Demba Ba has clarified today that he is the Newcastle penalty taker, and it was a bit of a rush of blood by Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa that saw him take the ball, keep it from Ba, and take the penalty – and everything ended up well because he put the ball home beautifully, sending Brad Freidel the wrong way.
Demba Ba salutes after scoring first goal on Saturday against Spurs
And Demba Ba may be one of the players Alan will take to Athens, when the squad leaves Newcastle tomorrow morning for the very important game tomorrow night, in the first leg of the 4th qualifying round of the Europe League.
Demba Ba scored a superb goal on Saturday, and has also shown good form throughout pre-season, and he looked good again on Saturday, after a frustrating run last season of no goals, after he had scored against Aston Villa, in his first game back from the African Cup of Nations.
Demba talked to the local press today about the situation when Hatem kept the ball on Saturday after he had been brought down in the box, and ended up taking the penalty – and scoring:
“Hatem just picked the ball up. I did not know he was going to take the penalty. I thought I would be taking it.” “When I take it, I walk to the ball to take it but this time, he was faster than me. He just told me he was going to score. I am very happy for him.”
“Would he have been in trouble if he missed? No, not really although next time I will get to the ball faster. I will take the next one.” “I think it was a very important win because Spurs are going to be one of the top teams this season.”
“So to play them on the first day and beat them was great. Perhaps it was better to play them on the first day before they get even better.”
We haven’t really seen Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse play too well together when both are up front, although each player is a deadly goal-scorer, and Alan Pardew will have to sort out how to get both strikers scoring goals for Newcastle this season, and we don’t care who scores the goals, as long as Newcastle score and keep picking up the wins.
It doesn’t seem that Ba is too worried who scores either, as he was asked who would be top scorer this season:
“God knows. I will always try to set Cisse up when I see he is the better option, and he will do the same for me.” “It does not matter who scores the goals as long as we are winning.”
We don’t know what squad Alan will take to Athens tomorrow for the game against Atromitos, but he is likely to leave about six first team starters behind, so they area all ready for the game against Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
And to even things up just a little bit, Chelsea take on Reading at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, so they also have a game before Saturday, when the game again kicks off at 5:30 pm.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org