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Archive for tag: Newcastle United players international duty.

Can we cope without Demba Ba?

November 9th, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Demba Ba to be absent from the Newcastle line-up for 3 weeks+
How much will he be missed?
Is the Africa Cup of Nations going to cause serious problems for Newcastle United, particularly in relation to Demba Ba?

The Africa Cup of Nations (ACoN) has its first group game on the 21st January and the final is on 12th February, which means that players will be away from their respective clubs for potentially 3 weeks of tournament time plus preparation/recovery time.

For Newcastle, that means the loss of two of this season’s top performers: Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote. Ba’s Senegal is in Group A along with Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Zambia whilst Tiote’s Ivory Coast is in Group B along with Sudan, Burkina Faso and Angola.

Gossip abounds about Pardew’s desire to recruit a new striker, although if Modibo Maiga is that striker then we’re no better off during the ACoN because Mali is also in the tournament.

I would not imagine that the club will be recruiting a striker simply for a 3-week tournament anyway, so presumably Pardew intends to cover for the ACoN with the players he has already got. That could mean a start for Shola (if he’s fit) or for Benny, either of who could play up front with Leon Best.

The worry of course is how we’d cope without the player who has scored half of our 16 league goals this season. Ba had this to say about his absence: (more…)