Demba Ba Blasts Jose Mourinho for Favouring Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o

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Demba Ba Blasts Jose Mourinho for Favouring Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o
Emrah Gurel/Associated Press

Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has accused Jose Mourinho of favouritism during his time at Stamford Bridge and feels he was not given a fair chance in the first team.

Joe Bernstein of the Daily Mail reports the former Newcastle player felt "star names" were preferred over players earning their place, even though the Special One blocked Ba from joining Arsenal last summer:

Sometimes when you are at a club with a lot of big stars, the name counts for more than the statistics. Unfortunately, it was like that in my case. But I am happy I moved from Newcastle to Chelsea and achieved what I did. I have lots of friends there. Eden Hazard is one of my best friends, I am close to Branislav Ivanovic, too.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Ba was very much a third choice at Chelsea during the past 12 months and might have achieved a lot more game time had he made the switch to Arsene Wenger's squad.

Despite this, the 29-year-old Senegal striker hit 14 goals in 23 starts for the Blues, per Bernstein, proving his ability in the Premier League.

Chelsea's main weakness last term was in the striker's position ahead of the team's brilliant set of attacking midfielders. Mourinho's side still came close to success in both the domestic title race and the Champions League, but ultimately, their lack of firepower cost them dearly.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Since then, the Portuguese manager has added the mercurial talent of Diego Costa to his front line as well as bringing back the legendary Didier Drogba to west London.

Despite Samuel Eto'o's departure, Spanish international Fernando Torres has been retained, and Chelsea have a much more rounded strike force for the campaign ahead.

Ba does appear to be correct in the case of competing with Torres. The former darling of the Anfield Kop has flattered to deceive since his blockbuster transfer to the Bridge and has rarely justified the faith shown in him.

Chelsea have craved for Torres to find the goalscoring form of his Liverpool days—when arguably he was the best striker in Europe—but he is a shell of the player he once was.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Tom Sheen of The Independent recently assessed Torres' pre-season for Chelsea, in which he failed to score a single goal during his 266 minutes of play:

Mourinho grew visibly exasperated with the Spaniard during pre-season as his lack of confidence was highlighted by wasted chances and horror touches. Missing an open goal against Olimpia Ljubljana and poor attempts against Werder Bremen and Sociedad drew cruel mocking on social media, while a bad touch against Ferencvaros drew a deathly stare from Mourinho.

Ba only managed to start five Premier League games last season, per WhoScored.com, and he managed to net five times, including his famous strike against Liverpool after Steven Gerrard's costly mistake. 

But it was not enough for him to earn a regular starting place, and he will now feature for Besiktas against Arsenal in the Champions League play-off match.

Ba might be correct about star names at Chelsea.

Andriy Shevchenko followed the same career path as Torres when brought in as a marquee signing. He also suffered incredibly poor form during his stay in the Premier League, but his big-money capture forced his inclusion in the side.

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However, Ba was not the calibre of striker that Mourinho wanted to lead his line, and his lack of options probably forced his hand to stick with the experience of Torres and Eto'o. Despite showing he could score goals in England, Mourinho has always preferred individuals with a historically great record, and Ba does not fit the profile.

But the player will be difficult for Arsenal to handle in Europe. He recently scored a hat-trick for his new club, per Bernstein, and he is already developing into a cult hero. 

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