Having watched one of the worst striking duos in living memory lumbering around Brighton for an hour and a half today, I switched on Eurosport to watch our 2 Dembas hopefully showcase our new strike force for the future. It was not to be, as they played a half each and whilst new shiny Cissé looked vaguely interested, old Demba clearly could not give a toss (keen to get back to the Toon obviously).
However, what was patently obvious was that each are out and out strikers, number nines that thrive on goalscoring. What they are not are second strikers, the creator, the Peter Beardsley figure/or the tall lumbering Andy Carroll type striker. There is little chance that the 2 Dembas will play as a partnership, they are simply too similar.Maybe Ben Arfa will come good and play that role, maybe Andy Carroll will return but it will not be the 2 Dembas.
Alan Pardew has gone out of his way to say Cissé has been his choice, the man he has wanted since Carroll left, he has never said the same about Demba Ba. Admittedly he has got lucky with Ba, who has been superb, but sadly his time in the north east is surely going to be temporary. Not only does the signing of Cisse pave the way for his departure but everything we are told (and not denied) about his contract, the fact he was not given the No.9 shirt, Ba himself reportedly saying he will stay ‘till the summer’, then the fact he is simply too good for us, suggest he will leave in the summer.
I have brought myself to accept this, I just hope Cissé provides a worthy successor.
In his other life, Jonnie runs a walking and guiding company in the north of England. Visit his excellent website at Where2walk to find out more.