Pardew – It’s A Tough Striker Call For Villa – What?


The Senegalese strike partnership of Ba and Cisse returned from the African Cup of Nations this week to the banks of the River Tyne.

He’s back – a terrific shot of the great Demba Ba

And Papiss Cisse had his very first training session with the Newcastle side yesterday,  ahead of the game against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

Alan Pardew as usual is keeping his team a secret – and that’s mainly for the benefit of Mr. Kite – in this case Alex McLeish, Villa’s 53 year-old manager.

The Newcastle manager has been happy with the form and contribution of Leon Best since Ba left after the Manchester United win, but Shola Ameobi has not looked good at all over the last few games.

And Peter Lovenkrands has surprisingly seen very little action over the last few games,  although he did get on at Blackburn and worked the second goal with Gabby Obertan quite brilliantly, to com,pletley carve open the Blackburn defense.

And Gabby looked so confident running towards goal before  placing the ball past Paul Robinson, and coolly acknowledging the completely ecstatic Newcastle fans at the game.

Lovenkrands is  a good player and we think he’s under-rated for what he’s done for Newcastle over the last few seasons with 19 goals in just 82 appearances.

This is what Alan Pardew said about team section today:

“It’s a tough call on Sunday as to what we’re going to do with Cisse and Demba,” “Best was sick, but he was brilliant against Blackburn.”

“These players deserve everything that they’re getting at the moment – the Bests, the Lovenkrands and the Perchs.”

“They’re the ones that are important when you’re trying to achieve something special.”

Being a tough call to make will surprise Newcastle fans, and we know for sure that Demba Ba will start the game, and probably alongside Leon Best who did show up well at Blackburn.

That’s even though Leon hit the Newcastle cross-bar when trying to clear from a corner.

And the words above from Pardew are really for the benefit of Ba and Cisse, and that they cannot expect to walk into the side, but there’s no way Alan is not going to start one of the best striker in the Premier League – Demba Ba and his 15 goals – against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Ba will definitely start the game in place of an out of form Shola Ameobi.

But we think Papiss will start on the bench,  and then be brought on in the second half, depending on how the game is going.

It will be good to see a number 9 playing for Newcastle again, and it’s been over a year since Andy Carroll last wore that iconic Newcastle shirt.

That famous shirt was worn by two of Newcastle’s best strikers ever – Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer – with 406 goals between them – oh the memories. 😀

Comments welcome.



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68 comments so far

  • alec6247toon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #1

    Besty has done well while Ba has been away and deserves to start. Ba to replace Shola and Cisse to come on in the 2nd half to a huge cheer from the fans. I reckon 2-0 Newcastle 🙂 HWTL

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  • alec6247toon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #2

    1st 🙂

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  • AussieToon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #3

    Demba and Papiss. The decision is easy Pardew. Both fit and match fit.

    If I see Ameobi anywhere near the first team I will spew up!

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  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #4

    It is unthinkable that he would leave Ba out…..or is it, Pardew?

    I could just about understand Cisse though.

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  • Rowan Milsted

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #5

    I’d expect us to start Ba and bring Cisse on after about an hour. Ameobi plays better with Ba and together they’re quite a handful, though he has been poor since we beat Man Utd and to be fair, Best has been in better form (though not by much!) You have to reward form and from what Pardew’s saying here I reckon it’ll be Best and Ba to start. Can’t waut to see Cisee though, I hope he plays some part in the game.

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  • Twatter

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #6

    How he could possibly say Best did a good job against Blackburn is beyond me. He was caught offside at least 10 times and did bugger-all.

    Start Ba with Ameobi/Lovenkrands and introduce Cissé for one of the latter two on the hour mark. I’d side with Ameobi because him and Ba have a good partnership.

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  • ToonIcon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #7

    for me just start Ba and Cisse we’ve looked toothless up front since Ba went to the Acon

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  • ToonIcon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #8

    also looking forward to see our former great Given and our current great Krul

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  • Twatter

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #9

    How has Best been better than Ameobi? I was at the Brighton match and Ameobi did more… Best missed some good chances. Ameobi set up Best twice and held up the ball well. Fair enough Shola can be lazy and sometimes his touch is truly awful, but he’s been better than Best since the two Demba’s absences, in my opinion.

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  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #10

    Agreed, start them both!

    What could possibly go wrong…..?

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  • SurefootedShola

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #11

    Please start them both! they have Dunne and Cuellar at CB who like playing against static forwards who play in front of them. Demba and Demba will run them ragged with their varied movement, pace and sharp minds.

    Villas line-up in their last match was this:

    _______________Given_______________
    Hutton____Cuellar_____Dunne____Warnock
    Ireland_____Clark_____Petrov_____Zoggy
    __________Keane____Bent

    The only player of note on the bench was Bannan.

    Think we should go with this:

    _______________Krul_______________
    Simpson____Willo____Colo____Santoon
    Obertan____Raylor___Guthrie___Jonas
    __________Cisse_____Ba

    Subs: Elliot, Perch, Abeid, Fergy, HBA, Best, Shola.

    Considering neither of those central-midfields are defensively great, I expect an open game!

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  • ToonIcon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #12
  • Therapyman

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #13

    I think Ba and Best will start the game…

    Cisse in for Best with 20 minutes to go…

    Lovenkrands and HBA on the bench…

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  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #14

    Worst that could happen, if they both start, one of them plays shite…..well, we’re quite used to that anyway1

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  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #15

    (i’m not Shola bashing btw)

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  • Slank

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #16

    I agree with many on here that we should start with Ba (alongside Ameobi or Best) and then bring on Cisse in the second half to partner Ba.

    I think we should play Ben Arfa from the start and depending how he performs and/or the score at the time then replace him with Obertan.

    In midfield I would play Guthrie but who partners him is the dilemma. It’s either Abeid, Gosling or Raylor. I’m inclined towards Abeid as he is more defensively minded than Gosling. And Abeid is a specialist midfield player whereas Raylor is in my view a utility player.

    Same defence as usual.

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #17

    I think he’ll start them both! Ba must be a certainty, cisse not so much so, but i think the fact he’s been training with Ba all month for senegal will help! Best looked like he was injured when he went off against blackburn! Cisse was our most expensive signing since collocini (and ashleys 2nd most expensive signing ever)….i would be shocked if pardew doesnt start him, specially as he’s fully fit!

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #18

    i don’t think Ben arfa should start! he’s been woeful in recent weeks, scored a couple of crackers but his 90 minute performances have been terrible! I’d bring him on after the hour mark when the game is more stretched!

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  • toshtoon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #19

    No brainer Pards.

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  • SurefootedShola

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #20

    I think temptation will get the better of AP and he will unwrap his present as early as possible 🙂

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  • Slank

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #21

    Jay @ 17

    ‘…training with Ba all month for senegal will help…’

    Not to score it didn’t !

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  • Beattie25

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #22

    Does anyone else think Ed should introduce the thumbs up system as seen on Facebook and youtube so that people who come onto the blog and are faced with numerous posts can read the best posts as selected by our fellow fans rather than sit there having to read some of the most retarded things ever written by a human being.

    Thumbs up if you like this post

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #23

    on another note, my brother in law has a box at villa park (missus’ side massive villa fans) and he’s terrified what will happen if we play obertan against warnock! Apparantly his legs are gone, goes too far forward and leaves too much space behind him and they’ve been undone countless times by speedy wingers this season! I’d play obertan on the right! taylor and guthrie central and jonas left midfield! failing that, 4-3-3 with Ba Cisse and Obertan across the top, guthrie, ben arfa and taylor as midfield!

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  • Wandering Geordie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #24

    Yes we all know that Shola hasnt had the best of games and is not popular amongst most of us ..but he has scored some important goals I.e against the Mackems ..But I feel we must all rally round him and support him in light of these racist remarks against him..He’s a local lad and hes black and white through and through,just like us…He probably know’s he is going to get dropped ,but let’s get behind him…UNITED

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  • terencelim

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #25

    @Twatter
    At least 10 times? You must be watching the wrong match.

    I counted 3 times and 2 of them were actually wrong call from the “linewoman”.

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  • spitfire_

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #26

    Pardew and Shola are lovers. Ba and Shola will start… in the best case.

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  • Slank

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #27

    Jay @ 18

    I’d give Ben Arfa the benefit of the doubt in so much as I think he shouldn’t be played in away games as he is too much of a liability whereas at home he can put their defenders under increasing pressure as we are the attacking team.

    I think Obertan is more an away player as he can, as demonstrated on Wednesday, take the pressure off our defence by his direct running.

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  • LEROI

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #28

    Ba n Ameobi What? Best n Ba What? Ba n H-Ba What? If you wanna see The two Demba’s open up a can of footballin whoop ass on Villa on Sunday give me a hell yeah!!

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  • Slank

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #29

    Might sound daft but, does anyone know what position Cisse plays in relation to Ba? Who leads the line?

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #30

    cisse plays advanced and demba drops deep! Cisse is an out an out number 9 wheres as ba is more a number 10!

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  • Twatter

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #31

    @terrencelim Maybe not ten times but more than 2 or 3 times… I don’t know why you’re bothering to argue though. Best gets caught offside far too often and has contributed next to nothing in the past two games.

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  • Lynxie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #32

    Dear Mr Pardew. If you hope to win games, you put your best available eleven on the field. Simples.
    Loyalty towards a ‘long servant’ is a sentiment which should only be served up against the unwashed, as has been proven time and agian. Square pegs in square holes. Two strikers who are ‘on their toes’, to scare the shite out of villas lumbering defenders. At the same time, give bozo a rest, and unleash him against the mackems.

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  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #33

    @Wandering Geordie

    Those racists are scumbags. Shola (and Cisse) should never have to be subject to that. I hope he knows that those people are exceptions and that the Toon Army would fight his corner whether he played for us or not.

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  • Rowan Milsted

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #34

    @ Beattie25

    You should check the bottom of the previous article, some strong stuff there!

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  • wynsleap

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #35

    The ideal scenario would be for Best and Ba to start with Cisse coming on for the last half hour and then look absolutely devastating with Demba.
    That way we may eventually see the non-scoring twins consigned to history.
    Please – at least, no more Ameobi – for God’s sake.

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  • Lynxie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #36

    Rowan:
    re: previous article: I am fed up that newcastle have not won a trophy yet this season, and sometimes we let goals in (which I am not happy about) therefore this blog is entirely to blame and I am going to Support Dynamo Kiev from now on, although hang on, make that Inter Milan. (What a prize tool man, where on earth do they come from?)

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  • outsidethebox

    Feb 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #37

    stk85 with reference to fa review …i am now convinced that they only review one incident per week as they can only claim once for expenses per week ….who decides which cases they review ….eh the fa of course ..so why give themselves more work to do ..the reason they dont upset the mouthier clubs is that they may upset their cosy expense scam

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  • Ian Magpie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #38

    For goodness sake get them both on from the start and go straight for the throat!!!! Its not a hard decision to make. Why play Best or Shola when we have a potentially deadly partnership upfront!???? Shola is off form and Best has been average. Credit to them as they have both ‘mucked in’ when needed but they simply aren’t good enough at the top level! Cisse is fit and has played in Germany its not as if he is coming back from injury. Hes fighting fit! A good top class, out and out striker should be able to start straight away in any team! Stop pussying around and play them both! Golden rule in football……..ALLWAYS PLAY YOUR BEST TEAM!

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  • martoon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #39

    You lot still have not learnt how AP’s mind works. He rewards, what he considers, a good performance. He has praised Perch & Best so they are certain to start. Best upfront with Ba I would have thought and Perch in the ‘Tiote’ role. So when you are naming your teams you have to include these two!

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  • Brutooon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #40

    Ba and Best

    and Papis will be introduce in the 2nd half just to settle him to the premierleague

    Lovenkrands at the bench, just in case

    SHOLA AMEOBI back to the reserves !!!!!!

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