It’s strikers that we really need! Is Demba Ba the answer?

A risk worth taking?
Ask any Newcastle fan where they think the team should be strengthened and they will probably say up front, with a striker, maybe even two strikers.

I agree with that assessment to be honest.

The capture of Yohan Cabaye is of course welcome, but our need for a central midfielder isn’t as great as our need for someone who can find the back of the net on a fairly frequent basis. As Cabaye himself said, he likes to pass the ball and create chances, and with Hatem Ben Arfa it certainly looks like we’ll have a more creative edge next season. It doesn’t matter though if there is nobody at the end of a move who can put the ball in the back of the net.

Now for me the type of striker that we end up with is entirely dependent on the system that Alan Pardew wants to play. With Ben Arfa seemingly destined for role in the hole there is a case for acquiring a bigger, stronger, hold up player, but there is also a case for buying a workable pair of strikers. Ben Arfa can still play in the hole behind two strikers you know.

Where do we look though? Well not at Kevin Gameiro certainly as it appears he has no interest in joining us and Gervinho is rumoured to be off to Arsenal, although to be fair he is not really a striker anyway. Where does it leave us though?

I see Demba Ba is supposedly close to joining us according to The Mirror. Personally I have reservations about him because of his injury concerns (failing two medicals on two occasions at two clubs is worrying) but if he can stay fit I think he would be an excellent acquisition.

After that though there isn’t really a lot. I mean lets face it, we aren’t going to be in for any top, top strikers as they will be out of our price range, so what bracket are we looking in when it comes to recruiting a striker? An accepted bid of Β£10 million for Gameiro would seem to suggest that we’ll go that far for the right striker, but I just can’t think of anyone that we could get. Can you?

Mevlut Erdinc and Yousef Al-Arabi are two names that keep bouncing around, but they are hardly proven are they?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m chuffed with the capture of Cabaye, honestly I am. I think a central midfield of him and Cheik Tiote could be brilliant as they both like to spray the ball around and it would help to give us some much needed creativity in the middle of the park. I just think it’s addressing a problem that doesn’t really exist.

Up front, where we do have a problem, should be next on the list!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

100 thoughts on “It’s strikers that we really need! Is Demba Ba the answer?

  1. I think it has been a good start to our transfer season, but the next few weeks will be where the plaudits are really won over if we can get some good quality strikers.

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  2. Toonsy…good article mate…I reckon Demba Ba is more on our radar…cos he’s cheap…

    Probably the “realists” will find a way to turn this on the management as a lack of ambition, but at the end of the day, we cannot kidnap the strikers and force them to come to the toon…! I’m sure we’ll pay the wedge for a “top notch” striker, we just need to find him…hope Carr has a couple of rabbits to pull out of the hat…

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  3. I would be happy if we got him and another striker but wouldnt be too pleased if Ba was the only one we got in.

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  4. I would take Demba Ba, Maybe risky with his knee probs but not as risky as bringing in a player for Β£10m.

    Did really well for wham in a franky ****e team and available for practically nowt no brainer for me…

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  5. Must admit that Gameiro seems to be making it pretty clear where he wants to go, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gonna end up there though. He’s also entitled to wait and see until his preferred move comes off…cat and mouse by the player and the buying club…and we know what wor lot are capable of…!

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  6. Alright blogsters…here’s a trick question….

    The famous toon number 9 jersey has been filled by some “stars” in the past…but the trick question is how many “10 million strikers” have filled the shirt, or in fact played up front for the toon ?

    Alan Shearer, well worth the investment…….Michael Owen…err… others ?…

    I think Chelsea and Liverpool have a lot to answer for…Torres 50 mill, Carrol 35 mill…howay man… madness…

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  7. El-Arabi got 17 goals and 5 assists last season in a struggling Caen team that finished 15th.

    Gameiro got 22 goals in a decent Lorient team that finished 7th.

    I would say they were about as proven as each other!

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  8. Agree Munich @3. Really pleased with Cabaye signing. Talented international player and now he’s in the bag it gives the club more negotiating power with Nolan and Joey.
    Hopefully another decent couple of signings in next week or two will tempt Enrique to stay – i know it’s wishful thinking

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  9. @dan4toon By the sounds of that El Arabi sounds like a decent investment? how old is he?

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  10. Yalright Geordie Deb….the club are obviously trying to put new players in place, the players who are still at the club are in no hurry to decide there futures, and don’t need to be, cos at the end of the day they are the blokes with the skills, and hold all the cards. We would probably all do the same in there position…

    The club need to manage the risk that players are coming to the end of there contracts, and that they will lose money on the blokes when they move on for nowt.

    At the end of the day, Nolan and JB have 1 & 2 years to run, and need to be classed differently as Enrique who is again something different. The three players are all different cases….it’s a case of watch this space, tricky times for the fans, but the players are only gonna get richer !

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  11. i know its easier said than done and im stating the bleedin obvious but we really need a 15 to 20 league goals a season striker to come in. Is the ba the answer to tat? I dont know. But 6 goals in 12 games for me is worth a punt. I think ben arfa will score goals for us next season hopefully get into double figures. But will nolan get double figures again? Will strolla n mclovin score as many? Think they get roughly 15 between them. So i think goals could be a problem next season n hopefully pardew n the transfer team can address tat.

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  12. Deb – i think its pretty clear that they dont see a position for Barton – cabaye will be the new playmaker. I think its a good decision tbh – Barton had an OK season – thats all. He’s a bit of a legend in his own mind and we’ve bought into it.
    Some may think he’s being shabbily treated – but he treated us worse than that the first 2 years he was here.
    Nolan is something else. Other than his leadership qualities and his goals – he really doesnt offer anything to the team. I know that sounds daft when goals are everything – but i just dont see how he can justify anything other than sub appearances.
    Cabaye – by the way – is the real deal. We will love him – he’ll be every bit as popular as Tiote was last season. πŸ™‚

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  13. Toonsy@14…aye mate, thats why I put the rider in my post “played up front” for the toon…

    I suppose what I’m trying to find out from wor knowledgeable bloggers is whether we have traditionally spent loadsamoney on strikers in the past. Supermac was a relatively big money signing at the time, but we got our money back on him, and he was value for money cos of the goals he scored for us, ditto Alan Shearer, other than that I’m struggling and looking for help – strikers in general, not just “the famous toon number 9” shirt…

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  14. Dimple – He’s only about 24 I think?

    Dan – You love these Frenchies don’t you? Andrew told me he spotted you riding down the Coast Road on a pushbike with a baguette in your basket and some garlic round your neck. Is this true? πŸ˜†

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  15. MM – What about Sir Les? Think he was Β£6 million, which was big money back in 1995. I’d say he worked out to be honest.

    The Β£10 million bracket has only really come into it in the last decade or so. Even then there is a case to argue that it’s the cheaper options that have been better for us like Bellamy etc etc.

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  16. johno toon…I have a feeling next year we are gonna have to rely on getting our goals elsewhere, and spreading them throughout the team. A 20 goals a season striker would be nice though, hope we can find him, cos I really believe in my naivety that the club will spend the money on the right player, if the big picture fits…right age, value for money, sell on value, yes man…oops…

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  17. Toonsy@21..thanks mate, thats exactly what I was looking for…the old grey matter is struggling a bit…

    You mentioned 2 players there that the majority of toon fans would say were a success, and although they were big money signings were value for money and had a sell on value, at least with Bellamy I recall. …..there again, you can probably help me on that one too…

    Any other toon big money strikers to speak of ?….

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  18. You read it here first…the toon will swop Ranger for a new left back…just a hunch… πŸ™„ …

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  19. MM – I think we broke even on Ferdinand to be honest. He should never have been sold IMO but hey ho. King Kenny πŸ™„

    I think we lost out on Bellamy though because Souness just wanted him out.

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  20. Munich Mag well we all know Ashley likes nothing better than a gamble and negotiating so lets keep fingers crossed they get it right and don’t screw up. Must admit that I’m feeling more optimistic about the quality of the players we are showing intent to get. Sounds like we are gonna have a bit of pace and guile would just feel more relaxed when we bag a couple of decent strikers. No point to it all unless we have some end product.
    Enjoy your bank holiday weekend πŸ™‚

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  21. Dan @ 23 – πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    That’s a preview of the Nouveau Chateau dressing room man.

    Zoot allures! πŸ˜†

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  22. Well i personally think we should have snapped Danny Graham, but he went to Norwick. But Jay Bothroyd is a free agent hes not exactly prem proven but i think he has the potential,

    I also like Shane Long but maybe not as our no.9, i would like to see a big powerful Drogba esc player, Possibly Pavlachenko or Chamack

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  23. i think before we even look to a striker we need insomnia back. i know that might seem a bit off track but i dont think so. if we fail to get a decent forward it will not be the end of the world as we would have him, HBA, cabaye, nolan all chipping in and giving great service to whoever the donkey was up front.
    If we get a good striker but dont get zogs in adn then to compound loose jose… we will have a bigger problem on our hands. i say,, charlie boy first, then striker.

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  24. Toonsy one of the reasons i hate ‘King Kenny’. Loved Ferdinand, couldnt believe it when he was sold and we ended up with Rush and Barnes 😈

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  25. CC – Just been looking back at some of the transfers we made and names such as Carl Serrant and Des Hamilton kept popping out at me. There was even some that I never even knew we had!

    Joe Kendrick anyone?

    And how the hell did Hamilton screw five years out of us? 😑

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  26. I’ve always liked Ba but his injuries have put me off – but on a free you can’t really go wrong and apparently there will be some sort of clause in his wages if he does get injured.

    He came into a team fighting relegation and scored a lot of goals, plus he’s a beast πŸ™‚

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  27. Craig – I agree to a point, but then it’s also worth looking at it the other way…. What is the point in having all these creative players making chances that the donkey at the end, lets call him Shola purely for example πŸ˜‰ , keeps on missing? Eventually it would wear the more creative players down IMO.

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  28. Deb @ 34 – Loving it to be honest. No hassle or stress or anything. I’m much happier for changing jobs πŸ™‚

    Mind you, ask me again in six months πŸ˜†

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  29. I saw this link pop up on the west Ham news now page and as a hammer, I’d like to reassure any Newcastle fans not sure on Ba. If you are to sign him, he will be a superb buy. He is a no-nonsense striker and only ever looks forward. His ability to score both from long range and the simple tap ins is exquisite and he will get at least 20 goals next year if he were to stay in the prem. He also has great vision and isn’t afraid to hit a cross field ball and he will be back there working his socks off if he loses the ball…take it from me and be very happy if he sign for you…us hammers will be gutted to see him leave but wouldn’t blame him too in all honesty. From a crap team we had last year…he and Parker stood out. Good luck for the new season fellas.

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  30. ok, i will give you that point – damn i hate doing that!! which would you rather go for first though?
    is klose still available on free? i expect he went in hot second. we have entirely too many average – to – below – average strikers and we need to clear the decks of the lot of em. get in two good ones and one back up.

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  31. Good luck Brad. Always had time for West Ham fans. Best fans in London IMO. Miles better than the plastic invasion of Spuds, Arsenal and Chelsea!

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  32. Craig – Klose would cost a fortune in wages which we won’t pay full stop. Never mind for someone who is 30-odd.

    It will be someone like Ba or Erdinc or El-Arabi. Someone of that ilk.

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  33. Toonsy

    All dalglish signings because he tried to rebuild the reserves in one summer by bringing in the likes of them and Robinson/Coppinger/Brady/Gudjohnson and his own ****ing son πŸ™„ along with replacing the likes of Ginola/Les/Tino/Beardsley/Beresford/Clark with Barnes/Rush/Guivarch/Pistone/Andersson ETC.

    He did make some decent signings like Solano/Pearce/Speed/Given and Ketsbaia but the majority were w@nk and it makes me laugh watching pedro on sky the other day talking about his eye for a player… πŸ˜†

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  34. My feeling is that we will bring in a striker, may be two but it won’t be one the names mentioned in the press. No one would have picked Cabaye as our first signing, especially when that ‘international player’ was mentioned. No one also expected us to go for Neil Taylor either. I really back the club to bring in the quality thats needed and it won’t be the blokes mentioned in the press.

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  35. I kinda like Best if he can stay fit, get a top striker up their with him and a good supply from N’zog and Ben Arfa i can see us click

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  36. Craig if we wrap up Taylor deal i wud be happy , he really looks a good player and to get 2 good players for under 6m is a result, more cash for a striker

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  37. I don’t really agree with the last comment ‘I just think it’s addressing a problem that doesn’t really exist’. We’ve been crying out for some creativity in midfield for years. We haven’t had a real creative player in the middle since the likes of Parker and Emre.

    Yes, we need two strikers I think, but I applaud getting in much needed talent in CM. That of course is if he turns out to be the player we all hope as I’ve never seen anything of the lad apart from a couple of youtube videos recently posted around the net.

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  38. i cant see that story on the chronicle web site !! is it legit ?
    N’Zogbia tweeted last nite he was on his way to london, not sure if it was a reference to a transfer or not

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  39. John, I just seen someone post it on Twitter but it wasn’t on the site for me either but it will be about half 12ish.

    I don’t think he was going to London for a transfer because he rarely ever posts on his Twitter so I’d be surprised if he would put that.

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  40. We don’t need N’Zog…regardless of everything, he threw a fit until he got a move from St. james… now he wants back and talk about how great we were… F@ck that. Would having a player of his talent add a dimension to our squad.. yes. Is he worth the gamble.. absolutely not. end of story

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  41. Cheers Brad….thanks for taking the time to give us the drift on Demba Ba. Good luck with the new season mate

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  42. 56 N’Zogbia is one of the best wingers in the league, I dont care what happened 2 years ago its in the past . Signing him would help in a europa league spot challenge, he is also considered a ‘Home Grown’ Player

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  43. @batty

    The wide awake club chief executive is at work this morning.

    I’m just waiting for the nighty night club to suggest the next superstar to be arriving in the Toon!

    Has anyone got any thoughts on Jose and why there’s been no announcement from his agent about the very lucrative offer on the table for him?

    Odds on that he will be sold to Liverpool on the final day of the window so the money can’t be spent.

    This club is so predictable.

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  44. so in a nut shell…. we need some a some creative midfield flair and a good stike force. a left winger has to be priorty as lets be honest, jonas cant cross a ball to save his life. and with barton now all but finished we need a right winger too, routledge going to qpr for 1.5 etc. the only right winger we have is er…jonas.. which brings us back round to the left flank again.

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  45. Bobby, as predictable as getting Cabaye, a French international that pretty much no one would of thought of when discussing transfers?

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  46. a big striker..like Demba Ba would give us an extra option up front, and due to his all round strength he would also keep the centre half busy. Nzogbia on the left, and the frenchmen and Jonas buzzing around the midfield would be a potent combination..

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  47. I cant understand why nolan hasn’t been played as a target man/striker.he’s great in the air,strong in the box and defo knows how to hit the net.he doesn’t have the legs or the speed for midfield.

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  48. Speaking as a fan, IF Nolan were to be moved on (equally his own decision as the clubs), it would make sense to swap him for a player. The club of course would like the wedge so that Ashley can put it under his mattress. But thats just me being cynical.. πŸ˜†

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  49. Craig ill agree Jonas cant cross but only from the left side.. Jonas is right footed an i think deployed on the right he might be a better crosser . and you must admit Jonas is very good at running with the ball and can relieve the pressure when the back 4 are up against it

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