Does Demba now doubt his dominance?

There are no two ways about it; Newcastle United have one of the most potent strike forces they have had in a long time. The firepower that Ba, Cisse and Ben Arfa possess has torn through teams recently; none more so than Liverpool at the weekend, and what better time to hit form than the final quarter or so of the season.

Demba Ba has been a sensation for NUFC, signing for nothing (fee wise) in the summer from West Ham and bagging himself 16 Premier League goals in 29 appearances. In Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle have one of France’s top talents who finally looks to be reaching the heights we all hoped he would and Papiss Cisse, with 7 goals in 7 top flight games, has been nothing short of brilliant.

It is however, the aforementioned Demba Ba that worries us a little. Since the arrival of his Senegalese colleague to NUFC in January, Ba has managed just 1 Premier League goal in 8 games compared to 7 in 7 from Cisse. The new system adopted (FINALLY) by Alan Pardew has seen Ba play slightly wider than earlier in the season, some even suggesting he doesn’t look as entertained as he once was.

Ba is still yet to sign a new contract at Newcastle amid whispers a while back that something was on the table for him. And, until that gets sorted, that doubt of his whereabouts next season will continue to play on the Geordie Faithful’s minds.

Is it all doom and gloom though? Would you leave a team progressing like Newcastle United? Is he really bothered about his goalscoring and positional change when others are scoring and NUFC are winning? Most importantly for this article, other than his goals, has the arrival of Cisse actually changed much about Demba Ba’s game?

Demba Ba - Pre/Post Papiss Cisse

The first thing noticed is the amount Ba has seen the ball since Cisse’s arrival. He now has nearly 50% more touches of the ball per game compared to before Papiss Cisse signed as well as making 57% more passes per game at a better success rate.

Ba has only made 2 assists all season in the Premier League, 1 each either side of Cisse’s signing, but his goal scoring obviously is the biggest issue – scoring in 79% of games on average compared to 13% now.

Having said that though, it isn’t because he isn’t being presented with the chances. Demba Ba actually has slightly more shots per game since Papiss Cisse came into the team (0.09). He also, probably because of the slight change in positional roles, produces more crosses per game than he did pre Cisse.

Finally, a look at how Ba has changed in terms of his provision for others shows that, although his personal goals tally may have declined, he now creates more chances for others per game on average than he did prior to his fellow countryman’s signing.

Based on the numbers, Demba Ba’s performance since the ACON and since Papiss Cisse’s signing for Newcastle is of no worry whatsoever! Yes, his goal record has deteriorated, but he is not the only forward for that to happen to this season. Since Christmas, Robin van Persie has scored just 9 f his 26 Premier League goals and Sergio Aguero has managed just 4 of his 17 in that same time.

Ba may look to be playing a role different that he did earlier in the season, but that isn’t down to Papiss Cisse. The introduction to the forward line up of Hatem Ben Arfa, where his defensive duties are restricted, have seen Ba start in a wider left position. But actually, because of the way HBA plays the game, Ba still plies his trade mainly through the middle. He just doesn’t seem to be getting the ‘rub of the green’ at present.

Someone as professional as Ba won’t be too disillusioned by his lack of goals since January. He clearly is still getting the chances and he is seeing his teammate do very, very well in his new league. What will be most important to Demba Ba, will be Newcastle’s development over this season and their plans for the future.

One thing is for sure – NUFC haven’t looked as exciting as they do currently for a long, long Premier League time, and Ba will know that!

48 thoughts on “Does Demba now doubt his dominance?

  1. im sure ba will start scoring again , he has been very colse afew times to score !! all forwards go through a spell of not scoring !! its great that we have more than 1 forward capable of scoring now!! it will be very interesting to see who our top goal scorer is next season and i wouldnt bet on ba being the top scorer!! fantastic start to his newcastle career for cisse , we couldnt ask for more from the lad, another brilliant signing!!


  2. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

    I think we should be getting of Demba’s back here.

    He’s not the loan striker anymore – Cisse is, Demba (although still a striker) is now the feeder to Cisse along with HBA.

    If Van Persie sudden;y changed to a different role within the team as a feeder to a brand new striker he ALSO wouldn’t be getting as many goals.

    Demba seems happy with this role as all the pressure isn’t on just him anymore. 😉


  3. ARMY hope all well with you and yours,aye great signing and only 8mill,bet daglish is spitting blood BA will come good again no probs imo 😉


  4. I am sure he will start scoring again soon. In the meantime he is so essential to us and I hope he wants to stay and the club offer him a deal which is too good to turn down.


  5. We’ve not had a forward line like this Shearer and Ferdinand with Peter Beardsley pulling strings behind them – admitteldly only for one season. Hopefully the three strikers will all be here next season.


  6. Ba’s doing great, not worried about him in the slightest….in fact put a bet on him grabbing a goal v Swansea, probably the 1st goal 😉


  7. just been studying the league table and if we win on friday and either arsenal or spurs lose then we are 2 points off champions league football!! shame on you jose enrique fo saying we were not a top 6 club!! #idiot


  8. I think our formation is a bit more like this now:



  9. nobby thats a great team!! we are fighting like lions now and if we could finish 5th it would truley be an outstanding acheivement!! my predictions for out final 7 games

    swansea 1 toon 2
    toon 3 bolton 1
    toon 2 stoke 1
    wigan 2 toon 2
    chelsea 2 toon 1
    toon 3 man city 2
    everton 1 toon 1

    14 points from our last 7 games for me!! that will take us to 67 points!! i might be getting carried away here but we are very capable of them results if we play well!! 67 points would defo get us at least 5th imo


  10. Don’t would be too far off those results army, just can’t see us conceding that many goals or not keeping a clean sheet!


  11. Army… we have to have a clean sheet in there somewhere!

    Probably the Stoke game. Unless crouchy come up with another worldy. I’m sure that happens every Mayan prophecy though 😆


  12. Also i think we’ve got a chance of beating Chelsea – 😯

    Our team is completely different to the on back in december and we’ll be FIGHTING for a european spot.

    Chelsea could still be in 2 other competiotions by the time that comes around which can only play in our favour.

    We beat them on that day.. I say we win european football and 5th.


  13. Toonsy
    From last thread I can remember reading a report of a quote where Ap was allegedly saying that as well as 1 recognized senior CB they may well get 2 young prospects in as well.

    On thread PSG reportedly interested in both Suarez & Ba. So it’s just rumours. I imagine he’ll score again soon.


  14. My predictions:

    Swansea 0 Toon 2 – WIN – 3
    Toon 3 Bolton 1 – WIN – 3
    Toon 3 Stoke 0 – WIN – 3
    Wigan 3 Toon 2 – WIN – 3
    Chelsea 2 Toon 2 – Draw – 1
    Toon 3 Man City 2 – Win – 3
    Everton 2 Toon 1 – Loss – 0

    That’s 16 points with a finish of 69 and 2 clean sheets – Swansea and Stoke.

    Stoke’s away record is abysmal.


  15. Hmmm, didn’t realise Chelsea have away games with both Arsenal and Spurs coming up…could make things very interesting 😈


  16. swansea 1 toon 1
    toon 3 bolton 1
    toon 2 stoke 1
    wigan 0 toon 2
    chelsea 2 toon 1
    toon 2 man city 3
    everton 1 toon 0 or 1-2 (depends on whats at stake for both clubs)

    so thats 11 or 13 points in my book, think Swansea will give us a tough game and we’ll struggle to cope with thier pass and move game


  17. Also there has only been 5 games this season so far we’re we haven’t scored

    Arsenal Home
    QPR Away
    Chelsea Home
    Swansea Home
    Spurs Away

    In 3 of those that we didn’t score we got a no-score draw also.
    We now have a strike force of Cisse – Ba and HBA which we didn’t have in those games.

    I have every faith that we’ll score in every game left in the season.


  18. The bloke is playing, he is winning and has had alot to do with the way we are playing now. Ba is pure class and it doesn’t make a difference whether he scores or not. Its a team game and the man is always smiling. What more do you want, even if he doesn’t score for the rest of the season he is the highest scoring player we’ve had in years (Andy Carrolls goals in the championship does not count).


  19. Nobby we can win all seven games, Chelsea away is a straight positional fight. City Home could be a title decider or even sweeping up the pieces after they have blown it. Everton away last day nowt to play for. 74pts still on. however don’t think we will reach 70.


  20. To be honest having watched our recent games, our formation is more like:

    —BEN ARFA——CABAYE————–BA———-

    With the front four switching positions. Against Liverpool, I saw Cisse fill in for both BA and Ben Arfa on a number of occasions. And sometimes, Cabaye was furthest forward.


  21. Ba’s link up play is brilliant at present. Again, not worried in slightest about him getting back to scoring ways & think it would have to be a really good deal to prize him away from us. I just love watching the bloke play.
    Hard games against swansea, chelsea, man city & everton. Results depend on how the other teams are doing when we face them. Defo a couple more clean sheets and wins in there although, I think that fourth spot might be asking a bit too much.


  22. My original predictions a few blogs back were
    arse v newc loss =right
    newc v norw win =right
    W.B v newc draw= wrong we won 😀
    newc v dippers win=right
    swan v newc draw
    newc v bolt win
    Chel v newc lose
    Newc v sto win
    wig v newc win
    newc v lose
    eve v newc draw

    So I had us on 62 points end of play but we are 2 points ahead of my predictions so far .Having watched the Scum against Citeh I reckon we could win as they seem to be showing a certain hesitancy at the back i havn’t noticed previously. We might also have a chance of a draw against Chelski with them preoccupied with other games .So an extra 6 points on my original prediction would be 68 which would be fantastic if all goes to plan. 😀


  23. 23- spot on mate. I realized Cabaye is playing a more forward role, now that Tiote has returned to the side. Maybe its that primary playmaker role he played in Lille that yielded 15 goals and 10 assists in a season. Only time will tell though. 🙄


  24. On the subject of Ba,( sorry stats didn’t mean to digress ) no I don’t think we need to worry ,he knew Cisse was coming in as no 9 and our new front man and urged him to join us too. Didn’t he play where he plays now for Frieburg, I’m sure he did. He’ll get us plenty more goals of that I’m sure.


  25. A negative tabloid type article which gives only one line to the reason Ba isnt scoring as many goals, he is not playing as a striker, he is playing on the left side in the formation which is the key to our recent run of good results.
    He has sacrificed his own personal goals target ( if he ever had one in the first place) for the good of the team, never heard him complain once and he is still grafting away with a smile on his face.


  26. @Kimtoon: Interestingly, 68 points would have been enough to get us Champion’s League football in every single season over the last 10 years! In many seasons, 65 points or even 61 points would have been enough.


  27. Jon R – You sure about that, I checked Wikipedia much earlier today and that would suggest otherwise…


  28. Franky, you are probably right actually, I was just looking at it quickly/naively. 😳

    But in every single one of those seasons the team in 5th had 67 points or less, so the team in 4th would still have been in 4th had they dropped some points and gone down to 68. But I was forgetting that they could have dropped those points against a team in 5th/6th who may have climbed above them.


  29. I can’t see the issue really. He’s shown he can score goals and make them out of half chances.

    Way too early to be concerned.


  30. Robert,

    There’s nothing negative about the article other than the title which I used only because of alliteration!

    There isn’t a definitive statement saying anything negative – this was a way of mine to show the stats of Ba since Cisse’s arrival as many questions were being asked of his performance and frame of mind.


  31. Troy,

    Again, not concerned – if anything, the article puts the doubters in line; they show that other than scoring, his all round performance has actually improved


  32. @Statto

    Everyone can see that Statto apart from Robert. Don’t worry. Good article and interesting facts. 😉


  33. Yeah, interesting how many more touches and passes he’s had since Cisse came! Backs up my impression that he’s still been doing a lot 😎


  34. Stats, Keep your hair on, i would have thought that most fans can see a positive side to Ba in his new role in the team and highlighting his lack of goals recently is doing the opposite.


  35. To clarify lads.

    Season 2006/7 Man.u=89
    Tott = 60 (5th)

    Season 2007/8 Man.u=87
    Evert =65 (5th)

    Season 2008/9 Man.u=90
    Arse =72
    Evert=63 (5th)

    Season 2009/10 Chels=86
    Arse =75
    Tott =70
    Man .c=67 (5th)

    Sorry don’t have last seasons to hand but as you can see 60 to 67 points can be enough to get 5th place .Hope this helps. 😀


  36. He just needs a few more goals and we’ll be ship-shape. A hatrick v swansea would be a good start, Hatem claiming the assists on each one to cement a place as one of the best in the PL claiming a place in the french team :mrgreen:


  37. we’ll need seventeen points at least then to be able to reach the CL thant’s a win almost every game with an unbeaten run.


  38. Haha our reserves were thrashed again, this time 5-0 by fulham. We were top of the reserve league when beardsley was in charge, what the hell’s happened 😯 ❓


  39. Top four might be a bit beyond us although Chelsea and Arsenal probably have tougher fixtures, Spurs seem to have the easiest run in but you never know, obviously this is presuming we win our next four at least 🙂

    Arsenal: 8 April Man City (h), 11 April Wolves (a), 16 April Wigan (h), 21 April Chelsea (h), 28 April Stoke (h), 5 May Norwich (h), 13 May WBA (a).

    Tottenham: 7 April Sunderland (a), 9 April Norwich (h), 21 April QPR (a), 29 April Blackburn (h), 2 May Bolton (a), 6 May Aston Villa (a), 13 May Fulham (h).

    Chelsea: 7 April Wigan (h), 9 April Fulham (a), 21 April Arsenal (a), 29 April QPR (h), 2 May Newcastle (h), 6 May Liverpool (a), 13 May B’burn (h).

    Newcastle: 6 April Swansea (a), 9 April Bolton (h), 21 April Stoke (h), 28 April Wigan (a), 2 May Chelsea (a), 6 May Man City (h), 13 May Everton (a).


  40. Statto another good Job I to wouldn’t worry too much because he is doing everything he needs to do and working hard for the team, the fact he isn’t on his own or partnering Best 😀 now makes it obvious that the goals will be spread out between them 😉
    Though I would like to see him get on the score sheet soon just to make him feel better


  41. Steve@43 -I can only see Arsenal beating Wolves , Wigan Norwich and WBA for sure .
    Spuds to beat only Norwich ,Villa ,Bolton Don’t see them getting antthing against Scum away or QPR away.
    Chelski I reckon will beatWigan ,QPR,L/pool and Blackburn but not us ,think they will be a bit spent what with Champs lge stuff.
    Then there’s us I can see 4 possibly 5 really winable games out the last7,that’s 65 poss 68 points to be had .


  42. Does anyone on here know what our record amount of clean sheets for a premiership season is ? i have a feeling Tim could be in with a shout of claiming that record .


  43. Another good read mate, I think people are leaping to his defensive more because of the title rather than the content of the article.

    Truth is, if the he doesn’t score again this season he’s still had an outstanding first season for us. It’s thanks to him we are where we are, yes others have kept us there but he has more than contributed – and still is.
    Here’s my theory, the lad is doing everything he can to help Cisse fit in, including focusing on getting Cisse on the score sheet because he knows as a striker, the best way to settle in is to score. He will also know that there is extra pressure on Cisse as Newcastles no. 9.
    I have every confidence in Ba, he’s playing with a smile on his face and is first over to celebrate with Cisse. He’ll find his goals again, I’m sure of that.


  44. I’m really glad with how the stats look tbh, they show that he is more about contributing to the team now than scoring the goals.

    If the stats weren’t showing improvements in his all round play, passing etc, then i would be slightly concerned, however the team is flying and he is still clearly performing great.

    At the rate Cisse is going we could end the season with two players scoring 15 prem goals + each 😎 Must be at least a decade since that has happened!


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