Demba’s goal could be the signal for more for West Ham
Hammers striker Demba Ba scores his goals in batches, so maybe Sunday’s strike at Manchester City will be the springboard to a productive finish to the season.
Here is a little piece of positive news for all West Ham fans still biting their nails as they prepare for the final three games of this relegation survival battle – Demba Ba scores his goals in batches.
The 25-year-old former Hoffenheim hitman, who signed in a �5million deal from the Bundesliga outfit back in January, grabbed the West Ham goal on Sunday as they battled to get back into the match against Manchester City.
That proved to be a fruitless effort both for West Ham and for Ba, but the Senegal international’s record this season does point to better things to come.
Back in September and October last year, Ba scored in five consecutive Bundesliga games for Hoffenheim, while he emulated that sort of form after signing for the Hammers.
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Ba grabbed four goals in as many games including two on his first start in that memorable second-half comeback against West Brom.
That game was one with a disastrous start for the Hammers as they fell 3-0 behind at the break, while the clash at Manchester City was not dissimilar in the opening 15 minutes as the home side stormed into a 2-0 lead.
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It is a state of affairs that has Ba puzzled.
“I don’t know what happened,” said the striker. “I think we should come on the pitch with a better mentality. The mentality we showed in the last hour is what we should have shown from the start of the first half.
“We have to switch on from the beginning and not just after we have conceded two goals.”
He’s right of course, after all, it’s not rocket science, but it is a plan that seems to have been beyond the West Ham players too often this season and one that leaves the fans pulling their hair out with frustration.
“It is difficult,” admitted the Senegal striker. “When you come to places like Manchester City, they also want to make an impact from the beginning.
“We have just got to stay tight and concentrate on not making mistakes, but unfortunately, at the moment, that is what we are doing and we have to stop it.”
It was Ba that led the comeback at Eastlands on Sunday with his fifth goal in claret and blue. While Robbie Keane missed a glorious chance for the second week running, Ba showed no such profligacy as he reacted first to a loose ball to shoot the Hammers back into the game.
“I don’t remember the whole of the situation, but there was a cross and Lescott I think touched it with the hand,” explained Ba.
“The referee would not give it, so I just continued with my reaction and put it in the net.”
It signalled a nervous time for Champions League chasing Manchester City, and West Ham certainly showed what they could do, as they did at Chelsea last week, but in the end, two defeats was something that really hurt the African.
“They were decent performances against both of them, but at the end of the day we have got no points,” said Ba. “Football is just about getting wins or getting one point to just go forward, but unfortunately even though we played good, we are not picking up those points.
“We had a difficult start, but afterwards I think we showed some good football and some quality in our play, but we didn’t quite make it again.”
It is battling efforts against top teams that does give Ba heart as they embark on the final three games of the season, and the striker believes that West Ham can get themselves out of this mess.
“The season is not finished yet,” he insisted. “We have three games to go and I think if we do good in those matches, then we can save West Ham.”
When Ba arrived in January it coincided with an upturn in the Hammers’ league fortunes, so is it a surprise to see the team languishing at the bottom of the Premier League pile?
“Yes, I am really surprised,” he said. “It is not only me who is surprised. I think when you see the way we played in the last two weeks, it should be a surprise we are bottom, because we had good games, but if you miss the chances then you can’t get the results.”
Ba will be hoping that he is setting off on another batch of goalscoring and he is convinced that the players will give everything they have for the rest of the season, and that means playing for 90 minutes of each game.
“There are three games to go and we will give 100 per cent. Then if we stay up we will be happy, but if we are relegated we will go with no regret, but I think we still have a big chance – a really big chance.”
Let’s hope he is right.