Demba Ba has confirmed he could have stayed at Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho wanted him to stay but had to leave to where he can play regular first team football. The Senegalese forward had always been somewhat prolific. He scored 14 goals for Hoffenheim in his first season and was integral to their promotion to the Bundesliga, the following year. At the end of his time there, Ba had scored a respectable 40 goals in 103 appearances for the German club.
At West Ham, he was also bagged 7 goals in 12 games and was their highest goal scorer at the end of the season, despite being a winter buy. At Newcastle, the lanky forward again finished his first season at club as the highest goal scorer of the team yet again, banging in 16 goals.
Then in January 2013, he joined Chelsea football club for three and a half years in an undisclosed fee and his career seemed to be projecting upwards. He scored 2 goals on his debut in the third round FA cup tie against Southampton and the fans were singing in his name.
The goals seemed to dry up after then and Demba Ba found himself slowly relegated to the Bench. By the end of his Chelsea career, he had scored only 14 goals and eventually had to make way along with his other striking compatriots for the arrivals of Didier Drogba, Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
So what went wrong for Demba Ba? We believe 2 reasons contributed to his underwhelming form and eventual departure.
- The curse of Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres, the 50million golden boy was an embarrassment to the club and Chelsea for many years after the mistake was made, failed to admit it. They kept on playing the Spaniard, over and above more deserving players. If the London club had given players like Sturidge, Kalou and Anelka as many chances as they gave Torres, maybe they would have all retired at the club. Chelsea’s constant experiment at seeing if Torres might regain previous form is partly why other players, who were off form themselves, were dismissed so easily.
If Chelsea had been patient with Demba Ba and trusted him a bit more, maybe they would have gained a lot from him in the end.
- Demba is a small team striker
For some inexplicable reason, it has been found out, that certain players do well when the quality of teammates that they play alongside, are poor or average. This theory at first seemed baffling until I looked at some case studies more closely.
How is it that the Senegalese was scoring for fun at different small clubs like Hoffenheim, who were in Germany’s division 2 when he got there, West Ham who were eventually relegated and an amazingly incompetent Newcastle side?
Yet the 29 year old gets to a Chelsea team with so much world class attacking talent and fails to deliver.
The answer at the end doesn’t seem that hard. Demba Ba is a small fish and by that I mean he’s a player of very average quality. When a small fish is in a small pond, it becomes very visible and seems bigger than it actually is.
When it gets to a big pond with actual big fishes, he seems small in comparison.
So… what went wrong with Demba Ba? The answer is simply that he wasn’t good enough for a big team like the Blues.