Magpies’ new striker Demba Ba had just finished a day of training at the Benton training grounds in Newcastle.
Demba Ba – one of his 7 goals at West Ham
Ba had met his new team mates for the very first time, as he tries to settle in quickly, so he can start scoring those goals for Newcastle next season.
Newcastle have lost both Carroll and Nolan from last seaosn, and they were the top two scorers in both the last couple of seasons, scoring 23 goals last season between them.
Demba Ba showed at West Ham that he can score goals in the Premier League, hitting 7 goals in just 13 appearances for a side that was rock bottom of the Premier League most of last seaosn.
Ba has talked about his tough beginnings in football looking for a club in England, and he was not successful in that, and ended up at French fourth division side FC Rouen in 2005 and moved to Belgian club Mouscron one year later.
Ba finally moved to German club Hoffenheim in 2007 for £1.5M, and stayed with them until January of this year when he joined West Ham for around £7M. At Hoffenheim he scored 40 goals in 103 appearances for the German side.
The French speaking striker was born in Paris back in 1985, and the 6’3″ striker had this to say about those early, rather frustrating years:
“My best quality is that, mentally, I am very strong. If you are a good, strong player, you can thrive on pressure and expectation and rise to the challenge.”“Football is all about having fun. I will always be happy on a football pitch.”
“When I was young and looking for a club, I went to Watford for a couple of months and I learned a hell of a lot. I hoped to get a contract, but it didn’t work out. I was upset but I didn’t want to give up.”
“I had always wanted to play in English football.” “I went to Swansea and Barnsley looking again. I did my best. I tried to make those clubs take me but it didn’t work out, and after a few months I had to go back to France.”
“I never gave up.” “It helps that I have had to work hard to get where I am now, at this great club. I have had setbacks. Everything happens in life for a reason, good and bad.”
“It has worked out well for me to think I was turned down by Swansea and Barnsley and now I am playing for a club as big as Newcastle!”
The big news in January of course was when he was about to sign for Stoke City but he failed the medical although West Ham moved in and snapped him up.
Ba also passed his medical at Newcastle, and he was given an extremely through medical on Tyneside.
It seems that both Newcastle and Demba Ba himself is not worried about that knee of his, and he has this message for Newcastle fans:
“Stoke was not a good club for me! I do not have any regrets about that,” “A week later, I had signed for West Ham.”“People will talk about my knee all my life.”
“I will prove there is no problem by playing well and scoring goals. Let them talk.” “I am fit and healthy.”
“They will only stop asking about it if they see me playing and scoring goals.” “Look at the stats from West Ham last season. I will let my football do the talking.”
Ba just doesn’t know what happened at West Ham, and they had a number of good players, but still managed to finish bottom of the league and were relegated, with former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce being given the job of getting the famous London club back in the Premier League at the first attempt.
The Hammers also have a certain Kevin Nolan, who will likely captain the side once Scott Parker moves on.
Ba talked about his time at West Ham:
“What went wrong at West Ham? Good question. I am still puzzled by it.”
“It was a good club, a good team but it went down. It is still difficult to accept, because we had some good players.”
“Mystifying.” “For example, I scored two goals first half in a game against Wigan and I remember thinking we had made a massive leap towards safety. We seemed to be in a good way.”
“We came back in at full-time and we had lost the game.” “It is a big regret for me. I still feel sorry for the fans and the club, and the players.”
Demba was wise enough to get a release clause in his contract – and if West Ham were relegated he became a free agent, and that’s how Newcastle snapped him up, and he looks to be very good value, and could score a ton of goals for Newcastle next season.
We hope he will score a ton of goals for Newcastle next seaosn, and if he does that he will be an instant star on Tyneside.
Newcastle have signed three Frenchman and French speaking Senegal International Ba, but Demba will not help them with their English – they will have to learn that themselves.
“I will help the new French players, but I will not be a translator for them,” “They have to learn English for themselves! They already speak basic English and will learn fast.”
“Since I was young, I was only excited watching English football. It has always been better for me to watch two mid-table English teams playing, than the best sides in Italy of Spain. It was always exciting.”
“Germany helped me a lot as well. At Hoffenheim, we played a quick tempo where we pressed hard.” “I knew Newcastle were interested towards the end of last season but I didn’t pay attention because I was in trouble with West Ham.”
“When I came back from holiday I asked my brother what is the best offer. He said, ‘Newcastle United’ and that was it, I had made up my mind.” “I don’t set targets, but top 10 would be good. We would like us to do better what we did last season.”
When I saw Ba’s first interview at Newcastle it was clear this lad is quite a character, and he could quickly become a very popular player on Tyneside.
Of course Geordie fans love players who can put that ball in the back of the net, and certainly at the Hammers, he looked terrific a great goalscorer.
There’s no reason at all why he cannot continue that great goal-scoring form at Newcastle, in front of 52,000 mad screaming Geordies at every home game.
That sounds good to us.