Stoke City v West Ham United

Ba could make Stoke pay

March 13, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

West Ham United striker Demba Ba has said it's a "blessing" his January move to Stoke City fell through as he prepares to face the Potters in an FA Cup quarter-final at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke's medical team ruled that Ba was not fit enough for the Premier League so the Senegal international signed a three-year deal with the Hammers.

The in-form forward, who has scored five goals in the last six games, has since helped lift Avram Grant's side out of the Premier League relegation zone and heads into Sunday's clash full of confidence.

And the former Hoffenheim striker is eager to put January's events behind him.

"I was a bit surprised that the move to Stoke fell through but I wasn't going to dwell on it," said the 25-year-old. "They had their reasons for pulling out and felt obligated to make those reasons public to explain why I hadn't joined them.

"For me I just simply don't dwell on bad news, and move on swiftly. What is the point dwelling on it?

"Besides, moving to West Ham has been a blessing. I love it here. When you're happy and playing with a smile on your face life doesn't get much better.

"So in a way I'm glad the Stoke deal fell through because it enabled me to join this club instead.

"I've settled very quickly at Upton Park but I truly believe that the supporters have yet to see the best of me. I will work tirelessly to improve. I know there is so much more to come from me."

West Ham head into Sunday's FA Cup tie having won three games on the bounce, including a 3-0 Premier League victory over Stoke at Upton Park. The Potters have won just one of their last five games.