Demba Ba hasn’t scored in 9 games and indeed, he has scored just one goal since he returned from the African Cup of Nations in February.
Demba Ba in action yesterday against Bolton – stroppy again?
And that was in his first game back after just 30 minutes in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa at home, when Papiss Cisse on his debut in the number 9 shirt, got that fantastic left-footed winner after 71 minutes.
Papiss Cisse has gone on to score another 9 goals in the 8 games since Villa, and is taking all the headlines for his goal-scoring exploits at Newcastle this year.
Alan Pardew has admitted what everybody already knew yesterday – that Demba Ba was again annoyed at being subbed in the game:
“Demba was upset when I brought him off, as I’d just had a go at him about something,” “I was trying to get a reaction from him, if I’m honest.”
“I want him to be angry and fight. He’ll come out fighting. I know Demba, and I’ve got no worries about him.” “It wasn’t Demba’s day, but it might be in two weeks’ time.”
“Ba, Shola, Papiss and Hatem have massive roles to play for us between now and the end of the season,” “Cisse’s work-rate was right up there with the rest, and he came up with a goal.”
Shola Ameobi didn’t really receive the credit he deserved yesterday, for brilliantly setting up Papiss Cisse for Newcastle’s second goal, and we think Shola can definitely do a job for Newcastle over the last five games of the season.
So we expect him to come on as a sub in most of those games, and he showed yesterday why he is now a senior figure on Tyneside, and he played very well in those final 25 minutes or so.
But we also hope that Ba doesn’t go into a huff if he is taken off again, because it’s not good for team morale. And it’s much more important what the team achieves than what any one individual achieves.
Alan Pardew has proven time and time again, that he’s an excellent man-manager, and we expect the Londoner to find some way to get Ba back on the scoring track again and keep him happy.
Or at least keep him supporting the team, and keeping Newcastle’s magnificent team spirit intact and alive through the final five games of a magnificent season.
And Ba did send out a tweet after the game on his Twitter account, referring to Ben Arfa’s great strike:
“Have you seen messi at SJP this afternoon??? Haha”
Maybe Demba Ba can get a second hat-trick against Stoke a week on Saturday - that would be good.