DembaBa65The return of Demba Ba with Chelsea was thankfully overshadowed in the days leading up to the match by the excitement of our new signings and the first half display, in particular, against Villa.

(To feature like Joe, send in your letters/articles for the magazine/website to

Only when the usual pre-match media stuff kicked off on Friday did the Ba angle get a lot of coverage.

Some of the nationals predictably were talking up Ba having to run a gauntlet of hate and other nonsense but to no great surprise our ex-striker was met by a mixture of applause, boos and maybe the silent majority like me, who sat there in…silence.

I’m not going to clap an ex-player when he plays for another team against us, apart from in the most extreme of circumstances.

Maybe the most extreme was the brilliant David Kelly who really bonded with the fans and arguably saved Newcastle from relegation to the third tier and possibly the end of the club as we knew it. Kelly came on as a substitute for the mackems and we clapped him onto the pitch,

Demba Ba was a class act on the pitch for eighteen months but that is all he was, a well paid player who did a very good job, however he was always a player on the verge of leaving and he left, he never got under our skin.

Should we hate him though? Why would you want to do that?

Just after midnight Demba Ba sent out the following to his Twitter followers;

“I thanks all the real fans for the nice messages i receive. And to all the haters….may god bless you!!! ;- good night”.

To be honest I’m embarrassed at any Newcastle fans who would send hate messages to Ba.

A player who gave his all on the pitch…what more do you want?

Look at the long line of players who took fortunes out of the club and gave next to nothing back, I’ll start the list here and feel free to add; Viduka, Barton, Smith, Geremi, Boumsong, Marcelino, Goma, Domi, Luque, Owen….

desree 5pts

Relegation will be disastrous, Rafa won't stay, Ashley won't want him to stay. Even if we stay up I can see rafa leaving as he won't be given the funds to rebuild the team. I'm all for being positive and Rafa has been an amazing catch, he has given us belief, but lets not believe all our own cr@p about 'loving the fans'

Bobbi the shill
Bobbi the shill 5pts

Fat boy is an expert at buying time, he's done it again with this appointment. One day the penny will drop. Actually, for some it never will.

fromtheheed 5pts

I was alarmed to read, true or not that Everton are to offload Martinez. My thoughts were this is an ideal club for Rafa and be next to his family. However, the Liverpool connection may dissuade him from taking up that position.

I, like one or two others believe Rafa is loving his time at Newcastle and it's all down to the fans.

He's put a lot of work into saving us, and if the rumours are to be believed will be paid handsomely if we stay up.

Either way he will need to rebuild, he only requires a couple of players to get us out of the championship (let's hope it doesn't come to that) then he can rebuild with quality players.

His can create a Dynasty, that is of course if Ashley let's him do the job without hindrance.

There doesn't appear to be any managerial jobs out there that would appeal to Rafa, Bayern Munich, ManU, Man City, all posts filled, why not stay with Newcastle and enjoy a fresh challenge.

Rafa to stay.

1957 5pts

Personally I can't decide which way he will jump. I doubt he would have come in the first place without getting some assurances about what happens if we go down, also remember his negotiations were not supposed to be with Charnley so you have to assume it was someone higher in the food chain, so he must consider it an option. Even if he was going to stay now isn't the time to announce it.

That said if an offer from a top club came along, say Arsenal, I've no doubt he could leave

ArtyH 5pts

I think Rafa is falling in love with the fans and the club! Even if the worst happens, he will be in charge of who comes or goes, and I think there will be a huge clearout come the summer. What better way than to start from scratch with a team of his choosing and his own build with such astronomical potential? I really think this is too good a chance to miss for our Rafa. If results go against us I can see Rafa storming the league next year and it will do wonders for his CV. 

Incidentally I dont think he is a man who would walk away from a job half done as it may well effect his reputation even more than it would if he failed in the championship. 

Given the support by the fans ( and he has this in spades ) and the owner and left to do his own running of the club I can see NUFC becoming a respected club again, and even the owner getting some reflected glory. 

Hughie 5pts

Rafa is a man for a new challenge. He and his coaches have already demonstrated ability that Messrs Pardew, Carver and Mclaren couldn't, with his tactical nous and persuading under performing players to do so . The Championship would certainly be a new challenge-- probably tougher than any other second tier league in the world-- and better than many top tier leagues. Even if he failed at the first go in that league his reputation is such that he is just about guaranteed a top job anywhere in Europe and has little to lose. If the Toon pay him handsomely-- ie a top PL salary-- then why not stay? 

DownUnderMag 5pts

Rafa has already increased his already stellar reputation, if we go down there is nothing he is getting blamed for and I think universally everyone will say that he was brought in too late to clear up too big a mess.  I just can't see him staying if we go down, he will have too many offers from elsewhere (given his Liverpool connections i'd be surprised to see him take over Everton...but nothing surprises me in football these days).

To be honest I can see plenty of clubs being interested in him even if we do stay up and we will be needing to give him a lot of reassurances that old mistakes/restrictions won't be repeated and that he won't be getting players given to him by Carr, won't be having players sold out from under him without adequate replacements or any other crazy crap that has gone on here since Ashley's takeover.  Rafa doesn't need to be in a struggling side long term and will be looking to push up the league with us and if he doesn't get the backing he not only needs but after this turnaround deserves then I can see him heading elsewhere.