Can Erdinç and Ba – boom?

Posted on July 28th, 2011 | 62 Comments |

Could Ba and Erdinç be an explosive partnership?
Could Ba and Erdinç be an explosive partnership?
As rare as a chance to see Halley’s Comet, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has given an interview with the ‘Shields Gazette’ in regards to new striker Demba Ba.

Ba featured in 2 of the 3 games over in the states this last week, and Pardew has been quite happy with the Senegalese strikers overall performances thus far. More notably, Pardew has been talking about Ba’s most recent performance, in our 3-0 win against Columbus Crew, saying:

“I really enjoyed Demba’s play.

“He played slightly withdrawn. His link-up play was excellent, and his movement caught us out at times. He’s so quick, he made a move, and then a different move by the time the pass had gone.

“It was a shame he didn’t get a goal, but he was a real highlight for me, as was Dan Gosling.

“Marveaux also played well, and it was a good night for us.”

From the highlights I’ve seen, it looked very much like Dan Gosling was our star performer against the ‘Crew’. Demba Ba though, played an important role in a couple of the goals, and also was the man brought down when through on goal to earn Columbus’ ‘keeper Andy Gruenebaum a straight red card, effectively ending the game as a contest.

Much has been said/written about Demba’s degenerative knee condition, and many fans have that slight fear of Ba breaking down at some point during the season. Of course, as things stand, if Ba was to have any kind of recurrence of his past injury problems, then United will find themselves back to the same strikeforce that got us through the back end of last season.

It seems that Pardew wants Newcastle to play in a 4-4-1-1 / 4-2-3-1 formation this coming season, meaning that Ba is most likely going to be the lone striker, with Hatem Ben Arfa as the support striker, playing in the hole.

I think Ba is a very good signing for Newcastle despite his past injury problems, especially if you consider what he showed at West Ham last season. Regardless of his injury record, there will most likely be a period of time, in this coming season, in which Ba will be unavailable, when he heads over to Africa to participate in the African Cup of Nations.

So, with the possibility of Ba not being available for one reason or another, that moves us on to PSG striker, Mevlüt Erdinç.

The Chronicle are reporting that United are still waiting to hear from the Turkish international, as a fee has allegedly been agreed between Newcastle and PSG for their frontman. Pardew had this to say:

“If we get a couple of new players this team won’t be far away.

“As I have explained it will take time.

“But in August things will start coming thick and fast – everybody has been away on tour.

“I think we could have something resolved in time for the Arsenal game. I hope we will.

“I certainly feel that the motivation from Mike Ashley, Derek and myself is to get the deal done before that game.

“You can never say never with transfers.”

So if we can snap up Erdinç, we will have him, and Ba, as our two main strikers for next season. Quite where this will leave Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Best and Ranger, I’m not sure. Though Best and Ranger have been deemed surplus to requirements; allegedly.

What I’m not too sure about mainly though, is if we sign Erdinç, and Ba stays fit, I can’t imagine Erdinç sitting on the bench. So, if we have a front two for next season, I assume the 4-2-3-1 / 4-4-1-1 formation will have to alter slightly, as Pardew had stated that he sees Ben Arfa as “the number 10, behind one striker”. Maybe he will employ the 4-1-3-2 formation, but then that will leave one of our many midfielders out of the team.

Anyway, that is Pardew’s problem to solve ‘if’ we get our man up top that we want. To be honest, with the midfield numbers, and potential new striker arrival, it’s a pretty nice problem to have I think!

What do you think of Erdinç’s potential arrival on Tyneside, and could he and Ba strike up an explosive partnership?


NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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62 Responses

  1. I’d love to see us play the 4-2-3-1. The likes of a strong aerial and on the gorund presence backed by ben arfa and two wings. plus, two defensive/deep playmaking mids would be great. would love to see tiote in one of those two defensive roles. plus with the youngins in gosling, vuckic, and mehdi we’ve got very strong youth/bench for that formation. and can’t wait to see cabaye in action and how he’ll fit into the squad.

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  4. Given the apparent fragility of our squad, I don’t think it’ll be too much of a problem. I would love to see HBA playing 38 games a season for us, but it’s not going to happen, I fear. Gosling is another question mark for me. having lots of quality options would be great thing as everyone will probably get plenty of PT this season.

  5. Totally agree Johnny! I’d like to see Cabaye in the other of the defensive roles, as he’s a box to box man, so he will be able to act as a deep playmaker. I actually think that once our new players are fully bedded in and settled into premiership pace, then our first team is quite good! My issue is that we might be a bit thin on cover if one of the starters picks up a knock.

    As for Erdinc, I’m not too sure. Sure the fee has apparently been agreed with PSG, but it was once before, and the player turned us down. I doubt he’s had much of a change of heart. Also, if we are looking at either 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1, then Ba certainly seems t ofit the lone striker role a lot better than Erdinc due t ohis physical presence and aerial ability, and Erdinc certainly won’t like the idea of coming to warm the bench, given he seemed to prefer the Paris bench than starting for us last time we had an offer accepted.

    The only thing I am a little confused about is how everyone keeps mentioning all of Ba’s injury problems and his knee. I know he has a degenerative knee issue, but I’m not so sure he’s actually been that plagued with injuries in the past. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, he played over 100 games in his 3 years at Hoffenheim before joining West Ham, and if you ask me, that’s not too bad an injury record. Any player who gets an average of 33 games a season can’t be too injury prone. He’s certainly no Woodgate or Dyer!

  6. av never been i fan of any formation with one up front coz your relying too much on man to get goals and that could leave us vulnerable at times as the makems proved when we beat them five 1 just didn’t have any ideas i think if we were to get erdinic in then we could play demba ba in the rooney type role were he’s still a striker but drops deep from time to time just link up play and get things going bit like an withdrawn 4-4-2

  7. Krul
    simo colo stalor ??(enrique)
    gosling marnuex
    ben arfa
    ba erdinc
    bench :guti, abeid, fergi, vuckic, willo, best,

    Now thats some team lads goals goals and more goals only a matter of time before erdinc signs

  8. @ shielsy nufc

    I agree with you on it not being wise having one man up front, but if Ba’s playing like a #9 with the aerial then you’ve got plenty of movement one the wings to come in if need be and ben arfa should be playing at the top of the box and a withdrawn striker/attacking mid. he got the pace and movement to beat defenders if ba’s the physical presence. plus we know hes got the shot and finishing given that everton goal. itd be like playing with 2 strikers anyway, one for aerial and physicality and the other for the finesse and longer range goals

  9. GD says:
    July 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    “forgot about cabaye omg where could i fit him in lol”

    :-) That’s the problem I’m having, trying to fit everyone in.

    But there will be injuries to deal with, and suspensions. I am a fan of the 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1 system, with Tiote and Cabaye as the two deep midfielders, with Marveaux, Jonas and Ben Arfa ahead.

    Trouble is, you have to leave out Barton and Gosling, and if we get a new striker, them too.

    But it’s nice to have a selection problem like that I think!

  10. cant remember the last time we had selection headaches! may finally be able to change systems for certain games and not crumble if a couple of players are injured. very pleased with the transfers this summer from what ive seen – shows you dont need to spend money just for the sake of it. stronger squad than last season full of exciting young prospects HWTL

  11. aye ya ya right av seen ya point now johnny but i have also gt a different idea for a formation how about this play more of a 4-3-3 but with to of the strikers from the two flanks sitting slightly deeper than your out and out striker in this case demba ba with ben arfa of the right jonas on the left alowing them to cut in and support demba ba and play a mid 3 of cabaye tiote and gosling all wif the like of simo and enrique if he stays to come forward from full backs when we attack

  12. yeah i can see that working out. its more fluid than a regular 4-3-3 which is what i think we need bc im pretty sure right every toon supporter will unanimously agree that our strength right now is the mids. my problem with the conventional 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 is that theyre too rigid. last season for example, we had a significant decrease in goals post-traitor. i just dont think that the 4-4-2 as working out, we had a bunch of our goals even with the traitor from set pieces, so influence form the 4-4-2 there. with the mids i think we need to allow them a bit more room to be more fluid and expressive and with a 4-4-2 i think you lock them in a bit. yeah we lacked striking options toward the end of the season (lovenkrands disappeared some games imo) but i think it goes to show that as much as i hate to admit it, and as much as i loved hughton, i think we took too much of a gamble in centering mostly on carroll as the seasons scoring will show. I think we got lucky that he had the aerial presence he did especially in set pieces and imo relying on anything that might not always be there is mighty dangerous. now with the new players we’ve got a chance to see some real competition and hopefully loads of goals. but yeah i love to see the bolstered midfield roster and i wholeheartedly approve of testing different formations/players for different games in order to exploit an opponents weakness (so long as we practice them first – don’t want the lads goin out there without a clue)

  13. GK
    Simpson(RB)Staylor(CB)Colo(CB)Enrique / ?? (LB)
    Barton (RM) Cabaye (CM) Tiote (CM) Marveaux (LM)
    Ben Arfa (AM)
    Ba/Erdinc (ST)

    Subs: GK, Williamson, Gosling, Abeid, Jonas, Ferguson, Vuckic, Guthrie, Ameobi/Best etc etc

  14. @ austin

    i agree but its a fully fit sarting 11 that people are listing

    i dont think you can count on ba either but he has to be in your plans for the season just like hba for now

  15. A fluid form is what’s required. The days of rigid forms are done.
    Do barca even play a striker?
    Do brazil employ wingers?

  16. @ jimbob

    i forgot about bartoon too jesus im loosing my mind right il try it again
    simo colo stalor ???
    barton tiote cabaye (god this is giving me a headache)
    ben arfa mareneux hate to be pardew lol
    ba erdinc

    bench: willo, abeid, gosling(cant fit him in lol),guti,fergi,vuckic, and best (im sweating now lol)

  17. to accomadate hba you need a 4 4 1 1 system

    with his injuries and other injuries coupled with suspension thoughout the season i think you need to stick to one system and have the players who can fit into your system

    ie when hba is unavailable lovenkrands or maveraux can step in

  18. @ 15,
    That team looks quite good with alot of pace but there is only one problem.
    Erdinc,Barton and Enrique might not be at the club come deadline day.
    id rather wait and see who we have in our squad first before picking a starting line up.
    Make no mistake about it,i dont think Ashley is finished lining his pockets before deadline day.
    i hope im wrong.

  19. @19 is that not a 12 man formation?! i like your thinking but i dont think the ref would be too happy!

  20. @20 geordiedug

    i suppose your right but what happens when we come up against a lesser club (no disrespect) but id have as from tiote up as may players than score as possable

  21. You don’t want to have to change a formation entirely due to one player (HBA) being unavailable.

    If we can use this pre-season to get to grips with different formations (4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1/4-3-3), then it will be a successful pre-season. On the pitch anyway!

    Problem we had last season is too many players unable to understand anything other than 4-4-2, though we were successful when Andy Carroll was up top, with Nolan just behind in a 4-4-1-1 or 4-1-3-2.

    Hopefully the new recruits are more adapt at settling into different formations, and that when Pardew tries a ‘plan b’, like away to Stoke last season, the players actually Know their jobs!

  22. @20
    I understand sticking with one formation,but in the instance that the team we’re playing has less pace but is taller, wouldnt it be more prudent to have erdinc (if we ever do actually sign him) rather than ba? ba’s physical and provides a great aerial presence, but a quick striker that can pick up throughs might be a solid advantage. just the same as making crossing to ba an integral part of the attack when playing shorter defenders. and the 4-4-1-1 would get a bit congested in the middle and at the top of the box, which would be contrary to the reason of letting ben arfa on his own in the first place, which is to let him display his skill, movement, and ball control. so its either congested or pull everyone back and leave him alone with hardly any options. if he has to worry about running into 5 other players – two of them being teammates – or facing down the defense by himself that wouldnt help us a bit

  23. GD, it’s hard to remember everyone mate!

    But if you take into account the inevitable injury problems we will face, coupled with Tiote being suspended, everyone should get a fair craic.


  24. Harper

    Simpson Saylor Colo LB

    Tiote Cabaye

    Marveaux Erdinc? Ben arfa


    Seems a strong enough lineup to me. and spending very little. all the people raging at the fact ashley wont spend money. i reckon saving money is doing us justice then when we are in a financially stable position, hopefully with ashley gone we can really push forward. good starting point tho

  25. @ 27

    those are similar to my thoughts just not entirely sure on the mids with all the options – that sure is nice to say for a change.however i would like to see that lads train another backup formation or two for games to adapt if necessary

  26. also @27, I completely agree, yeah we all can’t stand ashley (who, idk if anyone has ever mentioned this, but he look like the peguin/oswald cobblepot from batman to me……) and llambias, but id like to see any other premier league club have a season like ours last year with them in charge. lets take away the probably billion dollars (literally) spent by the likes of manu, man city, arsenal, tottenham, liverpool, and chelsea over the past five years and see if they could come anywhere near our boys. if thats not a testament to our lads idk what is

  27. weve been playing with a target man system since Shearer, even when we havent had one.
    Carrol was a bonus, but hes gone and we are changing our style of play to one which is more dynamic, and less reliant on one man.
    I think its good that pards has identified the problem cos no other manager has.
    We will score as many goals from midfield this season as we do from “Strikers” as we had to last season, but this season its intentional.

  28. i think the target man is a valuable aspect to our play, just it shows how much improvement we need when its the only aspect of our play. id like to keep the target man in ba but definitely make our game about some other areas fo attack, which we can do with the mids we;ve now got

  29. I think (might be wrong) Erdinc is quite a pacy forward, so having him alongside a big man like Ba, they will complement each other nicely, Ba is no slouch either.

    I think if we can get in a good forward, another left-back (even if Jose stays) and cover in central defence, we will have a good look, player wise.

    Either way, I can’t wait till the Arsenal game, and have some real footballing matters to blog about, other than speculation. :-)

  30. Clint, Barca don’t really play with a striker mate. To be fair they could play with 9 men and still paste most teams.


  31. jimbob

    i suppose your right being nufc we are almost garantee,d to have a couple of lads injured or in tiote,s case suspended lol good old tiote would,nt change him for the world lol

  32. GD, he hasn’t changed much has he? 2 bookings in 2 games so far :-)

    We always get injuries mate, we’re guaranteed to be top of the league in that department!

  33. I’m with giimps on this.
    If we just carry on with this hair-brained scheme of always trying to use wingers to cross to a target man, we’ll never get anywhere.
    That should be one option, & defo not the first port of call.

    doubt barca would beat teams with 9 men mate, nice idea though it is.
    They couldn’t beat arsenal from 0-1 up last season. While they play great in plenty of games, it would be silly to overlook there failings too.
    But anyhoo, the point i was making earlier was that they(barca) don’t use strikers, just as brazil don’t use wingers.

    I don’t think headed goals are a particular feature of Ba’s game anyway. It seems from what i’ve read of AP’s thoughts on Ba that he sees him holding up play, dropping back from the defensive line & playing off the shoulder.
    Just as he made it pretty clear way back that HBA would be employed as a roaming, no.10/second striker. I think, like giimps, we’ll be having a lot more ‘so called’ midfielders playing in offensive roles.

  34. I wasn’t being literal Clint :-)

    But what Barca do in retaining the ball and possession so well, is what the England team, and most clubs fail to do.

    That was our problem last year, possession and concentration. If we can retain the ball better (Cabaye should help along with Barton) all should be OK.

    Bang on about the midfielders mate, their roles have changed now. The days of wingers crossing consistently are over. Barca don’t even swing corners in the box! It’s all about probing away to find that killer pass.

  35. I wasn’t taking you literally mate, i was being more rhetorical really.
    But i guess that doesn’t come across in the typed word as well as in the spoken word.
    watching england teams is painful & bad for your eyes.
    What barca do is retain the ball with loads of backward/sideways passing, a lot of english fans won’t accept that type of build up/down/back/up again.
    They scream for hoof, then deride it. Weird!

  36. And it used to be so f***ing simple.

    Clark Kennedy
    Terry Mac Howard Moncur
    Jinky Smith Tommy Mac TerryTerryTerry Hibbett on the wing, on the wing
    SuperMac Halelujah, John Tudor, John Tudor

    Never won nowt tho

  37. Rubbish response mate, I’m thinking Airplane!

    But then I’m quite sad I guess. :-)

  38. Sorry mate, i was being ambiguous on purpose.
    Drat! I shoulda got the ‘airplane’ ref though.

  39. I reckon they would be a good set up and totally of the subject I think if enrique leaves we can get beye if pardew can be bothered or bassong and play him on the left

  40. Excellent mate,
    but divn’t call us shirley.

    ‘Altered state’ i can relate to that.

  41. alex,
    would you have ’em back, i wouldn’t bother personally.
    Like rats leaving a sinking ship.
    Also they helped take us down,
    why would we go back?

  42. ooo looks who,s being all nice now after calling us all gimps (uncalled for mate) i forgive you lol anyway enrique should go the sooner the better gives us more time to find a replacement anyone thats being metioned so far no thanks we need a proven left back enrique is just that

  43. mate,
    giimps is a blogger, look up there ^^^^^^ @ 30.

    You’ve obviously misread the situation.
    I ain’t gonna hold it against ya’ though, not my style.
    No harm done.
    BTW, i agree re enrique.

  44. @gd

    i agree but with one system in place but you can tweak it to suit your needs

    my point is you need the defence midfield and attack all to have the same understanding and if your system is a basic 4 4 1 1 then the squad as a whole should be able to cover your needs without drastic formation changes which dont seem to work(our 5 3 1 1 for a couple of games last season)

    we all agree hba is the key player at nufc and i believe pardew wants the style to change to accommodate him and also as cabye seems to be more of an intricate passing type player than an attacking as nolan was
    aswell hes working to a budget and cant just spend and bring in whomever he wants.

    as it stands we have ba shola best xisco ranger whom are all out and out centre forwards! we wont sign anyone until at least 2 of these are off the wage bill which i think makes sense (xisco is on 55 a week for gods sake!!!!)so its one of them that will be your first choice centre forward

    also we have hba lovenkrands and maveraux who will play just behind acting as a support type forward and to link up with the midfield

    so that leaves your forward line covered and i believe this is why the club hasnt invested in another forward and that pardew will try for a new left back when enrique leaves

    we certainly have the players to implement it
    its just keeping them fit thats my biggest concern

    @clint flick

    i think its daft comparing brazil and barca to ayone let alone how we play. the premier league is a fast paced physical league and wingers and wing backs certainly play a part in opening up defences and assits
    simple football is normally the most effective and im a big fan of give and go, crisp short passing, wing play with an end product to decent forwards who can finish

    its simple stuff until danny simpson hoofs the ball upfield in blind panic any chance he gets!

  45. dug,
    i wasn’t comparing mate, just giving eg’s of teams that don’t use the typical ‘english’ style. I could’ve said arsenal too. A team we took 4 points from last time out.
    It’s about time english teams started to change style a bit. Also it could well accommodate our overseas players better, not just at the Toon.
    It would help england fc too. They look like dinosaurs sometimes in international football.

  46. Wow, guess we dont have to worry when Pardew gets fired, we got all the tacticians and would be managers we could possibly need.
    What with 4-3-3’s, 4-4-2’s, 4-1-3-2’s, 4-2-3-1’s, etc. etc.
    Love the enthusiasm, but the reality’s a bit out there.
    As for who’s gonna play where, horses for courses, depends on who we play.
    With the number of games, we will need all hands and that should be decided not only on fitness but the tactical needs of the particular game.
    Do we have the same lineup for both Arsenal and Stoke ?
    You can believe our lineups and player choices will change from game to game, if not then our tactician (Pardew) aint doing his job.

  47. fitness and form are massive and will dictate alot of lineups and formations i suppose im just a fan of simple stupid!

    you right we dont really know the inns and outs of selections or management but i think we can all agree they will try and play more than last season and im getting pumped for the leeds game never mind the start of the season! really looking forward to seeing tiote and cabaye!

  48. clintflick

    my mistake sry mate was a small bit drunks last night could bearly read what was in front of my last night lol

  49. Beye and Bassong can rot in limbo for me like. Enrique has to go now a bet we haven’t even got a replacement lined up. As for the main stay of the team I’m pretty excited, I think this is the best window we’ve had in terms of securing deals. I love the fact that we’ve finally got selection headaches, haven’t seen that in a while, and a big question for me is what keeper are we going to use? Three good keepers and they all want a first team slot good competition but i can’t see Foster or Krul being happy to sit it out. Two more players and i’ll be over the moon with the team we’ll have going into the season.

  50. Anth9880
    You gotta get over that tude about players who leave the club, it’s not personal, just the same as the work world, where people continually change one job for another in order to better themselves.
    The life of a football pro. is a short one and when it comes to either money or silverware, players are going to go for whats in their best interest.
    But in the case of improving our side NUFC, the IMO Bassomg could be a deal for the right price, now in N’Zogbia’s case it was never gonna happen, too much money involved.
    And i fear we will sign some second tier nobody to replace Enrique, who has burned any bridges left.
    Hey wait a minute, dont we still have the £35m. from Carrolls transfer, that was promised to go back into the club ?
    Oh! sorry that went on those F***ing agents, undesground heating, player wages for the next twenty years etc.