Demba Ba was granted a rare opportunity to impress during Sunday’s game against Southampton and marked his performance with a goal but has he done enough to earn himself a start against Sunderland?
Jose Mourinho made good use of a target man during with Didier Drogba during his first spell at Stamford Bridge and although Ba isn’t in the same class as the Ivorian, he could prove useful when it comes to digging out results over a busy December.
It is no secret that the Blues are not playing their best football at the club and there are often debates over selections and tactics, but despite not being at the top of their game they are within reach of Premier League leaders Arsenal and looking healthy in all the cup competitions.
There is a conscious effort to play a more attractive style at Stamford Bridge and this is demonstrated by the sort of signings that have been made over the last few years. It is still the direction the club should be going in but there’s no reason why they cannot develop a plan B, even if it isn’t so easy on the eye.
Ba was part of Chelsea’s fightback against Southampton on Sunday afternoon when he came on at half-time for the awful Michael Essien. Both Ba and Fernando Torres made a nuisance of themselves by occupying defenders whilst the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard did the best they could to work the ball into dangerous areas.
In the end it was the delivery from Mata that helped Chelsea restore parity before taking the lead when two of his set-pieces resulted in goals from Gary Cahill and John Terry, respectively. Ramires then provided Ba with the third and final goal, it was the difference between his game and Torres’.
Chelsea’s trip to Sunderland may not be so straightforward now that Gus Poyet has his side finding their feet in the Premier League after their Paolo Di Canio nightmare, so a bit of brute force may not go amiss and Ba certainly played well enough to warrant a start. The question is if he deserves to start more than Torres as I can’t see Mourinho going with two up top in a case that isn’t an emergency?