Right I’m going to say it. Demba Ba is our greatest ever centre forward. I’ve thought this one through, honestly I have, and as an active supporter for 35 years I’ve never seen one better.

I will qualify this by saying I never saw Gallacher, I never saw Wor Jackie, Len White, Wyn Davies and I’ll be honest, I was a bit too young for Supermac.

However, even when you factor in their qualities, I don’t think it comes close to what this feller’s got. I liked the look of him at first but after getting his header on target from an impossible angle at Stoke, to getting in front of the West Brom defenders to that oh so near one at Liverpool where his delicate touch was cleared off the line, to Wednesday night’s outlandish lob past the YTS Manure goalkeeper, I’ve made up my mind, this bloke is the business.

I’ve seen some interesting strikers, shall we say, at St James’ down the years; Rafferty, Shinton, Whitehurst, Macdonald (Rob), Pingel, Guivarch, Cunningham to name but 7.

I’ve also seen some greats; Varadi, Withe, Mirandinha, Kelly, Quinn, McGhee, Cole, Sir Les and of course, Shearer.

However, I can only look at Ba’s qualities and wonder why he’s not Real Madrid’s centre forward.

Two footed, a turn of pace, strong as an ox, quickfire dribbling qualities, a footballing brain, tremendous in the air and a thunderous shot where need be, yet a pass into the net when it’s appropriate, if someone could tell me what this man’s weak spots are and I’ll look out for it in the next game.

It’s nice to be raving about a centre forward in a black and white shirt again, maybe he’s just having his rich seam of form that everyone has from time to time but if that‘s the lightning stikes twice case, it makes a change for us to be the beneficiaries.

Mind you on Wednesday the rest of them weren’t too bad as well. Howay the lads.


In the real world Gavin is a top comedian on the comedy circuit, visit his website here to find out more and catch him at a venue nearby.

  • thecorner

    bloody hell…. what a load of bollox…. i hate fans who come out with all this crap after half a season…. Its too early to judge or label those kind of things so why bother doing it? 

  • rothervalleymag

    Understand the hyperbole – but lets face it, he has some way to go to be a greater Number 9 than Shearer or McDonald.  So far, I’d certainly have him better than Mirandinha, Withe or Kelly, and on a par with Cole and Wyn.
    But its looking good.

  • MrMojoRisin

    although i 100% agree with thecorner’s comment, i cant fathom why you have overlooked MIKE JEFFREY who was by far the greatest not only centre forward but all round player in living NUFC memory, hence the statue at st James’ boulevard.

  • Anonymous

    Always hard comparing strikers but I think Demba will have to play at least 2 or 3 more matches before we judge him! Gavin Webster is right that Ba has been outstanding, suppose what is amazing about it is that he hasn’t had even a half decent partner alongside him, strikers normally work as a pair – imagine how could he could be with somebody of similar ability playing with him up front!

  • Mal

    I was quite enjoying the article until I seen who you classed as ‘great’. Ok, most of us might go along with Cole, Sir Les and Shearer but I think you’re stretching it a bit with the others. Are you really classing the likes of Mark McGhee as ‘great’?
    I do agree though that Ba is something special, but perhaps a bit soon to put ‘our greatest ever’ tag on him.

  • shiraisapuli

    knows nothing about the number 9’s