Goal droughts. We've seen them happen to so many over the years, especially recently. The 5 month goal drought of Fernando Torres is something no player wants to go through, but, sometimes, it just happens in football. The question we are asking is 'will Demba Ba fall into the same trap?', but the question we should be asking is 'who cares?'.
When Ba, 27, joined Newcastle on a free last summer, a lot of fans were quick to judge him after an uneventful and goalless first 5 premier league games. He finally opened his account for the Toon Army by scoring a hat-trick against Blackburn on 24th September 2011 and went on to score 13 goals in the next 18 games (including another hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Stoke), a record that saw him awarded with the Barclays Premier Player of the Month for December and named in ESPN’s Premier League Best XI for the first half of the season.
However, the last 10 games Ba has played in have told a completely different story, in which he has scored 0 goals.
Football is a fickle game and fans began to worry and were eager to come up with explanations for this, such as the arrival of a new target man in the form Senegal teammate Papiss Cisse or a change in formation to a 4-3-3 system with Ba pushed out more to the left, but, as several chances to add his previously impressive tally went narrowly astray during this run, fans and pundits alike conceded that maybe Ba had just hit a bad run.
A football team is made up of 11 men and, quite frankly, I don’t care if it’s Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse or Tim Krul knocking the ball past the opposition’s ‘keeper. All I want to see is Newcastle United climb up the table as much as possible and, as long as we have everyone playing their part next season, that is bound to happen.
What Pardew needs to look at is how he can put Ba to use during this time.
Inevitably, this drought will end soon, but, until then, his teammates shouldn’t be forcing chances upon him like Chelsea did with Torres; as we’ve seen, that gets you absolutely nowhere.
If anything, it just puts more pressure on the player and probably makes him feel like a burden to them. Instead, Newcastle should be thinking of how Ba can help them win by simply playing well and not specifically scoring until this dry spell passes and we can see the Demba Ba we knew at the back-end of 2011.