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Mourinho has missed a trick by not playing Chelsea hero more

| 09.04.2014

In sealing his team’s passage to the Champions League semi finals, Demba Ba was dubbed the ‘most unlikely of Chelsea heroes’ by the excited commentator, but by rights this should not have been the case.

Thanks to that 87th-minute strike Chelsea’s odds of winning the competition have skydived into 5/1, however if Ba had perhaps been called upon more regularly this season, then the Blues may have still been favourites for the Premier League as well.

Since joining Chelsea for a modest fee of £7m in January of 2013, the way the Senegalese striker has been left to shiver on the Stamford Bridge sidelines is bemusing at best, a travesty at worst.

Ever since Ba arrived on English shores he has proved prolific, first at West Ham, where despite being completely green to the ways of the Premier League he managed to score seven times from only 10 starts.

After moving to Newcastle following the Irons’ relegation, Ba then set about proving he was no flash in the pan by racking up goals like they were going out of fashion at St James’ Park.

A tally of 29 league goals from only 52 Magpies starts in the top-flight meant Chelsea had clearly seen more than enough to warrant obtaining his services.

However, thanks largely to the presence of £50m misfit Fernando Torres – whom Chelsea remain desperate to wring some goal-shaped value out of – the former Geordie goal machine began life as a Blue being used far too sparingly.

Life under Jose Mourinho has been even more tortuous though. Twenty of his 23 appearances have come as a second-half substitute, often thrown on in the dying minutes, yet he’s somehow managed to clock up six goals.

He also scored on one of only three starts and twice in Europe, while Torres has laboured to nine from 35 appearances this season which includes 15 league and three Champions League starts.

Chelsea have not only got a 100 per cent record in the three games Ba has started this season, but even when including all his sub appearances the win ratio stands at 70 per cent with and only 59 without him.

Yet, Ba will surely move on this summer.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.