I don’t think there is any doubt that so far this season Demba Ba has proved to be Newcastle’s signing of the year and indeed, top transfer of the whole league.

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.

  • Mal

    Ba has been brilliant and will be a big miss when he goes off to the African Nations or if he gets injured. The lack of goals from others is also worrying but to say that if he hadn’t been playing we would have been below Sunderland is ignoring the contributions made by the squad as a whole. Similar arguements could be put forward in many other cases – where would barcelona be without Messi’s goals; where would man u have finished last year without Berbatrov’s goals etc.
    And just to show that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. I think I’m right in saying that Ba hasn’t started in 3 games this season from which we took 7 points, which is a better return per game than the 23 points from 15 games when he’s actually played – so using your basis some might say we do better without him, which would be a bit silly.
    Apparently we are not now going to sign a striker in January. This is a massive risk and we can only hope that others step up to the plate. It may turn out to be a lost opportunity if vital points are dropped while Ba is away as we have a string of games that with a full strength team we would have a very good chance of winning – Spurs away is our only game against anyone currently above us.