Ba To Cisse? Not Likely!
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First off, let me disclose that I am a massive Papiss Cissė fan, he is without a doubt one of the most talented, natural goalscorers to play for the Magpies, dare I say ever (see Chelsea goal for evidence!). His slow start to the campaign is unfortunate and yes at times very frustrating. It has been written and commented about many times on this website that the service from the midfield to Cisse and Ba has been lacking this year. I would like to add to that conversation, that the service to Cissė from Ba is minimal at best.
Newcastle fans desperately want to see Cissė and Ba become a powerhouse duo that will strike fear into any opposition defence but this is not going to happen, as Ba seems insistent on wanting to go it alone. One only needs to look at the Stoke City game for numerous examples of Ba completely ignoring Cissė on the pitch.
I paid very close attention to the relationship between these two during the match, as like most of you I am very frustrated with what is happening on the pitch during the current losing spell. As the match wore on, it was evident Ba does not look for Cissė when he is pressing with the ball in the final third of the pitch. Ba I believe is a good ol’ fashioned ball hog and perhaps a glory seeker. For example, in and around the 74th minute, Cissė was working hard down the right wing with Gutierrez (I think), with a quick give and go, Ba then received it from Gutierrez, with Cissė moved well into open space expecting a quick pass from Ba, however it was not to be. Ba felt the need to go at it alone. There was no way Ba could not have seen Cissė wide open. Ba then lost possession and off Stoke went up the field, eventually leading to the equaliser.
Even on Cissė’s goal, it was not because of a great play between the two strikers, it was Ba electing to shoot from 25 yards out instead of playing a ball to the surging Cissė on the right hand side. It was a gaffe by the goalkeeper which Cissė was able to pounce on, not because of glorious chemistry between the two players.
Watch Ba closely, he is a selfish player. He has good skills and will score good goals but he is not a team player. He does not have the work ethic of Cissė, nor does he have the vision, or if he does, he chooses not use it. Perhaps this is why Newcastle looked at their best last year with Cissė leading the charge and Ba playing a more secondary role. Cissė scored the goals that Ba can get but he also was not afraid to pass it off when required, for the betterment of the team.
When the January transfer window opens, I hope Pardew sees it the way I do, keeps Cissė and moves Ba to bring in another midfielder who can work well with Ben Arfa. I then truly believe we will see the Newcastle United team that looked so promising last season.
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