Since the arrival of Papiss Cisse it appears that Demba Ba has lost his confidence and scoring abilities. As I say, it APPEARS that way but is that necessarily so?
The way I see it is, Ba and Cisse toegether this season could be the partnership that stands out a mile throughout the Premier League, as I believe that they will be refreshed and looking forward to the new challenge ahead, which also includes for the Europa League qualifiers.
I understand that we have the barrier of the African Cup of Nations to once again contend with, yet although it is a major hiccup I think we will be in good fettle to cater for that with Alan Pardew bringing in a decent back up striker that will warm to the task in their absence.
Naturally we need consolidation throughout the squad and with losing Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands, we appear to look short in the potential goalscoring category, yet we still have Shola and not to forget his younger brother Sammy, who can chip in as well.
We also have a good stream of youngsters who should get more of a chance this season to show their worth and it could pay dividends for us, especially as some of them have gained some real valuable experience over the last season or two, albeit not as regular as they would have liked as injury scuppered the progress of a good few of them with Vuckic and Sammi, plus Ferguson succumbing to injuries at crucial times.
Back to Ba and Cisse though.
I believe (assuming they both stay) that we will have the best partnership in the Premier League with these two, who, with the craft and creativity of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, will both be hankering with each other for goal scoring bragging rights.
As we know, last season, Ba was used quite a bit on the left, which nullified his goal threat but it allowed Cisse to hit the ground running, so with method in the madness, it worked, yet obviously it won’t have done Ba’s confidence the world of good in terms of sticking the ball in the back of the net.
What we have in our favour this season as regards the players is that they all know that they are coming into a new season with the team being touted as one of the top clubs and also have Europa League football to contend with, which last season we did not have and the team were still basically crawling before they walked and are now walking before they run, yet I can feel a slow but certain pick up in speed among these players, including our front two, which will propel us to that higher plain, even though many fans will be worrying about us losing players from an already threadbare squad.
What we have to look at is whilst it may appear to be threadbare but in actual fact it will look more tight knit by the start of the season, consisting of mainly top quality performers along with some extremely useful ‘in the trench’ back up, as in Mike Williamson and Ryan Taylor, to name but two.
We also have the return of Steven Taylor which in effect is like buying a new £12 million centre back, sort of, with him and Colo (fingers crossed) forming their formidable pairing that promised heaven for us last season, yet we still actually finished close to heaven really didn’t we?
Once again, back to wor Demba Ba.
I got the impression that Ba was losing a presence among a lot of fans towards the seasons end and it appears many weren’t too bothered whether he was sold in the transfer window, yet I think we will see a better player for us this season, assuming he stays and is not poached before kick off.
I just want to know what you lads and lasses think about it all?