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Will Demba Ba stay at Newcastle?

Posted on March 27th, 2012 | 61 Comments |

Demba Ba and his future at Newcastle.
In demand?
Much speculation surrounds Newcastle United’s Demba Ba with rumours of release clauses, interested clubs and new contract offers from Newcastle. So will Demba Ba still be at Newcastle United next season?

Demba Ba has been hailed as the Premiership’s best buy of the season. This and his 16 goals for us this season has obviously attracted a certain amount of attention and we keep reading rumours about clubs being after him.

Blabbermouth Redknapp went on record to say that there’s a release clause in Ba’s contract that might make it easier for clubs to try and swipe him away from us at the end of the season. Redknapp seemed to take a particular delight in publicising that one but I’m sure Ba’s agent would have made that common knowledge amongst clubs anyway, if it wasn’t already.

The latest rumour from The Sun suggests that we’ve offered Ba a new 4-year contract with a much improved salary and terms. The Sun alleges that his salary will rise from £35k/week to £50k/week and that he will also get a £5m signing on fee paid over the 4 years. That works out at about £74k a week, which is not bad although he would probably get offered more by the alleged ‘richer’ Premier League teams if they were interested (Chelsea, Spurs, Man City … maybe Liverpool). Of course any speculation about our alleged offer and the monetary sums suggested depends upon The Sun’s report being true and it could of course be complete twaddle.

Either way though, I’m sure Ba’s done enough this season to attract the attention of other teams, so we could face a battle to keep him. The arrival of his Senegalese team-mate Papiss Demba Cisse may or may not have an effect on Ba’s choice depending upon how much he values playing alongside his international strike partner, although personally I don’t think this will be a major influence. The presence of Ba here might have helped a bit with the signing Cisse but I think that’s about the limit of it.

What will help more is if Ba feels part of a strike partnership that will score goals, irrespective of their international affiliations. Scoring goals is after all what Demba Ba lives for on the pitch. Ba is going through a bit of a dry patch in terms of goals but I’d hope he can see the potential of being part of a Cisse-Ben Arfa-Ba front three; he certainly will get goals if that partnership continues to progress the way it has been over the last few weeks (and of course if Alan Pardew continues to stick with it).

Of course there’s still the question of Ba’s knee. It first became a problem in 2006 while playing for Belgium’s RE Mouscron when he injured his tibia and had to have an operation on it. In 2009 he failed a medical that might have seen him transferred to VfB Stuttgart and his knee problem flared up again at the end of his time with 1899 Hoffenheim, causing him to miss the end of the season. It was around this time that he failed a medical at Stoke City, scuppering a £7.1m transfer. Instead, he went to West Ham on a per-appearance contract, knocked in 7 goals in 12 games and then transferred to us when West Ham were relegated. Ba himself had this to say about his knee before moving to West Ham:

I don’t know why we are still talking about it. The knee is fine. I had surgery and the rehab didn’t go as well as it should. So it’s completely normal the knee isn’t 100 per cent. But I can play football, I know how to manage it.

Since then he’s put in over 40 appearances for West Ham and Newcastle and scored 23 goals, so the knee clearly hasn’t troubled him much in that time. If there’s any truth in The Sun’s rumour of a contract offer, then Newcastle must feel that his knee is unlikely to trouble him for the next 4 years either. Is it that he had a knee problem but no longer does? Or is it simply a risk worth ignoring for his goal-scoring potential? Answers to these questions could affect whether he stays or goes because if the knee is still a problem – albeit one that is being managed fine at the moment – he could fail a medical at a club who try to tempt him away from us.

If Ba’s knee is okay then I can see no reason why we’d want to let go of our top scorer, although it wouldn’t be the first time we did something like that!

Anyway, what do you think? Will Demba Ba stay at Newcastle for the forseeable future?

Here’s 15 reasons why you might want him to:

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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61 Responses

  1. It seems to have gotten a little cramped up top since Cisse joined.
    So Demba has flat-lined recently.
    The good thing is that we don’t need to sell & i’d love Demba to re-sign he’s top class.

  2. The whole point of signing Cisse was to partner Ba.

    I’ll bet my mortgage that he stays with us all next season.

    I don’t by into all this ‘Ba’s Goal drought’ rubbish. It was only wolves that he scored last. And he is now in a deeper role feeding Cisse which he seems to enjoy.

    He’s going nowhere – him going just doesn’t add up. He loves his life here and he’s not in football for the money.

    If we get into Europe i’m sure he wants to see it through.

  3. nobby,
    aye, he does drop deeper & i reckon that upsets defenders even more.
    Cisse is profiting from that right now.

  4. None of the so called big teams are offering massive wages anymore due to the new financial fair play rules. He wont get much more than what NUFC are offering him, added to that the possibility of European footie next season why would he go. I just cant see the point of dragging these things up all the time, we ARE a big club, we dont need to sell, and for once I wish we were not so pessimistic. Get behind the team on Sunday make a shit load of noise, laugh at Enrique and Carroll and love life. HWTL

  5. So what’s this all about, then?

    Oh, I see, there was an ‘EXCLUSIVE’ article in The Sun, written by somebody called Paul Smith:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4216432/Newcastle-offer-Demba-Ba-4-year-50k-a-week-deal.html

    But where did Paul Smith get his information from, I wonder? He doesn’t quote any sources in his article and, in any case, I thought Derek Llambias tended to ‘leak’ selected bits of information to people at The Mirror, not The Sun.

    Oh, hang on, I’ve just noticed that Paul Smith used to work for The Mirror, but he’s recently been recruited by The Sun to ‘beef up’ their new edition as he “has a reputation for story-gathering” (?):
    http://www.sportsjournalists.co.uk/other-bodies/football-writers/sun-signs-up-paul-smith-for-sunday-football-duty/

    That probably explains it then. Some second-rate tabloid hack has simply fabricated a story to try and impress his new employers. Well, they may be impressed by it all, but I’m not.

  6. Not sure if he will stay see what happens….if he does leave I hope his knee explodes.
    Liverpool will probably offer £35M cash for him.

  7. All things combined, seventy four grand a week is a decent wage.
    Though it appears the top EPL sides are not as dominant as they were a few years back and sides like Chelsea, and Man. U. getting a bit long in the tooth.
    In which case you can bet your ass money will be spent in this upcoming window.
    Whether as rumored, Ba could be sold for for the seven mill. release clause, then it should be a no brainer (even with a suspect knee) for a Manchester or a London top side to offer him more than the rumored 75k.
    Unless he were to sign a new deal prior to the seasons end at the mentioned 74k., then in turn offered 20m. for him, grab it.
    There are plenty of youngsters, Sturridge, Hoilett,etc that could slot in with Cisse, even Shola looks good in the second striker role.
    20m. could fund two or three good young players for one guy with a suspect knee, even though he’s been prolific this season.
    As for Tiote, also rumored he’s possibly a target for the same top sides.
    If they want to spend another 20m.on him, grab it, between the two of them we could finance four or five young quality recruits and pay some of Ashley’s debt.
    Actually, think thats the plan in effect right now, Ashley’s eyes being opened by the Carroll deal, figures he can , with the right scouting and dealmaking, have his cake and eat it.
    Krul i believe is going nowhere, good goalies are like hens teeth.
    Hopefully no one comes in for Cabaye, a guy who IMO is essential to the side.
    Well we will have to see how things go, I guess.

  8. “The Sun alleges that his salary will rise from £35k/week to £50k/week and that he will also get a £5m signing on fee paid over the 4 years.”

    When Ba signed for the club, it was allegedly for £55,000 per week on a “pay as you play” deal, which is what West Ham offered him, allegedly (+£500,000 signing on fee). Now it’s allegedly £35,000 per week, unless the signing on fee he received has been added to this sum

    If West Ham offered him that and he took a pay cut to join Premiership Newcastle, there’s a good chance this was just to keep himself in the showroom window for a crack at a bigger payday with a richer club. But I’m just speculating.

    “Is it that he had a knee problem but no longer does?”

    No, it won’t get better, only worse.

  9. “….if he does leave I hope his knee explodes.”

    I think that is probably the most disgraceful comment I’ve ever read on any Newcastle United blog anywhere in the world.

    You, Sir, should be bloody ashamed of yourself.

  10. Now Hatem Ben Arfa will probably be in the shop window far more than he has been, and he could well be Ashley’s best hope of another huge payday to sort out the books.

  11. I guess it all depends upon where Ashley wants to go. I would think that a successful club would be worth a lot to him from a marketing standpoint, let alone an ego one. So we can’t keeping selling everyone all the time. But silly money like LFC threw at us just can’t be turned down for the reasons that chuck mentioned earlier. Demba’s a tough one. He’s done so well for us and even when he’s not scoring goals he’s involved (the 3rd goal on sunday, for example). But if someone came along with a truck load on money, I think I’d take it given the potential knee issue and the fact that we can probably find somebody else to do the business. Happy to keep him though. And if he does move on, I wish him the best. He’s been a solid professional during his time here.

  12. Hmm, I rememeber my pants being scorched because I once proposed that IF Demba moved, there would be a risk to the buying club that his knee may ‘explode’ – I think I actually used that word – so you’re not getting away with it, no sir SJT. Behave. He still plays for us.

    Anyone else get glimpses that the interplay and vision between HBA/Ba is an intriguing development? There seems to be early suggestion they are on each others wavelength, and among all the goals, we’ve surely not missed the fact that Demba is pretty intelligent on the ball – when, of course, he doesnt hammer-hit it with his first touch. Maybe this deper role is something he doesn’t entirely dislike, and he was just a penalty shout away from claiming the 2nd goal for Cisse.

    Don’t think he’s going anywhere, the language and style of the man doesn’t give away anythiing to suggest he wants to just yet. May be talking differently if we fail in the euro push and fail in the summer signings push as well though.

  13. It’s hard to know with players. If the right offer comes I’m sure he’ll be off. I thought they looked good together as well. The interplay on the third goal was quite nice. Ba did almost seem frustrated that Cisse got both goals… esp since they were both so tantalizingly close for him. A toe poke away on the first and being sent to ground on the second. It’s nice have good finishers up top. During the relegation season it seemed like we missed 20 opportunities like those two goals.

  14. Tripp, just out of interest, the last two finalists in the Champion’s league, Barcelona and Man U, won around £45 million (or 1.35 Andy Carrolls) in total, though I don’t think this includes gate receipts or one or two other streams of potential additional revenue such as merchandising. Manchester United actually made slightly more than Barcelona due to TV rights being better for English clubs. Clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United have spent many times that and still haven’t won it, and Derek Llamabias has repeatedly protested that Newcastle United can’t hope to compete with such clubs finacially. So, even with gate receipts, financing a club which could win the CL wouldn’t necessarily be cost effective, and the sums involved in the Europa League are far smaller.

    http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/EuroExperience/uefaorg/Publications/01/66/55/51/1665551_DOWNLOAD.pdf

  15. yeah, and even if you put together a fabulous team or throw lots of money at it, it’s not a guarantee of success. Far from it. Look at the amount of money Citeh have spent to win…? They won one of the domestic cups last year, didn’t they?

    I think DL is right that we can’t compete, esp by just throwing money at the problem. But I’m not talking about spending stupid money to try and “have a go”. That’s just gambling and it won’t work over the long or even mid term.

    But I think maintaining a solid team that is in the hunt, perhaps with the odd foray into the CL and a regular in the Europa, has decent marketing potential for Ashley… and there’s defo a risk to just simple say “well, we’re a mid-table side and so we’ll invest accordingly”.

    The EPL is a lot like major league baseball over here. Huge disparity in club incomes (and/or expenditures), which makes it very difficult for the smaller market clubs. I’m glad that they’re trying to address that, but it will always be difficult, esp with the int’l aspect of football. In baseball, there’s only one league were people really want to play… at least for now.

  16. Tripp says: “I guess it all depends upon where Ashley wants to go.

    I think he wants the club to be as successful as possible as long as the books balance. We can speculate as to his reasons but I think that’s the measure of it.

  17. Tripp says:
    March 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    “That’s just gambling and it won’t work over the long or even mid term.”

    Aye Tripp, Ashley is well known for his hatred of high stakes gambling. :-)

  18. I agree with chris_g concerning SJT’s “….if he does leave I hope his knee explodes.”

    come on mate – withdraw the comment!

  19. Worky, I knew what you meant regard citeh. I doubt Ashley’s willing to gamble the amount of money that, as you pointed out earlier, is required for such a “wager”. :p

  20. I suspect SJT said it tongue in cheek.

    It would be a bit like me hoping Llambias’s armpits are infested with the fleas of a thousand camels. It amuses me to think of his discomfort if such a thing should happen but – even if I had 1,000 flea-infested camels and a means to get said fleas to jump into Llambias’s armpits – I wouldn’t really go through with it because I would imagine it’s throughly unpleasant.

    I just couldn’t put innocent fleas through that.

  21. Ashley possibly believes he has football management sussed.
    And to a degree he is doing some things right, the scouting system, has improved, or at least we seem to be bringing in some good players for not a lot of money.
    His hard nosed approach to dealing with agents and clubs, has so far worked.
    However, when you have the ambition to be a top six side, things change.
    The very fact that Ba is rumored to be offered a total deal of 74k, would not be considered cut rate, although the fact he was a so called free agent, may have had something to do with it.
    Just as being in Europe brings in more dosh, it also cost’s more.
    Quality players cost more than second tier players.
    And to expect, younger, better and cheaper as the answer is questionable.
    How long can we expect an assembly line approach, to last, buying cheap and selling at a big profit ?
    Then there’s the question of ambition and i am sure the
    fact we have been up in the top tier of the PL for the most part of the season and have the fans excited. Possibly it has had a similar effect on “wor Mick”
    bragging rights and the satisfaction of “I told you so”
    Who knows, but i suspect we may be a better football side than any time since SBR’s teams.
    Hey! only talking football here .

  22. Think Ba could possibly stay next season but on Tiote…

    Pardew added: “We have won without Cheick for the last two weekends, and we won without him when he was away at the African Nations Cup.

    “Actually, since he has come back, we haven’t had great results with Cheick.

    “I am not saying that as a negative because he is a massive player for us, but we can cope without him.”

    Take that as you will but added to Derek’s ramblings recently I would expect Mr. T to be off in the summer.

  23. sorry to change the subject but i’ve just seen the mother of comical own goals.The way Vaughan swept the ball into his own net (unchallenged)…,oh-oh,they even showed a few close ups of the devastated faithful.
    by the way Ba’s staying cos the Toon’ll be playing European footy next season and even if he did go for mega bucks then good luck to him.(i honestly think he’ll stay)
    We’re where we are now thanks to Ba doing his bit for the team.
    I personally wouldn’t want to go,great fans,great area,good wage and a team starting to gel and dazzle more and more.

  24. Obviously a good thing watching S’land crumble, but even better as the Europa qualification thing Hugh was going on about the other day. Though thinking of all that again will fry my brain even more.

    Everton doing their usual form hitting towards the seasons end… Won’t be long before Moyes gets a crack at a bigger stage. Top manager.

  25. “….if he does leave I hope his knee explodes.”

    I feel obliged to also complain at SJT now…

  26. poor poor old 5under1and
    even voted the worst place to visit
    unless of course you’re looking for an easy win !

  27. Telegraph reports “Former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is ‘nervous’ about his Newcastle United homecoming this weekend”.

    Fourteen months on from his £35 million switch from Tyneside to Merseyside, Carroll heads back with the clubs having suffered vastly different Premier League fortunes.

    Newcastle are eight points ahead of Liverpool going in to the game and it is them who still harbour realistic Champions League qualifying ambitions.

    Carroll may get a mixed reception from his former supporters and says he will be anxious before kick-off.

    “I don’t usually get nervous but this might be a bit different,” said Carroll. “All of my family and friends will be there but they’re so big on football that I’m not sure who they’ll be supporting.

    “It’s great to see Newcastle doing so well. Obviously I support them, was brought up there and was lucky enough to play for them. They will always mean something.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/9170029/Former-Newcastle-striker-Andy-Carroll-is-nervous-about-returning-to-Sports-Direct-Arena-with-Liverpool.html

    Just watch Cisse & Ba son, they’ll show you how to play !

  28. Supermac says:
    March 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    “Fourteen months on from his £35 million switch from Tyneside to Merseyside, Carroll heads back with the clubs having suffered vastly different Premier League fortunes.”

    Aye, we have suffered vastly different fortunes to poor old Liverpool. They’ve won the League Cup, are in the semi finals of the FA Cup and have a guaranteed place in Europe next year. It’s a very poor season for them overall. Meanwhile, we’ve been out of the cup competitions for quite some time, have no guaranteed place in Europe yet and are a mighty one place above Liverpool in the league at the moment, which is a triumph for us.

    The Torygraph are patronising Newcastle United fans by suggesting that our expectations are far lower than those of a big club such as Liverpool. If we triumph in it, it merely exposes what a small and unambitious club we are in comparison to one which has won eleven league championships, five european Cups, three UEFA Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, six FA Cups, eight League Cups and twelve charity shields since we last won anything of note, and that was still something which Liverpool would consider a “minor” trophy, the largely forgotten predecessor of the UEFA Cup.

  29. Trip @ 13

    ‘….. I would think that a successful club would be worth a lot to him from a marketing standpoint, let alone an ego one. So we can’t keeping selling everyone all the time..’

    To the contrary. Ashley has shown that you can sell some players for profit and still do well. This has been the ManU and Liverpool (of old) way.

    A very attractive proposition to a prospective buyer but not alas as attractive as winning trophies which is what ManU and Liverpool did and still do but which we haven’t for a very long time.

  30. dogleash killed & dismantled the ‘entertainers’ team.
    That is enough reason to dislike the guy for a million years, right there!

  31. I for one won’t be booing Carroll if he plays on Sunday. He may have been pushed, he may not, but if I was become a multi millionaire overnight I would work somewhere else. I enjoyed watching him and he was a key part in our leaving the championship at the first attempt. So I’ll clap him. And enrique. But obviously not BellendAmy. told to go and kleave ANDta

  32. worky @ 33 – yes, of course Liverpool are a great club, I did my PhD in Liverpool and still have a soft spot for them
    – but this is one-upmanship banter – its not often we get the chance, so divent drive me bonny dreams away cos I doubt that they will last too long. Liverpool will probably laugh last & longer – but check out our sister site and have a long overdue smile –

    Liverpool site http://www.ourkop.com/2012/03/26/andy-carroll-plus-some-cash-for-demba-ba/
    reports Lawrenson said in The Mirror,
    “With Steven Gerrard released to get forward, if they can bring in a top goalscorer to play alongside (and ­occasionally instead of) Luis Suarez, they’ll have plenty of options, and look a different team.

    Whether they have the money to do that is a different story. But if not, then they might have to go to Newcastle and offer them Andy Carroll plus some cash for Demba Ba.”

    If we could bring in someone else for Carroll in the summer, I would be very happy as this 35 million experiment on Carroll has not worked. And what is frustrating is that it is hard to see it working.

    and the current ourkop.com/2012/03/26 poll asks –
    Should Liverpool dump Carroll for Demba Ba?

    No (51%, 731 Votes)
    Yes (49%, 690 Votes)
    Total Voters: 1,421

  33. “Should i stay? or should i go “?
    One does’nt have to visit Delphi, to figure out if Ba will be leaving or not.
    With clubs like PSG and two oligarch owned Russian sides, plus a number of others, all showing interest.
    I would think it’s a no brainer.
    And if the release clause is fact, then we can kiss him goodbye.
    The club has stated apparently that there will be no negotiations before the summer, which probably means a bidding war.
    I’m not sure how that works, if for instance it depends on the highest transfer fee offered or if the bidding clubs pay the release clause amount and the bidding is based on a wage offer.
    But the reality is he will be offered more than Ashley will be willing to pay.
    And if the offer (transfer Fee) is around the high teens or even twenties, you can bet your ass, Ashley will accept.
    I certainly would.

  34. Andy Carroll ?
    Hey he’s a young kid and they had him between a rock and a hard place.
    Sure he decided to go, probably partially for the money and partially for football reasons.
    But there was no way he couldda stayed, cosidering what we heard about the deal from Wor Derrick.
    They were fixated on getting their hands on that 35m.
    and the pressure on the kid must have been heavy duty.
    So I got no problem with the kid, hope his career gets back on track, just not too soon.

  35. Kamar says:
    March 28, 2012 at 7:13 am

    “To the contrary. Ashley has shown that you can sell some players for profit and still do well. This has been the ManU and Liverpool (of old) way.

    A very attractive proposition to a prospective buyer but not alas as attractive as winning trophies which is what ManU and Liverpool did and still do but which we haven’t for a very long time.”

    Kamar, to a club the size of Newcastle United, doing well should mean winning a trophy or two. That’s how teams such as Man U and Liverpool measure their success, so lets not be premature again and compare ourselves to them yet as it makes us look foolish. Your last paragraph was far more in touch with reality.

  36. i think it is safe to say the £35 mil was too good to turn down. as it happens it hasnt worked out well for andy at liverpool and his true value of £6-10 million would be the only option to go for should he be sold on.

    with carroll it is a buyers market the buyers holds all the aces, unlike when we had him it was a sellers market.

    so how can you justify selling a player worth £10-12mil with dangers(bas knee) in a a swap deal with carroll? whi incidently is worth less.

    i think ideally if carroll was to move on, a Stoke , everton, fulham, nowich or swansea would be his best option if he wasn’t going to return home.

    its ok wanting champions league football but you have deserve to be there, liverpool imo are going to be the next chelsea, huge investment will be needed to get them on track and they need to do more than offer huge sums for 1 goal one assist players like downing to be able to compete with the top 4 next season or any other season for that matter.

    mistakes have been made, but as far as £35mil i cant say we made one.
    as for ba leaving in the summer, its possible, but that is if anyone wants him. lately ba has looked slugish and slow and seems to be strugling for pace. maybe its down to ACN and the extra games it brought. but they all add up. clubs will be watching.

    if there is a slight issue from now to the end of the season then i think people will back off.

    imo ba looks stiff and if things get worse we could be lumbered with a player with no use.

    is it a case of does he stay or does he go? or more a case of do we take the risk of keeping him?

  37. TRIPP
    So what does that make us, the Brewers of the EPL with Citeh the present day Yankees.
    What about the Oakland A’s in the 70’s with three straight series, before they sold everyone.
    And The Red Sox collecting their first and second in the last decade, to break the curse of selling “The Babe”, in the 20’s., both using the Moneyball approach.
    The present Liverpool owners, who also own the Red Sox,
    (the Fenway group) are big fans of the moneyball system, but seems Comoli is throwing money around for little return.
    Face it every dog in the street knew that paying 35m. for Carroll, was a joke.
    Even our football genius Derrick.
    So ! has Ashley discovered the footballing version of baseballs Moneyball ?

  38. Comolli the Clown. The man who got Jol sacked and brought Juande Ramos to Tottenham, only to find that he’d got the wrong person from Sevilla and that he should have brought the technical director along too. Even I could have told him that if he’d only asked. I don’t know how on earth he still manages to fool people. It was his bright idea to pay £35 million for Andy Carroll. What a genius.

  39. Alright Worky…I was expecting a suspension after the outrage I caused earlier.
    It was never my intention to upset so many people and I shall change my name to Heretictoon when I can be arsed :lol:

  40. Playing to ac’s strengths is what liverpool should be doing, for the money spent.
    But thaa kinda thinking isn’t dogleash’s strength, is it?

    But,
    who cares about ac anymore?

  41. SJT, if spontaneous combustion was a side effect of having a degenerative bone condition, I could end up with nee heed, nee arms and nee legs one day and it didn’t fuss me that much.

  42. sirjasontoon says:
    March 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Whoever we sign in the future, I suspect we’ve already made our best transfer coup from France, the first one. If we get another one like him, it will be a miracle.

  43. WORKEY
    Well Ginola and Robert were not that bad.
    Poor old SBR, he eventually gave up on Robert ever playing any defence.
    But was smart enough to recognize the fact that his,
    attacking flare and ability to score more than made up for it.
    Perhaps Pardner, should take a leaf out of SBR’s book.

  44. Allways had a thing about speedy wingers with flair, the most entertaining was Bobby Mitchell, who played for about eleven years for The Toon.
    Yeah that was the reason you went to football games, to be entertained.
    This business of using wingers as defenders leaves me cold, im afraid, though i have to say last weeks game, with what some are calling a 4-3-3, was the most entertaining yet.
    I dont really know if it was an intended line-up or just worked out that way ?
    More i suppose a license to roam for HBA, who was un-believable.
    I hope Pardew is now convinced as to what kind of special player he is and give him the freedom he needs.
    And i crtainly disagree that he is or ever was a luxury player, as he did it all on Sunday.

  45. Have to say (and if this posts it’ll be a miracle as \i’m on a dodgy dongle in the cheviots!!)n – this thread contains some of the best comments I’ve read on a United forum for a long time. Well done folks!!

  46. CHUCK says:
    March 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    ” I hope Pardew is now convinced as to what kind of special player he is and give him the freedom he needs.
    And i crtainly disagree that he is or ever was a luxury player, as he did it all on Sunday.”

    Perhaps his inspiration was legendary ex Toon defender, Jean Alain Boumsong, Chuck.

    Boumsoung, Benny’s old Lyon teammate in “France Football” earlier this month:

    “You are one of the fastest people that I know with the ball at their feet. But I think that you would gain in speed if you played with the help of your team mates doing 1-2’s for example. What do you think?”

    Hatem Ben Arfa: “It’s a fair comment, I have to learn to pass and go rather than doing it all on my own.”

    Since that interview he’s scored two in three games. Coincidence Chuck? I think not. It’s all down to Boumsong! :-)

    BTW, I banned the phrases “luxury player” and “but he has no end product” from this ‘blog several days ago. ;-)

  47. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    March 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    “Entertainment or winning?

    We’ve entertained & won nowt, ask arsenal.”

    Clint, Real Madrid winning their fifth European Cup in a row, slugging out a boring, defensive 7-3 victory at Hampden Park in 1960.

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