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Chelsea - What is wrong with Demba Ba?

It is fair to say Demba Ba is yet to hit top form since arriving at Chelsea.

Chelsea had a real problem heading into January, with an under-performing striker blighting their chances of hitting top form. Now they have two.

Fernando Torres still remains as unpredictable as ever, but the answer to the solution, Demba Ba, has just added to a confusing situation.

Now instead of working out how to get one misfiring striker hitting top form, Benitez has to try and get Ba going too, but at least he has a choice.

After Torres bagged the winner against Steaua in the Europa League on Thursday night, Chelsea boss Benitez rotated and handed Ba the start at home to West Ham.

Playing against one of his former clubs, Ba should have been more than motivated to get on the scoresheet, but was well off the pace.

He fluffed a simple one-on-one when through on goal in the first half, and later missed another easy opportunity when denied by Jaaskelainen.

With the stunning performances put on by Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, it did not matter, but with the pair of them supplying him - in form he would have scored a hatful.

Ba has just one Premier League goal in seven games since arriving at Chelsea, scored against West Brom a fortnight ago.

He started brightly with two goals on his FA Cup debut against Southampton, but they have been the only goals he has scored in cup competition despite featuring in the League Cup, FA, and Europa League.

In all competitions Ba has three goals in 14 games at Chelsea, not the return he would have been hoping for.

Most frustrating for him is his inability to get a regular run in the side. He is regularly rotated with Torres, which may have been to be expected, but had he found the irrepressible form he is capable of then the position was his for the taking.

He fell away in a similar fashion at Newcastle last season. But the reasons there were more complicated, playing deeper to accommodate Papiss Cisse. Ba is essentially a confidence striker who scores in bursts, and at the moment he is lacking it.

Ba's performances should be a concern to Chelsea, because there are several huge games coming up. While he scored 10 Premier League goals for Newcastle, his one since signing for the Blues simply isn't good enough.

If Chelsea are to progress in the Europa League, FA Cup, and complete their target of finishing in the top four, Ba could have an important part to play. And he needs to step it up.

How can Chelsea get Demba Ba scoring regularly? Are you concerned?

image: © Jason Bagley

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