Demba Ba looked great on Saturday, when he came away with a hat-trick, and with any luck his strike partner Leon Best would have been among the goals too.
Demba Ba smashes home his first ever goal for Newcastle
Alan Pardew said yesterday that he thought Ramadan and his fasting for that, had affected Demba Ba’s form at the beginning of the season.
But Demba Ba has been a devout Mulsim all his life, since he was born in France in 1985 to Senegal parents, and that’s not going to change.
The striker has already had some let-downs in his footballing career, which he says have only made him a stronger person along with his faith.
The lad had trials with Charlton and Watford back in 2004. and he was picked up by Watford, but then when Aidy Boothroyd replaced Ray Lewington as the manager, Boothroyd didn’t think much of him and Demba Ba was let loose.
Ba then returned to France and played in the French and Belgium leagues, before joining German club 1899 Hoffenheim in 2007.
The 6’2″ striker had some success there and scored 40 goals in 103 appearances in Germany, and then after failing a medical at Stoke City last January, he was signed by West Ham in January, and scored 7 goals in 13 appearances for the London club and was their top scorer.
When West Ham were relegated last May, the terms of his contract made him a free agent, and Newcastle snapped him up in the summer.
Demba Ba is an extremely modest and humble person, and he said those setbacks only made him stronger:
“I was always determined I would make it in the end,” “I wasn’t going to give up just because one or two people said no to me.”
“I was always going to keep trying. I wasn’t too disappointed about not making it at Watford as it was still a very valuable experience and I learned a lot there.”
“What else could I do? They didn’t want me, but I knew other people would.”
“I think what’s happened since proves just how determined I was to be a footballer. I did everything I could to try to get to the position I am in now, so I am going to make sure I do everything I can to enjoy it.”
Demba Ba has become a new hero on Tyneside, after Saturday’s wonderful hat-trick performance, and the Senegal International also says he is not surprised where Newcastle are in the league right now, with all the good players the Tyneside club have in their squad:
“Sometimes fasting doesn’t affect you at all, sometimes you start feeling a bit tired,” “But it is not something that is new to me – I have been doing this for a long time.”
“I am used to it and it is something that is very important to me. My faith is where I get my confidence and energy from. I will not quit doing this because I can’t.”
“When you look at the table and see where we are you can only be happy,” “But I am not surprised we are so high because when you look at the players we have in the team, you cannot be surprised.”
Until Saturday the striker had shown little of the form he showed at West Ham earlier this year, although in the previous game he played very well at Aston Villa, and paired up well with Leon Best.
Manager Alan Pardew was delighted with his display and his goals on Saturday:
“Demba said when I signed him that he was going to come here and fight for the team,” “You have to acknowledge not just his goals, but his all-round play.”
“Him and Besty had as good a game as a strike-force as any strikers since I’ve been at the club.”
There were many positives for Newcastle to take out of the game on Saturday.
Demba Ba and Best looked menacing up front, Gabriel Obertan had his best game in Newcastle colors, and Cheick Tiote, after a great display at Villa Park in the previous game, gave another top class performance in the middle of the park.
And for the second game running Tiote didn’t get a yellow card, which is also good news.
Newcastle retain their 4th place in the league but cannot get carried away by their early success, and they will have to on their toes on Saturday when they visit Wolves, and that will be the next tough test for this new Newcastle United side.