The latest upset footballer stripped of his place in a starting XI is Newcastle’s Demba Ba. Following their 2-2 draw with Everton on Monday, Demba Ba declared he was “not happy with some things”, and just three days later he has been left out of Alan Pardew’s squad for their trip to Portuguese outfit Maritimo. His agent, Alex Gontran, said that Ba “doesn’t understand the management” and whilst he is happy at the club, the duo haven’t ruled out a move elsewhere if the striker being dropped is a regular occurrence.
Heading into their Europa League group match against Maritimo, Demba Ba has been rested by manager Alan Pardew, who felt there is no bad blood between the two. However, this coming after being named a substitute in the Premier League tie against Everton, for Demba Ba this may not seem the case.
Whilst Ba is said to have accepted being made a substitute at Everton, he did not understand the reasoning, and agent Gontran’s latest remarks regarding a move elsewhere may indicate that a bigger rift is apparent between Ba and Pardew.
Footballers are understandably frustrated if they are substituted when they may feel they can still make an impact on the pitch, though they must still show respect to their manager for their decisions. After all, without the manager they may not have been picked at all.
Fernando Torres last week walked straight down the tunnel after being replaced by Daniel Sturridge during Chelsea’s 0-0 stalemate at QPR. Unable to replicate a performance against QPR which last season yielded three goals for his team, Torres was substituted by a striker which Roberto Di Matteo clearly felt could add something fresh to the game that Torres wasn’t providing.
As a Tottenham fan, Hossam Ghaly’s anger after being substituted having started from the bench already left a huge imprint in my memory, and though manager Martin Jol defended Ghaly’s actions after throwing his Tottenham shirt off the pitch as he stormed down the tunnel, it wasn’t exactly role model behaviour from the Egyptian.
Last season, Carlos Tevez also had a fair few words to say with manager Roberto Mancini after being substituted during Manchester City’s victory against Bolton last December, before also making his way promptly to the dressing room.
In April, Team GB ambassador David Beckham gave the press the silent treatment after being substituted at half-time during LA Galaxy’s 3-1 defeat to New England Revolution, and was replaced by a younger Michael Stephens. Manager Bruce Arena felt that whilst Beckham wasn’t pleased, the team “needed a little bit more in midfield” and the decision was purely his to make.
Footballers are entitled to feel dismayed if they are substituted for reasons they may not understand, but as a decision made by their managers they should accept the choice. Unfortunately, some players do not, and this can lead to broken relationships between player and manager. Whether this is justifiable is questionable.
Do you feel footballers show enough respect to their manager’s team selections?