It’s only natural that there’s a lot of news about Demba Ba in the upcoming game this afternoon at St. James’ Park, as the former Newcastle number 19 returns to the club he scored 29 goals for in just 58 appearances in all competitions.
Demba Ba – while in Newcastle’s colors
Demba Ba left quickly in January after only four days of the transfer window, and he moved so quickly that the door didn’t even hit him on the way out.
And it’s likely the Senegal striker will get a bit of a hostile reception today – for a player who has been compared to a mercenary – one definition of which is a person “motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain”.
Be that as it may – we’re still thankful for the 29 goals this lad scored for us over an eighteen month period.
Alan Pardew was asked about that release clause – which eventually led to him leaving Newcastle:
“I have no opinion about it other than to say we’ve missed him. We didn’t have Moussa and Yoan, we lacked a bit of power and presence in the team and in that period I don’t think we won a game. We went out of the FA Cup and lost two Premier League games so it was a blow to us.”
“The release clause went in because of the knee condition he has and we could never negotiate away from that.” “It was a similar position to Everton the other night (when an £8.6m deal for Leroy Fer collapsed) and you have to make a call.” “Whether we would do something different next time I don’t know.”
Hindsight is always 20-20 and it’s easy now to say that Newcastle shouldn’t have put the release clause in there, but at the time Newcastle were taking a chance on the striker – who had failed a medical at Stoke in the previous January.
And who would have thought Demba Ba would have been so good in the Premier League – although he has already scored 7 goals in 13 appearances for West Ham the season before, but failed to help them survive relegation, and left through a release clause he had in his contract at the Hammers – should they be relegated..
If we are to beat Chelsea today, we’ll need to keep Demba Ba quiet, very quiet, and we just hope we can get a win – as we did last season when a certain former striker Andy Carroll returned to St. James’ Park – and we took his Liverpool side apart 2-0.
A 2-0 win today would be fantastic.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org