Should Demba Ba be playing tonight?

One final handshake?
One final handshake?
I’ve been wondering in the build up to the match this evening whether we’d be seeing Demba Ba’s name on the teamsheet, although Alan Pardew seems to have removed any lingering doubts.

Our top scorer will, apparently anyway, be playing tonight despite strong rumours linking him with a move to Chelsea in the near future.

Of course that potential move may just be a rumour at the end of the day,but it wouldn’t surprise me if those rumours are true. It’s pretty clear that Demba Ba’s representatives are pretty “aggressive” and I don’t doubt there have been meetings, but forgetting Chelsea and forgetting any moves by other clubs, the real question for us to consider should be trying to find the best course of action as far as NUFC is concerned.

Should we play Demba Ba or should we leave him out until his future is resolved one way or the other? There is an argument for both scenarios of course so let’s take a look at them, starting with the rather short argument supporting why he SHOULD be playing.

The argument for playing Ba is obvious really. Simply put he is our top goalscorer and we need goals so on that basis he must play. There really isn’t much else to it and it would appear that this is the option that will be used by Pardew. One thing I will say is that through all of this Ba has always still produced the goods so why should the latest round of rumours make any difference?

However the argument for NOT playing Demba Ba is a little bit deeper as many other factors come into play. For once, as mentioned above, I don’t think motivation of the player is going to be an issue. Ba seems to be a pretty driven and focussed individual and he’ll do what he can, but what about the effect on the rest of the team?

First off we have to look at what, or who, will be left behind should Ba actually depart for pastures new. The main man will be Papiss Cisse who is being used out of position which is doing no good for the lad. He is a striker and nothing else, he is doing his best in a position unfamiliar to him but he needs to be up front to cause the damage we’ve seen he can cause.

Is it worth perhaps looking at putting Cisse back through the middle in an attempt to play him into form? I mean we’re going to need him to bang in the goals should Ba leave and I’m thinking of our fortunes beyond January.

Then there is the team. Will they be as willing to back a man who they know might be away in a few days or weeks? Would there be a second though if that killer pass to Ba was on? Would it cause annoyance if Ba continued being the focal point when it looks likely he will leave?

How about the fans? What will their reaction be to a guy who has always remained tight-lipped and non-committal over his future? Granted he’s never said he wants away, but he’s never said he wants to stay either. It does work two ways…

Ultimately it’s Pardew’s call. He’ll see what is going on and I dare say he is aware of what is going on. He’ll also know if Ba is ready to play and if the team are ready for him to play and it seems that, after all that, Ba will play anyway.

Is that the right decision though?

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.

159 thoughts on “Should Demba Ba be playing tonight?

  1. Well I woke up off nightshift and stuck SSN expecting to see the great news that Debuchy has final been confirmed as a toon player… Not quite what I found myself reading 😯 🙁

    I agree with Geordie Deb. If Ba is going, far better it be early in the window and we can get someone in, than deadline day – which to be honest, the way the saga was going I could have seen happening.
    I hope Cisse has the game of his life tonight in front of the home fans. A real statement of intent to Pardew and the board. Aye you can buy a new player but I’m your main CF!!!.
    I’m not gonna slag Ba off (though I do think the move is driven by greed), the lad has scored his fair share of goals, but I do believe that Pardews hand has been forced a little bit recently with Ba.

    The reality is that IF Senegal HAD equalified for the Cup of Nations, we would have lost Ba and Cisse around about now anyway.

    I want to see Remy or Vossen in now. Take Puncheon for £2m from Saints and I wish we had got Chris Wood from WBA for £2m as well. The young un bagged 2 goals on his debut for the Foxes yesterday, would have been a steal.


  2. Well Pappis it’s over to you!

    But I have a major uneasy feeling that Remy will end up at Spurs and we will be left looking like a bunch of clowns (again).


  3. I see Reading are interested in Douglas, can see him going there. Would like us to get someone more like Alderweild or Sakho, youth with great promise that can perform right now, not in the future.


  4. Where’s Munich Mag to discuss this possible move by Ba? To me it’s a sad state of affairs and we don’t know how the team will respond. We are digging ourselves a very deep hole indeed. Two points away from 18th place. Hope I’m wrong but this could be a very difficult month with that charity case Ashley in charge. 😥


  5. Stuart
    He seems like a Tottenham sort of player doesn’t he? Reckon we’ll get a lesser well known striker in.


  6. G2 dont tell me you didnt expect this mate bloody three amgios running the show,unless they have something up there sleeves,but who knows


  7. These silly anti Ba people will still probably blame him after he has left when Cisse still fails to score or control a simple ball.

    For the next two seasons if Cisse fails to score it will be Ba to blame no matter where he is in the world at the time.

    Sorry for me Ba is our biggest asset and he has carried this team and Pardew.


  8. Big Dave says:

    ‘On Cisse I just hope this gives him the lift that he clearly needs, after Pards and a lot of fans clearly took Ba’s side and gave into his demands.’

    what demands are these fella? 😯

    I never heard ba come out and give demands.

    pards didnt say he did…

    neither did any players day he did…so please tell me when demba told you about these demands as no one else knows 😯

    i never saw ba not give 100% playing – in the last two seasons ba is 4th highest scorer in prem. have some gratitude man. its not easy to achieve that.

    this whole blaming ba thing ive seen last few weeks has to be amongst the most ignorant and stupid things ive read on this blog in the past few years (and i read wolfies posts 😆 )

    thanks demba and **** luck at chelsea 🙂


  9. Evil franky , I was in agreement mate ,but agree didn’t come across soz 😉

    Andy@78 ,agree not sure about Douglas ,think Axel said he wern’t to clev er like.

    Micheal 12@82 , You almost sound like you want Cisse to fail just to prove a point. 😯 🙁 Ba is gone so it’s thanks and goodbye and move on .


  10. Michael do you think the silly anti Ba people are that ****ing stupid 🙂
    For me if someone thinks that Cisse will not score in the next 2 season says it all really 😳
    I take it you don’t know owt about Cisse’s last 2 seasons 😆


  11. GeordieTwo, I’m here mate. Sad state of affairs with Ba, though I suppose at the end of the day when Chelsea come calling then we are certain to lose out anyway. We should be grateful for Ba and his goals, and for what he contributed to the club during his short stay. Good luck to the bloke I say. We have had a top striker in our ranks, we probably did well to hold onto him as long as we did 🙄

    Anyway, he’ someone elses problem now. He spent 2 years playing for us with dodgy knees yet never suffered a serious or in fact niggling injury during his time at the toon. We’ll see if his good fortune continues.

    My real concerns are that we are really stuck in the **** now, and have suddenly lost a 20 goal man from our ranks. The anti-Ba bloggers on here have had there dreams answered, so now we need to see how the club moves forward.

    I hope Cisse can come back out of his shell and start cracking the goals in, cos ffs we are REALLY going to need him now.

    I think the team will compensate for Ba in other ways, with an increased collective spirit and never say die will to hang on in there. Whether that is enough time will show.

    I don’t have much faith in Pardew and the board turning this round this transfer window. We have a real difficult few months in front of us now.


  12. seemed ok to me post January last season, all was ok until Ba through his toys about playing on the left.

    For me we should looking for a Beardsley type of player, he made Andy Cole by putting the ball on a sixpence for him and managed a couple of goals himself.

    why not look at Taarbut or hoilette at QPR, harry needs some spendies, think they might work behind/alongside cisse. plenty about and here’s a wildcard….

    when talking to Chelski about ba, why not throw in we’ll take terry and lampard off you, offer them 2 year deals, they would get us clear of relgation and give time for the young potential kids to grow and learn, I’m sure curtis good/bigi etc would learn from terry/lampard. and yes I know it would never happen but I can dream.


  13. Michael at 82 i agree with you to a point

    yes the anti – ba people are silly. not just because what they say is stupid but i grew up with football in the 90’s and my hero was andy cole. he is one of the most selfish players you will ever see. yet we loved him because he scored lots of goals. he had a good rapport with beardsley, ba and cisse couldnt drum that. they are too similar and both want limelight.

    thats not ba’s fault, thats scouts/manangers fault for not knowing the two would not work/not getting the two to work

    also i will NEVER criticise a player in black and white who performs week in week out in addition to giving 100%

    teams usually in our position dont sell their top scorer – i just hope we can get some sort of cover as shola will not score the goals needed if cisse cannot/gets injured 😥


  14. The bad news is Demba Ba is gone.. 🙁

    The good news is Sylvie van der Vaart is back on the market … 😎


  15. kev at 87 re beardsley – fantastic point and what i was getting at in my last post

    i dont blame the players for not clicking certain players play well together.

    and people going on about ‘ba and cisse didnt get on’

    who gives a fu*k 🙄

    most successful team in my era was man utd team in late 90s

    it is well documented and ive heard andy cole say it that yorke, cole and sheringham (especially cole and sheringham) did not get on AT ALL of the pitch

    still looked good on it 🙄


  16. Just my opinion but Ba’s first touch was awful. Cisse’s is much better. Can’t see why people see it the other way round.


  17. Andy – I don’t see Douglas going to Reading like mate. I know Fulham was sniffing but I do think we should be getting the lad. He’s a big strong lad and think he’d be good for us. But I think we still need someone like Sakho as well. I don’t mean in Jan but maybe the summer. I’d be getting rid of Taylor and/or Williamson for Douglas and Sakho. That would strengthen our CBs to where we need to be.

    G2/Michael – I agree that Ba is an asset and will be difficult to replace. But he isn’t the best CF the toon have ever had. We worried where the goals would come from when we lost Cole, Ferdinand, Shearer and to a larger degree Carroll – as our forward options were probably at their weakest when we lost Carroll.
    Ba leaving will be a miss, but with creative players like Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Marv, Obertan and with attacking full backs like Santon and Debuchy (when he lands), we will create and score goals. It may not all be Cisse scoring the goals, it may be Bas replacement or the Ameobi boys or any of the players I’ve just mentioned, but the goals aren’t gonna stop just coz we loose our top scorer.
    Look at Chelsea. They lost Drogba, Anelka and Kalou and everyone said it was down to Torres now. Well Torres has scored a few more but he’s far from prolific – but Chelsea goals haven’t dried up, it’s just different players scoring. The same will happen at the toon, other players will find the positions Ba does now and will find the net.


  18. Sharpy
    If we get rid of Willo, Taylor and Simmo for Sakho, Douglas and Debuchy we will have very few Englishmen left. Will we have enough to fill the quota? Anyway Taylor is one the best English CBs around at the moment, if not for injury problems he’d be an England regular.


  19. if Douglas wants to play for Holland he should look to be playing in front of Krul, thats one advantage we may have over the london based teams of fulham/QPR. cant believe we are second choice to either of them, but then it is London.


  20. We have had two of the most stupendous strikers ever at the club in Ba and Cisse.
    Pardew needs to take the rap for not being able to find a way to incorporate both players into the same team imo

    The blokes who started the we hate Ba campaign on this blog have seemingly had there wishes granted.

    My gripe with all of this is the same blokes claiming that Ba was solely responsible for the loss in form of Cisse, when that was patently ridiculous.

    Good luck to Ba and his millions.

    Let’s see what you have about you now Papiss, we need you now mate.


  21. Andymag@94….. aye mate, it was just on German tele. Aye they are both cloggys, been together for yonks… They were being touted as the equivalent of Posh and Becks, and it wasn’t too far from the truth either. 😆

    She won’t be short on suitors though but… 😉


  22. They both wanted the lime lite 😯 If memory serves me it was Ba who wanted to be back central so he could score goals . It’s well documented that in a pre season interview when Pards was asked about Ba and if he would continue on the left he said he would be central 90% of the time as he has said he wants to score goals. He got his wish and did well tbf but ofcourse it meant Cisse ended up more often than not on the right which is completely alien to him. Not once has Cisse said owt about this treatment to let’s face it accomadate Ba and has worked very hard to try and make it work . I have grown so tired of the Cisse V Ba debate ,and what’s more Cisse fans are not silly anti Ba people but the fact remains why after watching him score 13 in 13 games from up top was it felt right to shove him out to the right 😕 .Is it any wonder some of us are bemused by that stance given how outstanding he was 2nd half of the season and previously in Germany in a ****e team to boot .Ba was a great forward but he’s gone now get over it for gods sake and back who is left.


  23. MM trust you to come on and cause bother thought you got rid of that west end blood 😀 😀 😀 😀


  24. Kimtoon@100, I backed both Cisse and Ba throughout there time at Newcastle. Of course I will continue to back Cisse now cos he plays in the black and white stripes. I dare say he will get even more slack from the fans, now that Ba is gone, so he cannot lose really.

    I just think we will be worse off without Ba in the short term, and it’s the short term I’m worried about.


  25. MM ,in truth all great teams need plenty of goal scorers ,to be reliant on just one player is foolhardy in the extreme ,never a wise plan .Luckily for us when fit we have Benny ,Marv ,Anita ,Cisse ,Tiote ,Cabs all capable of hitting the back of the net . I would be very dissapointed if all of that lot wasn’t getting their fair share every season .


  26. Gonna be tough tonight but essential we don’t lose after the results yesterday for Villa and Southampton. Who plays right back? Perch or Tavernier. Is Anita gonna be fit?
    Looking ahead to the weekend already feeling sorry for those making the trip to Brighton where I can see us fielding nothing but our reserve side


  27. Kim
    Tiote… The notorious goal machine 😆 . Know what you mean though, we won’t just be reliant on the main man up front.


  28. Icedog@102 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    You know yersel anyone brought up negotiating in west end chip shops on a Friday neet needs a bit of space 😆


  29. MM ,There is no doubt he has been excellent for us and when he wasn’t scoring last season I was always backing him to come good so I certainly have never disliked the guy .The fact remains I do believe he threw his toys out the pram over his playing position pre season ,and to be fair to him he wanted to score goals and did but I do think it has affected Cisse Form ,just my personel thoughts not influenced by anyone else by the way 😉 .Anyway Cisse got a great goal the other day so he ain’t totally lost his touch thank god ,long may it continue I say. Tommorow Ba news will be chip paper , onwards and upwards HWTL. 😀


  30. Munich – don’t mention Sylvie to me mate. Dumped into her in the Pig n Whistle New Years Eve and after one too many bottles of blue wickeds we shared a moment mate 😉
    She’s never stopped texting since mate and if the missus finds out I’m done for!! 😛

    Andy – I would get rid of both Taylor and Willo, but one out and both Douglas and Sakho in would give us 4 solid CBs. Colo is getting on a bit now and lost a bit of pace. Taylor is only fit 2 weeks of the season and I think Willo is only good enough to be a 4th choice CB. Personally I’d keep Taylor and sell Willo and have Colo, Taylor, Douglas and Sakho. That would give 4 strong CBs now but still allow the likes of Good and Streete to come through.


  31. Kimtoon, how does this look for a “season return” of goals … 😉

    Krul – 0 goals
    Simmo -0 goals
    Willo – 0 goals
    Staylor 2 goals
    Santon – 1 goal
    Collo – 2 goals

    Tiote – 2 goals
    Anita – 2 goals
    Cabaye – 6 goals
    Jonas – 2 goals
    HBA – 8 goals
    Obertan – 3 goals

    Cisse 10 goals
    Shola – 3 goals

    More goals than that would be a “positive surprise” I reckon…


  32. It needs to be asked. Do we need to bring in another forward? Cisse, the Ameobis, Ranger, and Campbell: overall a bit young, but there’s a decent spread of attributes among that pack if we’re going to play a five-man midfield most of the time. (Plus Obertan and Ben Arfa are capable of playing as forwards in their own way.)

    And there’s always Xisco, lest we forget. 🙄


  33. Sharpy17, haven’t seen you being mentioned on German tele mate…. if you managed to put a half-nelson on wee Sylvie then good on ya… she’s top totty for sure .. ;-)… 😆 😆 😆

    Young Rapha isn’t the best looking gadgie but his bank account will see him ok, he won’t be pining alone too long either I reckon…

    Howay the lads, would love it, 2 Cisse goals in the first 8 minutes the neet, and our season kicking on from here…


  34. As an infrequent thoughtless poster:

    1: It’s never good to lose good players and I’m sad to see Ba go (as most all sensible fans feel).

    2: When everyone is fit, this team could be especially fun to watch if Pards sticks with the 4-2-3-1. Debuchy, Saylor, Colo, Santon; Bigi, Anita; Benny, Cabaye, Marveaux; Cisse.

    That team might ship a goal or two, but you have seven players (all 5 midfielders and the two wing backs) who like to get forward and open the game up. We should be able to control possession and games and play defense by playing offense.

    3: We also have decent options to quickly change our playing style by inserting Tiote, Obertan and Shola into that lineup and become a much more direct and defensive team to see out games.

    Add your thoughts to my thoughtless ones.


  35. Wellington@112 🙄 you asked it matey…….

    Yes we do. Unless you want to be playing in the Championship of course.


  36. The Kid @108 , Interesting , Maybe us silly anti Ba folk arn’t that daft after all. 😉

    Really looking forward to the game ,hopeing the lads will be up for it to prove there is life after Ba .


  37. Thoughtless@116…

    If we had a few defenders who could defend we might be able to play to our offensive strengths. We seem to have lost the nack to defend as a team this year. There’s no doubting we have attacking players who can turn a game, but not enough goalscorers at the mo…


  38. @Thoughtless – agreed mate. But I’d still put Tiote in over Bigi for now. In the future… we’ll see.

    Still think we need someone who can play wide and centrally, for cover upfront and to keep Benny/Marv on their toes.


  39. The Kid@108. These Journo’s are so smart mate… 😆 😆

    It’s to his detriment that Demba Ba plays for the wedge…oh man…what a bummer.. RVP doesn’t, Wayne Rooney doesn’t, David Beckham doesn’t loe and behold Ba doesn’t either. The Ba circus, and in fact Ba himself was too big for the wee club in the north. That’s why he moved on.

    Someone still needs to tell me how we are going to replace his 20 goals a season…


  40. i not sure the club have looked forward enough i think most would agree,they knew this could happen at each window but never brought in any strikers so might find it hard to find any decent one in on the cheap at short notice.
    MM aye mate hard times them days once got fish and chips time i got home the fish had ate the chips,well thats my mate told me as he carried them 😀 😀


  41. Wellington – personally I’d get rid of Xisco and Ranger. That would leave 3 – what I’d see as ‘through the middle’ CF in Cisse, Shola and Campbell. Shola is nee good for 90mins and Campbell is still a bit young to depend on week in week out.
    In answer to your question, I don’t think it has to be either or. I think he should go for Vossen – a ‘through the middle’ CF for I reckon about £7-8m and still get either Jason Pucheon (Saints) or Matt Phillips (Bpool) for around £2m. That would cover 2 positions for the £10m it’s likely gonna cost to get Remy in – who could arguably play in either position.
    I do think Sammi is more of a wing forward at the moment, and I’ve always thought that – when fit Vuckic would make a decent ‘through the middle’ CF.


  42. MM@117 – OK, but who’s going to arrive? Remy doesn’t seem all that interested. After him it’s the likes of Aubameyang, Milevsky & Odemwingie… 🙁


  43. Munich – I don’t think anyone can answer your question at the mo. but consider this – Cisse score 37 goals in 65 games for Frieburg becomes coming to Newcastle, and they managed to replace his goals without getting relegated or weakening their league position – so it can be done mate 😉

    Wellington – all of those players could and would score goals in our team!, they may not be the big name but so what if they score?! 😛

    Ice – hilarious mate… the transfer window must be open!! 😆


  44. MM – Not to be picky, but what 20 goals a season?

    People love to point out how Cisse is out of form yet forget Ba not scoring at all after January…


  45. Wellington@126, I don’t know mate.

    As Sharpy says, hopefully we can replace Ba’s goals throughout the team…but I cannot see us pulling a rabbit out of the hat in Jan…. I hope I’m wrong though, cos we need more goals in the team, especiall since we cannot defend 🙁


  46. @BBCSporf: BREAKING: Chelsea confirm they have offered £7m + Fernando Torres for Demba Ba – however Newcastle have rejected as they only want the £7m.


  47. Toonsy@131. Maybe I should have expressed it differently. Ba is good himself for 20 goals a season. Without him in the team we need to find a way to replace those goals either through other players stepping up, or signing a new striker.


  48. MM
    Was wondering whether you think we’d be able to sign Grosskreutz for the LW spot, understand he isn’t happy as a benchwarmer at Dortmund.


  49. We are saved. Ranger is in the squad 🙄

    The Times saying Ba deal has hit a snag over agent fee. Ba wants a bigger cut.


  50. Feckin agents parasites 👿 If it falls through the circus will rumble on and on and the same snag will pop up with every club he talks too . 🙄


  51. who the F*** garyJacobs??

    I hope the story talksport are running regarding us and Tomkins is rubbish. surely theres better than him. He’s being kept out by Collins for f..sake


  52. re: 140 Is anyone else suffering a moment of warm feelings toward Ba’s money-grubbing agents? 😆


  53. OK, serious face on. MM, getting Douglas in to replace Ba might do the business. Not only is he going to help with the defensive issues (at a minimum, he’s a reliable option for rotation), but he’s known for his threat from set-pieces.


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