No Demba Ba, no problem.
This is the mentality in Newcastle right now. Since striker Demba Ba left the club to join Chelsea, Newcastle has kept a steady record, even slightly superior to when Ba was still around.
Four wins, two draws, and only two losses. Perhaps the sign of a bright light at the end of the tunnel, for a club with an overall record of 13 losses in 27 Premier League games.
With relegation being slightly unlikely, but still possible at this point. It is in Newcastle’s best interest to keep this form going.
And the apparent reason for such an improvement might as well be the man who took up the load left by Ba.
Recently acquired from Toulouse, 23 year old Moussa Sissoko has been nothing short of spectacular since he put on Newcastle’s uniform.
In only four Premier League appearances, the Frenchman already scored three goals, and served two assists.
He already scored more times this season for Newcastle, than in 18 appearances for Toulouse in the Ligue 1.
Two of those goals coming on a comeback win against Chelsea. One to tie the match, and the second one coming on the 90’ minute to win it.
Newcastle’s manager Alan Pardew believes Sissoko has already made the team better, by filling that open spot in the puzzle he had.
“I’ve been saying for a long time since I arrived at this club that we’ve never really had a natural No. 10, because in the modern game, you need to have that,” Pardew said. “Moussa came in and is much better at that [than Ba]. Obviously Demba’s a striker, he plays that No. 9 role for Chelsea, but we have Papiss,”
The combination of Sissoko, and Senegalese striker Papiss Demba Cissé might be just what Newcastle needed for their attack.
“It gives us different options, a bit more freedom to attack thanks to his natural ability and defensive attitude, we need it. I think it’s a better combination than what we had before.” Pardew said.
Sissoko’s versatility as a midfielder, who doesn’t solely concentrate on offensive end, but also maintains a defensive mindset to his game, makes the team as a whole better. Combining it with Cissé’s ability to find the bottom of the net, makes for a brighter future at the St James’ Park.
Newcastle, now aiming for a top ten finish in the Premier league, will have some key matchups next on their schedule.
Saturday they face ninth place Swansea. And in the middle of the week they clash against Russian giant Anzhi Makhachkala, currently second place in the Russian Premier League.