Lampard, Oscar to start for Chelsea against Basel
Chelsea striker Demba Ba admits he has failed to live up to his billing since moving to Stamford Bridge from Newcastle in January and revealed he was close to joining Arsenal on transfer deadline day as a result.
Ba, 28, has only made one Premier League appearance this season and has been criticised for not establishing himself at Chelsea after a successful career at Newcastle.
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The Senegal international faces tough competition to break back into Jose Mourinho's starting line-up, with Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres seemingly above him in the pecking order.
But Ba is hopeful of getting his chance to impress when Chelsea host FC Basel in their opening Champions League game on Wednesday.
"I know I haven't played as well as I did at Newcastle or West Ham," Ba is quoted in the Sun. "If I performed really well, I'd have played every game. If I didn't play every game, it's because I didn't play well every match.
"There are no other reasons for it. I always wanted to play Champions League football, so I'm very excited. We know a little bit about Basel from last season when we played them. And we’re doing everything to counter them, block them and win."
Reflecting on reports he was the subject of interest from Arsenal in the summer, Ba claims he was hoping to seal a switch to Arsenal, but has promised his commitment to Mourinho.
"I told him that if I stay I will keep fighting for the club," he added. "I wanted to play and I want to play. I was ready to go and to play there but it didn't happen.
"I have always worked hard to deserve what I have. If I play well, I’ll deserve to play. If I don’t perform, it will be my fault."