scorer. We are going to have to close down and hit on the counter which we have the players to do that. 2-0 to us , Ba and Cabaye!


  10. We have a horrible record at Anfield.

    Read somewhere that we have failed to score in our last 6 visits :shock

    Can’t see us getting anything tonight irrespective of Liverpool’s home record.
    This is not to say that i don’t live in hope 😛


  11. Hopefully, and it’s looking like that, Ba’s departure coincides with Benny’s return to form.
    I know he isn’t a striker but if we have the midfield on form and creating chances and the defence on top of their game then the strikers don’t need to be playing special, just nick the odd goal.

    I love the fact doing the rounds about ba having more goals this season that torres, suarez and carroll put together lolz.


  12. Tbh even without Ba during the second half of last season we would’ve expected to be beating teams like Villa and QPR home.

    The aim should be 40 points by the time Ba returns after the Spurs game.

    That gives us a huge 13 games left to rack up as many points as we can.


  13. He’ll miss too many I’m afraid.

    Regardsless of peoples views on Best and Lovenkrands, they just don’t have a good scoring record. They both miss too many chances and in my personal opinion Best struggles to simply control the ball many times. I know he works hard but if I played, I’d work hard too!

    Whichever way we look at it, we’re going to dramatically miss someone who has scored half of all our goals this season. Not to find a replacement is nothing short of neglect. But not to worry, we won’t go down so that will do for some.


  14. @16 we managed to maintain our goals/game record when Carroll left last season and Nolan’s goals dried up though?
    And i would say we are in a stronger position to cope this year with Benny playing.
    Not denying Ba will be a miss, just not writing off the possibility of others stepping up.


  15. @stu

    You say Best fails to control the ball many times.

    It’s been my opinion that he rarely gives the ball away however the last game against Bolton there were a couple of occasions where he struggled to get it under control.

    In general though, since he’s played alongside Ba he doesn’t seem to get into goalscoring positions as much but links up well.

    We’ll see when, or if, he’s given the main strikers position with Barfa playing off him. I’m still hopeful from what I saw last time he was given that role. He never hides and keeps plugging away which is half the battle.


  16. Afternoon Ladies, does anyone know if Ba has shook that knock off?

    …was wondering if he was definitely gona be fit to start the neet, or not.


  17. Troy – That’s the Beauty of football I guess. I don’t really rate him as a goalscorer or a PL footballer, but I hope he proves me wrong.


  18. Yeah I think he took a knock against Bolton Johno, just a minor one though, say he ‘should’ be available. Was contemplating backing 3 or more goals at evens, but may re-consider my bet otherwise – shows how much faith I have in keeping up our scoring record minus Ba. 😐


  19. Rodz – Ba is defo fit mate. As is Santon.Problem with the latter is that Raylor actually played well against Bolton I thought so will he get back in?

    Solanos Trumpet – Our goals per game ratio actually improved after the sale of Carroll, albeit only marginally.


  20. Ba is naturally gonna be a massive miss for us , in the same vein as Saylor was/is a massive miss at the back but regardless, we have to cover with what we have or who we get.
    Tiote would have been a massive miss last year but somehow we don’t seem to be panicking over him. The reason being is, we have Cabaye plus cover in a few players who can play there, none of which are a Tiote but do the job.

    The very same way that what we have or bring in will more than compensate up front and come to the fore.
    It’s amazing what players can be turned into forwards when needed.

    Remember Steve Howey? He was a striker until Keegan turned him into a centre back.
    I’m not saying Colo or someone will do the opposite but what I am saying is, Pardew knows just like we know that Ba is going missing for 5 games max, so I’m sure he will be working on the right blend to cover for that.


  21. Looks like Bolton have lost Cahill for a reasonable sum of 7 mill…. Maybe the days of the crazy transfer fees are behind us ? ….

    Would like to think we could get a draw today. Looking forward to the match-up between Obertan and Judas2. The scene is set for the lad to win the fans over with a sterling performance. Hope he’s up for it…

    So many tough face-offs today. We need to stop Liverpool delivering long crosses from deep, we all know what Carroll can achieve in those type of situations, he’s pretty much unplayable..


  22. Wolfie, yeah centre midfield ain’t really a problem for us. So much so that I’d not be that arsed at all with short term injuries to Tiote or Cabaye (preferably not at the same time). I want to see much more of Vuckic, he can only get better, but I can’t see him getting much game time otherwise.

    Hopefully we’ll see a lot of sub appearances from him for the remainder of the season.


  23. MM, it’s a shame Saylor wasn’t fit. He’d give Carroll a run for his money in the old aerial duel – and maybe the odd broken jaw or two..


  24. ROD, yea I think he will get a good few sub appearances from now till the seasons end plus a few starts when players have knocks and such.
    I think he’s a player for next season in regularity, providing he stays injury free.

    I think next season is looking really rosey for us to be honest with Vuckic, Ferguson and co coming through and basically adding to squad quality making us more solid in numbers which is, in my opinion the way forward.

    Add some quality signings this window in terms of defensive strength e.t.c and I believe we have one hell of a bright outlook for next season as well as a bright finish to this one.


  25. …speaking of broken jaws. Had a reet pain in the arse on the train back to Yarksheer from the Toon yesterday. Was just replying to mi mam’s text to say “yes” the train was quiet and I had a “comfy seat”, when we were joined almost instantaneously by 7 or 8 ridiculously drunk, loud and aggressive Derby fans at York.

    Obviously they sat right next to me with their Stellas, and proceeded to shout the old ‘we hate Leeds’ numbers, with many added c*nts and f*cks, occasionally getting aggressive if anyone said owt, which only increased the volume and expletive count. I tried to pacify the ring leader (sat right next to me), by saying they’d only end up getting chucked off.

    …cue slowed down train (obvious sign of Transport Police gathering at Doncaster), still too fkn pissed to care though. All of them hoyed off at Doncaster, with an extra half hour added to my journey.

    ….only young lads like, should have seen their faces when the coppers got on 🙂 ….shit themsels. 😆


  26. Wolfie@32, it’s definitely all about January for me. We’ve got a lot pinning on our forthcoming activity.

    I see Henry’s looking likely to be back at Arsenal for a 2 month loan! That could’ve been pretty handy for us like. I know he’s past his best, but he’ll score goals.


  27. I never saw that Dave, but knowing you, and your mild-mannered and reasonable blog persona, I’d have to say that would’ve been a harsh comment.


  28. MM I would’ve liked to see Saylor getting his own back on Carroll, but it was strange how many fans thought at the time that Carroll should have done a better job on Saylor. Im just glad that him and Nolan didn’t force him outta the club, as I see Saylor as a future captain for us 😉


  29. Big D….that Judas3 scenario gets forgotten about. We did really well to get rid of Nolan when we did imo….and someone was daft enough to pay 6 mill for him. Nolan going on Liverpool TV talking up the Carroll move tends to be forgotten….

    I reckon Carroll / Taylor would have been a great battle, we’ll need to wait for next season now though… 🙁

    It’s gonna be a great event today, pity we didn’t have another 3000 fans at Anfield to back us up….


  30. Dave – That’s the problem with people like Wolfie, they spend so much time forcing their opinion (That’s actually based on nothing) on you they forget to listen to other points.


  31. MM there was still some fans stating that he was a legend and one of our best captains, even after he had packed Carrolls bags for him after telling him that liverpool was to big an opportunity to miss. 👿 oh and that he was more loyal than Saylor ever could be 😆


  32. Stuart79
    December 30, 2011 at 12:58

    “That’s the problem with people like Wolfie, they spend so much time forcing their opinion”

    See I used to get that a lot aswell when in reality all he is doing, like I do, is stand his ground on his views. It works two ways but people don;t see that… 🙂


  33. MM@42, hahahaha, YES! 😀

    The lad next to me had 2. He dropped them whilst being ‘forcibly ejected’, I picked them up to give to him but the coppers were too busy dragging him away.

    I gave them to the lad and lass in front of me though, as I’m a cider man. 😎


  34. That’s fair enough, toonsy, until they just ignore other peoples opinion and start shouting unfounded statements all over the place.

    I know I get on peoples tits with my opinions but I do offer them based on facts and always try to answer other people whether I’m right or wrong.

    Just ignoring someone’s question just because it’s going to make you look a right tit is just poor really.


  35. Wolfie@28…I disagree mate, take Tiote and/or Cabaye out of the central mid and you see how devoid we are of ideas.

    The only footballing / link midfielder we have in the squad, apart from Cabaye is Guthrie. Unfortunately the lad cannot last 90 minutes imo, and we’ll never have a scenario where we play all three in the middle…

    I think Vukic will force himself into the team next year, depending upon who we sign at left back, in place of Jonas. Pardew will eventually see that playing 2 right footed players on the left side doesn’t work. Having two predominantly left sided players like Vukic and Ben Arfa need to be accomodated in the side somehow, gives the team a more natural balance imo…


  36. Stu&Dave, I’m sure Wolfie will reappear to state his argument, he’s not the type to back off, he probably missed your queries.

    …anyway, I really can’t be arsed to ride into town in the freezing cold pissing down rain, but I need some scran from the market.



  37. Toonsy I can never remember you preaching to bloggers, or coming across as an arrogant know all.yes you held your own with your beliefs, but I can never remember you coming across as it was your way or no other way, and that you were right and everyone else was wrong.


  38. Why cant they tie in the International break with the final fortnight of the African Nations? Or even the first fortnight? Surely thiswould minimise the impact it has on the clubs paying the wages….


  39. Problem is they’re all winnable games, but are they so winnable without Ba? Not that we should be completely reliant, but I’d have preferred it if we were playing City, United, Chelski and we knew we were going to lose then playing without Ba wouldn’t matter…

    Still, hopefully Barfa will be getting back into his stride soon enough and best/bambi will hit form… 😀


  40. I understand the ACN having to be played in winter due to the weather, but why doesn’t FIFA have the International break scheduled during the tournament? Oh, that’s right, it’s FIFA


  41. This hard working dokeny has spoken the truth in a way that is in your face’ and the right wingers don’t like it! In fact, the right wingers would like for all Americans to forget about the last 8 years of the Bush Regime and pretend like they were the ones who cared about small businesses and individuals. Of course, all they cared about was Wall Street and the uber wealthy. No one else. I want to see more Democrats speaking truth like this! It’s needed. Allowing the neck drooling knuckle draggers to be the voice of reason has been wrong and it’s been laughable. Why the hell are we allowing these bozos to do this when it’s they who have phucked over the country for so long? Huh? They need to sit down and shut up and let the mature caring and compassionate members of Congress do the talking now!And if they don’t like what they hear? Then too bad! Shut up republicans! We are sick of listening to you for the last 3 decades!


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