Agent: Ba could be forced to move
Demba Ba's agent says his client does not understand the management at Newcastle United after the striker started Monday's game against Everton on the bench.
Ba, who scored both goals in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, netted 15 times in 19 games leading up to January last season, but since returning from the African Nations Cup in Feburary scored just once in the remaining 15 games.
With the arrival of fellow Senegal striker Papiss Cisse in January, Ba has often found himself playing second fiddle to his friend.
Having started the club's first three Premier League games, he was named as a substitute on Monday, and his agent, Alex Gontran, has revealed the striker may be forced to look at other options if the same thing continues to happen.
"Since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, Demba doesn't understand the management," Gontran told BBC Sport. "If he continues to be a substitute all season, we'll look at other solutions."
However, Gontron stated that Ba is currently happy on Tyneside and that the player respects Alan Pardew's decisions, regardless of whether he agrees with them.
"Demba is happy at Newcastle. He is playing in the Premier League, with lots of fellow French speakers and he loves the club's supporters," Gontran said. "He would like to start every game but he respects the choice of the coach, even if he does not always understand or agree."
Gontran stressed that he believes his client received a lack of recognition during the second half of last season, as Ba was moved out wide to accommodate the arrival of Cisse.
"How could you put your best striker with full confidence on the left wing? The choice to put Demba on the left last season was good for the club, because Cisse scored 13 goals, but there was a lack of recognition for Demba. It is more difficult to play well when you don't have the confidence of your staff."
Pardew had earlier claimed that it was impossible to keep every member of his squad happy, including Ba, and singled the striker out for praise after the Everton game.
"Ba could have had a hat-trick. Sometimes players play well when they are angry, and he played well," Pardew said. "I cannot keep everybody happy in this group of players, and we still have one or two who did not get on. It is a juggling act for me as a manager, and I have to get it right. Ba changed the face of the game. He gave us the mentality that we could win the game."