Newcastle banking on Ba's staying power after sumptuous strike against Spurs
21:30 GMT, 19 August 2012
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s best piece of summer business will be keeping Demba Ba.
Several Barclays Premier League
clubs, including Saturday’s defeated opponents Tottenham, were rumoured
to be ready to invoke the clause in the Senegal striker’s original
contract before it expired at the end of last month.
But no clubs came in to match the 7million release fee.
First blood: Demba Ba curls the ball home to give Newcastle the lead against Tottenham
What they need in the window…
Newcastle: Alan Pardew will continue the pursuit of Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy but if he can keep his squad intact until September 1 there is no further investment required.
Tottenham: Andre Villas- Boas is close to a deal for striker Emmanuel Adebayor but the impending departure of Luka Modric will leaves Spurs lacking creativity in midfield.
Ba, who showed no signs of wanting to
quit throughout the ordeal for club and manager, scored his first goal
since February to set Newcastle on their way to a 2-1 victory over
And if Ba had been quick enough to the
ball after Hatem Ben Arfa was tripped by Rafael van der Vaart and Aaron
Lennon, he might have grabbed the penalty winner rather than the
Pardew admitted he cannot rest easy
until the transfer window is finally shut as Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Cheick
Tiote could still be lured by wealthier predators.
‘I worry about losing all my players because unfortunately we’re not Manchester United or Manchester City,’ he said.
Leap: Ba rises highest to win the ball
‘We’re always vulnerable. If you ask
me do I sleep well at night, I’d have to say, “not always”. I’m looking
forward to September 1 because by then we’ll all know where we are. We
have match-winners in the side. It was a clever goal from Demba, the way
he manoeuvred the full back to buy himself the space.
‘He had to track his runs deep into
our half. You’re asking a striker to do that, but it keeps the strikers
on the pitch if they’re prepared to do it. That can give you an
‘Last season was only lean for Demba
in terms of goalscoring. He was terrific for us last year, but it’s nice
for him to get a goal early.’
Given his clear frustrations in the 13
games he played alongside Papiss Cisse last season, when Cisse was
scoring for fun and he was having very little, Ba’s loyalty to Newcastle
could have been called into question. But he was appreciative of
Pardew’s faith, when others refused to gamble on his alleged injuries,
and is clearly enjoying himself at a revived club.
Wing wizard: Arron Lennon (centre) had a lively first half for Tottenham
Battle: James Perch (left) vies for the ball with Tottenham's Jermaine Defoe
He was asked if he had been close to leaving in the summer. ‘No,’ he said. ‘Will you expand’ ‘No. I am happy here.’
He was more forthcoming on why he will
be a threat again. He added: ‘I spent a lot of time after games
watching them again on my own and analysing them, seeing what I had to
do to change the bad stuff and that is why I am back on the scoring
sheet. Things are good. A lot of things were going on last season, I was
playing on the side and out wide. I was not frustrated because I did
not score but because I did not get enough of the ball.
‘I just want to play and enjoy
football but sometimes I was coming too deep and they were putting the
ball behind defences and I was not there.’
Ba will be rested for the first leg of
Newcastle’s Europa League play-off against Atromitos on Thursday.
Although Pardew will make considerable changes, with Chelsea to face
less than 48 hours later, he dismissed the possibility of fielding a
completely different XI in Greece.
Bad start: Andre Villas-Boas tasted defeat on his return to the Premier League