Ba can replace troubled Torres as Chelsea’s main man

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Newcastle striker was at Stamford Bridge to witness QPR’s shock win, and will surely fancy his chances of taking the Spaniard’s place as the Blues’ primary attacker

Demba Ba will have been more than an interested observer as he sat in the Stamford Bridge stands on Wednesday night. Before Chelsea made their interest official, the 27-year-old’s representatives had briefly flirted with QPR as they tried to secure him a January move away from Newcastle.

While what he witnessed might not quite have led him to wish he had given the Premier League’s bottom club a little more consideration, it will only have strengthened his belief that any spell at Chelsea need not be spent merely as a subservient back-up to Fernando Torres.

The Blues were slow, disjointed and severely lacking in the kind of cutting edge Ba is so renowned for providing. QPR, playing the kind of system which got Roberto Di Matteo the sack against Juventus, with Adel Taarabt in the Eden Hazard role, frustrated their opponents so successfully that Branislav Ivanovic began resorting to wild shots from distance long before half-time.

Torres, charged with becoming the talisman of this side in the absence of Didier Drogba, did nothing to stake his claim. His recent goalscoring exploits – seven goals in his last nine matches in all competitions – have led many to once again whisper of a genuine revival, but the sceptics will not be convinced until he finally loses the knack of disappearing when his team need him most.

Benitez insists his star striker and several other key players are heavily fatigued, and the argument has merit. This was Chelsea’s fourth match in 11 days. They played nine times in December, and endured a 12,000-mile round trip to Japan. This run may well have affected Torres more than most, for the Spaniard has featured in all but two of the Blues’ 33 games this season.

Nevertheless, it is clear Chelsea’s lack of numbers in certain key areas is costing them dear. Torres is being run into the ground and options are also thin in central midfield, yet other clubs continue to feel the benefit of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Michael Essien. It is an absurd situation, and one which requires urgent redress in January.

The imminent signing of Ba appears to be the first step in this process. He has been preferred to the sensational Falcao because he is infinitely cheaper and more available, proven in the Premier League and yet will not be immediately perceived as a threat to Torres’ fragile sense of pre-eminence. If his supposed “time bomb” of a knee holds out, he should score some goals, too.

But the man himself will not see it that way. He has carefully engineered this opportunity to shine at one of Europe’s most competitive clubs, and his goal will surely not be to waste it sitting on the bench. He will back himself to usurp Torres and become Chelsea’s next great African frontman, and on Wednesday night he will have seen little to shake his belief.

Read Liam Twomey’s entire article here on

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3 Comments on “Ba can replace troubled Torres as Chelsea’s main man”

  1. jwellwin January 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Reblogged this on chelseanewsletter.

  2. momerleghari14299 January 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on .

  3. jobloggsexplains January 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Reblogged this on Jo Bloggs Explains and commented:
    very apt and totally agree. I loved Ba at Newcastle and wish him all the best for Chelsea

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