Probing Newcastle’s new signings – Demba Ba (+ videos).

Posted on July 3rd, 2011 | 41 Comments |

Demba Ba signs for Newcastle.
Welcome to St James's!
Welcome to the fourth in my small series of ‘blogs looking at Newcastle United’s new signings in the latest transfer window. In this episode, I will be looking at former West Ham and 1899 Hoffenheim player, Demba Ba.

I was going to write that this is the final of my little series, but like many other Newcastle United fans, I live in hope that the club will be bringing more players in before this transfer window ends!

Of course, much there has been much discussion on the subject of Ba’s knee, which has caused him to fail medicals at both VfB Stuttgart and Stoke City before he was signed by the Magpies. However, I have already probed Ba’s knee problem, which stemmed originally from complications arising from an operation on a broken tibia (the larger of the two bones connecting the knee and ankle) in this post. Here, I will concentrate on other aspects of his career so far.

Ba is another fairly big lad to add to the Newcastle front line, standing at a little over 6’2″. Ba was born in Sèvres (on the outskirts of Paris) to Senegalese parents, is 26 yaers of age and was signed on a free after being released from his West Ham contract upon their relegation to the Championship. Although most people in the UK will know him from his brief but impressive spell for the Hammers, where he scored 7 goals in 13 games, most of his senior career has been spent at German Bundesliga side, 1899 Hoffenheim. There he scored 40 goals in 103 games over three and a half seasons until his half season move to West Ham in the latter half of the 2010/11 season. Signed iin a three year deal, it is thought that his Newcastle contract is similar to the one he turned down at West Ham, which offered a salary of around £55,000 per week along with a £500,000 signing on fee.

Style of play

Ba is a classic Centre Forward player who is powerful, mobile, faily quick and with good technical abilty. He has a keen eye for goal allied with good finishing skills and is good in the air. With dual French / Senegalese nationality, Ba plays internationally for Senegal, and his fellow international player, friend and former Newcastle player, Habib Beye had this to say on him, and his move to Tyneside:

“The Newcastle fans will love and appreciate Demba.”

“I have spoken to him and given him my best wishes, I knew straight away that Newcastle United was the club for him. I think that the fans will take to him straight away at St James’ Park because he is a player who works so hard and gets the goals as well.

“For me Demba was one of the top three our four strikers in the Bundesliga not so long ago, and being in one of the top leagues on the Continent makes him in my eyes one of the best strikers in Europe on his day.

“I think it will be great for him in Newcastle. If he enjoys his time at the club as much as I enjoyed my two-and-a-half years then he hasn’t gone too far wrong in my opinion.

“If things had have been different he’s the type of player that I would love to have played alongside in a black-and-white shirt.”


Ba’s move from Hoffenheim to the Premiership was steeped in controversy as Hoofenheim did not want to sell the player. Ba, however, demanded to leave the club and effectively went on strike in a bid for a move. This ‘strike’ took the form of him refusing to join Hoffenheim’s winter training camp after the Bundesliga’s Christmas break, and the player’s behaviour was condemned in several quarters, including by the exectutives of other clubs. Bayern Munich’s General Manager, Uli Hoeness, said of Ba’s behavour:

“We have to strike back hard against people like Ba, and he’s just the worst of several cases”.

Klaus Allofs, the technical director at Werder Bremen, said of the controversy:

“Every German club needs to unite on this issue, to make sure Ba does not get offered a way out of Hoffenheim to another Bundesliga club.”

Of course, Ba eventually got his way, and a move to West Ham was eventually engineered. However, once again, he opted to leave the East London club upon their banishment from Premiership football, and so we find him at Newcastle United.

Here’s hoping his stay is much longer than it was at West Ham, and that his stay is reletively free of injuries.

Demba Ba in action.

A compilation video of Ba’s days at West Ham.

Highlights of Ba’s career at 1899 Hoffenheim.


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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41 Responses

  1. Great Pardwho is off the hook ! He’s brought in a goal scorer so if we dont improve next season its……………………Pardwho’s fault !!!!

  2. This lad is a top striker , big , strong , quick and scores ,he is as good if not better than judas and he cost us nowt and we got35million for the other prick . Happy days are coming :) i think this lad will be in the top 3 on the premiership top scorers list next season .

  3. this lad got it all, i just prey his injuries are behind him. i think he’s better than carrol, maybe not as good in the air but still good and he’s a big presence and very strong.

  4. workyticket says:

    “Andy, what ye deein’ writing comments on articles from over five months back?”

    Comments on articles in January where Pardwho the Clueless says “Routledge isnt for us” only to welcome him back into the fold on July 4th.

    Does this not suggest he’s a “Spokesman” for the club rather than a Manager ? FFS if SBR waived goodbye to a player in January he wouldnt be back at SJP in July.

    This is further evidence, if required, that the manager’s role at NUFC doesnt exist any more. It’s been replaced and the job is now a supervisory capacity that requires Pardwho to get the cones out, make sure the players are all wearing the same shirts before they step onto the pitch and smile like a terwatt in front of the cameras after each match.

    Something Pardwho was desperate to do after his months in the doldrums.

  5. Anyone fancy the “Rape-alledged” ,and aptly named, Good-Willie?

    He’s young, cheap and talented: BBC:

    Rangers’ interest in Dundee United striker David Goodwillie appears to be cooling, at least for now.

    The Ibrox club had a bid of £1m for the 22-year-old rejected by United last week, but it seems certain that they will now focus on other targets.

    Cardiff City are favourites to land Scotland’s young player of the year and appear willing to meet the £2m asking price set by chairman Stephen Thompson.

    Goodwillie is contracted to the Tannadice club until May 2013.

  6. AndyMac says:
    July 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    “Does this not suggest he’s a “Spokesman” for the club rather than a Manager ? FFS if SBR waived goodbye to a player in January he wouldnt be back at SJP in July.”

    Andy, I think it suggests that he just says whatever comes iinto his head at the time, without thinking about the consequences, or whether it is consistent with what he has said before. I beleive that the correct vernacular for someone like him is ‘Gobshite’?

  7. How many managers have Newcastle had that are the master of the considered comment?
    A) None.

    Even though CH was very considered (which i liked) he rarely actually said anything, so didn’t actually comment (which i liked).

    kk, SBR could both talk the hind legs off a donkey with gobbledeegook & whatnot, not to mention mindless BS, oh shit! I mentioned it.

    Fat sam, sourpuss & dogleash were probably more reasonable, strangely, but who bothered to listen even?

  8. MadAboutToon @ 5 – so we turn the clock back to january & it’s suggested we’re gonna flog the big lad & sign BA as his replacement –

    & you come out & tell everyone how delighted you would be if it happened!?

    doubt it pal – you’d be crying like a friggin baby – so tell me why do you post utter shyte like this?

    NutterAbootToon would be a more appropriate name for you.

  9. Phisix says:

    “I have a sense of Déjà vu for some reason…!

    I’m sorry Phisix but I dont however I’m sure you’ve said that already ?

  10. roy

    of course your right, demba is nothing but a money grabbing,injury prone,second rater,that has been given to our “poor excuse” of a manager to lead the line for us next season.
    i think it’s this warm weather that’s effecting me.


  11. As for Roy Cropper, dont you know that Ba is a 15-25 goals a season sorta bloke ?

    I know this for a fact because Gobshite said so :)

  12. MadAbootToon says:

    “of course your right, demba is nothing but a money grabbing,injury prone,second rater,that has been given to our “poor excuse” of a manager to lead the line for us next season. i think it’s this warm weather that’s effecting me”

    Go lie down M A T, take two aspirin and you’ll feel much better in the morning however Pardwho will still be shlte and Demba Ba will still be Shola Mark 2 :(

  13. a correction

    one of these days i’m bound to get something right.

    andy,thank you for your concern and understanding.
    i’m just off to bed now,i hope you have sweetest of dreams..


  14. the thing i love the best about this lad is the fact when he doesnt score or he is involved in something that doesnt result in a goal he looks gutted… cant wait to cheer him on !

  15. 40 goals in 103 games, approx. a goal every 2.5 games
    but that was in the Bundesleague.
    If he has the same average here, thats 15 goals in 38 games,thats acceptable! but not outstanding!

    I hope we can sign N’Zogbia to replace Jonas as we will have to get more scoring from our midfielders and it looks as if we might, though i doubt if we can replicate an eleven goal season from any of them.

    Just thinking, it was in the same cold manner as Hughton, i mean one minute Nolan was here then in a heartbeat outta here.

    Hope Joey plays out his final season and has some fun, looks like he is enjoying himself already.
    Yo! Joey dont let them force you out guy!

  16. It looks like he has some pace and does not mind shooting with his first touch. I think he’ll get knocked to the ground a bit more in the English league and no doubt some fracker like Dejong or Cattermole will welcome him to the league with the studs. Hope his knee stands up as well need his goals. Cabaye has a decent scoring record but only because he took the penalties for his old club so we cant rely on him.

  17. Ba has already played in the prem, last season, so no introduction necessary.

    So long as we serve the ball up to him, he’ll score a few goals.
    We should have a better service from the midfield too.

  18. the lad has ability no doubt,the only problem being the obvious,will his knee hold up?.i just hope we add another good striker to the mix,i would also like us to retain the services of leon best,as opposed to shola at least looked like a striker,when he was on the pitch,and deserves another run.shola amoebi cannot survive in the first team,on the back of 4 or 5 good games a season.the chants at chelsea were terrifying,”there’s only two amoebi’s”,that is enough to send any newcastle fan into a nervous really is through the looking glass,the twilight zone,the outer limits,tales from the darkside,terrorvision,rod serling would have had a field day.sami does look a lot quicker than shola,to his credit,but personally i would love to see the back of the “fenham eusabio”.

  19. Aye,
    defo keep Best!
    & defo get another out & out striker.

    ‘tales from the crypt’, ‘twisted tales’ & ‘Future shocks’.

  20. i used to love “tales from the crypt”,forget about that one lol.”mystery science theatre” was a belter aswell.

  21. I don’t think Shola will ever willingly leave St James and you never know, with a decent ball supply he could still score us a lot of goals. He is certainly as good as some of the names we have been linked with, Cole for one. When he is good he is very good, some of his goals have been stunners, he is often perceived as a lazy player. I don’t think he is, just isn’t too good in the lone striker role. Don’t be surprised if he he gets a lot of games (and hopefully goals) next season.

    Anyone want to shoot me down now? :)

  22. I thought Best was developing into a decent striker last season and if he hadn’t got injured towards the end we’d have finished up higher in the league. He seems to be one of those that needs some confidence and to be told that he’s going to start every game for a while, don’t think that bringing in another similar player in Ba and the rumours of him being put up for sale is the best way of giving him this confidence.

  23. I see they’re all having a go at Joey again for saying parker ain’t all that.
    He’s right!
    Where’s the problem?

  24. I’m sure some people are only happy when they’re having a good old moan…

  25. Witters,
    aye mate.
    people like a bete noir, don’t they?

    Morrisey likes him though!


  26. Cant believe it, Shola getting around the sell by age, seems not so long ago he was a youngster breaking into the full eleven.

    He has taken some stick over the years and had both his bad games and good games, but in a sense almost a full career playing for his home club, how many players can claim that ?

    What’s unfortunate is because of the way he moves, he gives the impression he is not going flat out, a sort of languid effect often associated with Berbatov.

    Sure he often frustrates, but he also has his supporters and would’nt be here if he was as bad as some claim.

    As for Best, well we still dont know exactly how good he can be, apparently Trapatonni rates him, i would like to see him given an opportunity, if he does’nt cut it then Hughton will pick him up for Brum.

    Rosenkrands? past his sell by date, let him go !

    Ranger? kid got slaughtered for posing for a harmless picture, as did Ireland, whats up with fans who agree with a media making mountains outta molehills in order to either sell papers or fill the airwaves with crap ?
    Back to Ranger, caused a bit of havoc coming on for the final 15 mins., but when started, just did’nt have a clue.

    How he ever got an England U21 game ?
    Go ask Stew Pierce! another question mark, is this the guy everyone wants to see coaching the next England full team?

    Back to Ranger, the ultimate reason he has to go is, what use is a striker who cant score, it’s actually that simple.

    Did i miss anyone, oh yeah ! the nickel and dime guy, when he comes, Erdinc.
    When Llambias finishes nickel and dimeing PSG over the transfer fee, though there are rumors he could be part of a cash plus player deal, probably a PSG ploy to get their price.

    Well he’s supposed to be decent , but rather show a bit of ambition and go for Sow, who is looking pretty good and can improve, cost a few bob more, but his sell on price would be so much better and so would his game.

    With the next addition that would leave us with what ?
    six, seven forwards, if we add HBA, well somethings gotta give, some have to be dumped.
    Hmm ! what to do, what to do ?

  27. Just heard a rumor in an israeli website that Siphiwe Tshabalala the South African midfielder that scored the first goal in the world cup is on his way to Newcastle, do you know anything about it?

  28. Joey, turning into a fan favorite with his tweets, knocking his contemporary’s who for some reason (politicks)get the occasional game for Engerland.
    IMO Joey had a better season than both Barry and Parker, actually could never see why Liverpool or Citeh rated Barry, especially as Liverpool had Alonso, crazy if you ask me.And Parker was never that effective when he played her, injured a lot also.
    Hope joey sticks around for the season, for both footballing reasons and amusement, as he has the hammer and will i’m sure, annoy our beloved owner and his highly esteemed Manager.

  29. Jmehl, don’t exactly roll off the tongue does it, another midfielder though?

    On the Sky broadband site it reckons that Joey is off to Everton for £4m, that wouldn’t surprise me.

    I think one of Rangers problems is that he hasn’t managed to score yet and lacks confidence. A loan spell might do him some good, I don’t think he will be getting many appearances for us, not even on the bench!!

    What about Spears is he still on the books, if so he must be lined up for squad stuff by now.

  30. jmehl
    No! but if he is , there’s a ready made chant awaiting him,
    Sha la la, la la la la, Tshabalalalalala !
    Hey hope he shows up just for the craic !

  31. chuck,
    aye, gaz baz & parker are no way better than Joey.
    gaz baz is finished, for me.
    parker looked good in a bad & struggling wetspam team. How he got ‘called up’ was simply because he’s a londoner. So his bus fair is cheap to train.

    you could be right about Ranger, needs a goal or 3.

  32. G.O.T. Spears got dumped along with Matty Grieve, Dan Leadbitter, Patrick McLaughlin and Andy Mogwo plus another young un Shefki Kuqi !!!

  33. Witters says:

    “I’m sure some people are only happy when they’re having a good old moan”

    There’s constructive and well thought out criticism and then there’s well …………….wittering :)

  34. Andy, Aye pity about young Shefki looked really promising………………………….. as a groundsman!! :)