Analysing one player’s contribution is always difficult in a team game but with a centre-forward there is one thing that is a big help, goals! Or as in the case of our other ‘strikers’, the lack of them.
If you look purely at Demba’s goals and took them away, then assumed they hadn’t been replaced, which isn’t too hard a leap of faith considering the other United forwards have contributed just 4 compared to Ba’s 13 in the league.
You would have Newcastle United with 10 last points and where would that place them? Below the mackems on goal difference, just above the drop zone.
You then might look at Demba Ba’s overall play and it has been exceptional, actually his goals should have guaranteed even more points as his double strikes against both Norwich and West Brom should have equalled positive results. Never mind the recent bad luck with the woodwork against Swansea, Chelsea and others.
Maybe you would argue that if Ba hadn’t signed up then the club would have automatically brought in an alternative, possibly true but the message from the club is always along the lines of they will only buy players if they meet rigid criteria and if they don’t fit they don’t buy. So who knows?
I’ll leave you dangling with this thought to inspire and dispirit you in equal measures, what if we’d brought in an equally talented striker in the summer as well as Demba Ba, or indeed what if we signed one up now….failure to make it happen this January could prove a double whammy as quality players can lose heart if their club doesn’t match their ambition.