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Ballou Tabla

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While I could totally believe his career has been cursed since choosing Canada I dont think canada or ivory coast has anything at all to do with his form. He would be in the same position either way.

He has always come across to me as someone that needs affirmation and an arm around the shoulder.

He wouldnt have got that in Barca. Step up or step down. Looks like he got chewed up and spat out. 

Maybe we need a Supporters rally to rescue Ballou and give him some love and belief to get back on track.

So much talent and potential. I think and hope a CPL move is too soon for him. He has to wait until 2021 to play for team SK anyway! :p

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8 hours ago, Obinna said:

I hate to be the one to say this, but his trajectory has been downhill since he decided to play for us. If your goal is to one day play for the Ivory Coast, and follow in the footsteps of your idol Drogba, but then you are convinced to play for Canada instead, do you have the same motivation? Is your why big enough? Can’t help but wonder this....

I know international footy is important to these guys, but I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t be motivated by the idea of being a pro footy player, and making a living playing for some of the biggest teams in the world.  To get to this level, these guys have to love the game and share that dream - and that isn’t dependant on suiting up for a specific national team.  Heck, if it was that important to him to play for IC, there is no way he would have committed to us so early.  

I think this is just a case of someone whose mindset isn’t matched to the demands of the teams he his talent has taken him to.  Wouldn’t be the first time, and won’t be the last.  I just hope he gets back on track.  

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3 hours ago, dyslexic nam said:

I know international footy is important to these guys, but I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t be motivated by the idea of being a pro footy player, and making a living playing for some of the biggest teams in the world.  To get to this level, these guys have to love the game and share that dream - and that isn’t dependant on suiting up for a specific national team.  Heck, if it was that important to him to play for IC, there is no way he would have committed to us so early.  

I think this is just a case of someone whose mindset isn’t matched to the demands of the teams he his talent has taken him to.  Wouldn’t be the first time, and won’t be the last.  I just hope he gets back on track.  

Very good points, but note I am not saying he is not motivated by the idea of being a pro footy player. Of course he is motivated by that. He wouldn't have gotten this far without that motivation and desire to be a professional. I am talking about maybe that 5% extra that is perhaps lacking now that his vision has changed. 

Totally speculating by the way. I do not know Tabla or have any idea what he is like as a person.

You must admit though, his drop off did coincide with joining us (roughly).

And perhaps it has nothing to do with giving up on the IC. Maybe it was his inability to make an impact for Canada in his two caps. He had some great chances that he never put away if I recall correctly and if he scores them maybe he gets that confidence and has more of a run in the team? Maybe his inability to make an impact for Canada carried over to his club form?

I remember he sounded very determined in an interview as he vowed to give Herdman no choice but to play him (I am paraphrasing). I wonder if he would have that same fire if you asked him about that today?

I still believe he can play a role with us. He is an unbelievable talent. But, I am worried about his stagnation (no matter the reason).

Edited by Obinna

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He is no doubt disappointed with how things played out after the much ballyhooed move to Barcelona.  How he responds to the challenge will most likely determine what role if any he plays for Canada going forward.  If he can overcome this he will probably be a solid player for us going forward even with our skill up front.  If not maybe Herdman can Ritchie Laryea him and turn him into a back.😉

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I  think his drop started when he began having problems with his manager (demanding transfer etc) at Montreal in 2017.  A year before he committed to us. I didnt follow his Barcelona adventure all that closely but did he ever settle in and have some noteworthy performances??  If he had done well there I dont think he would have decided on his INT future so soon. 

He is a player with lots of potential and you see flashes of a skill but when did he ever really perform at a high level for any length of time?  Eventually he has to win a spot at a club (la liga 2 segunda, MLS...somewhere) before he can seriously be talked about as a member of CMNT.  The days of calling guys who dont play at their clubs are mostly over for us.  

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42 minutes ago, Bison44 said:

I  think his drop started when he began having problems with his manager (demanding transfer etc) at Montreal in 2017.  A year before he committed to us. I didnt follow his Barcelona adventure all that closely but did he ever settle in and have some noteworthy performances??  If he had done well there I dont think he would have decided on his INT future so soon. 

He is a player with lots of potential and you see flashes of a skill but when did he ever really perform at a high level for any length of time?  Eventually he has to win a spot at a club (la liga 2 segunda, MLS...somewhere) before he can seriously be talked about as a member of CMNT.  The days of calling guys who dont play at their clubs are mostly over for us.  

His first games with Barca B went very well! 

In the first game he came off the bench and made an immediate impact, generating several chances, completing successful dribbles, and giving his team an offensive threat. This was in La Liga 2 - which is more or less English Championship level. I remember watching that first game and the quality was pretty high. 

He was in and out of the team in that half-season (he joined in winter), but considering the level of competition many of us considered it a success. We knew Ballou was talented, but I think we were still presently surprised he got the minutes he did. And he was pretty good in those minutes.

Then in the summer he went on tour with the first team in America and did well again and even scored in a match. 

So with Barca B relegated to the third tier, and Ballou going on tour with the first team and having a full pre-season, you would have expected him to make an even bigger impact in his sophomore year, right?

Sadly, that didn't happen. It wasn't that he was bad, judging from accounts of his play (I didn't watch many of these matches), but he didn't take his game to the next level in the fall of 2018-19. This was also around the time he joined Canada, as we played that fall at BMO in nations league qualifying (against Dominica?) and that was his full international debut.

We know the rest of the story: He showed flashes of real quality for Canada, but didn't find the net or make an assist. Then in the winter, he was loaned to Albacate and it was strange because he was loaned to play a level up, although he wasn't tearing it up with the B side. I remember we never knew what to make of it - was it a promotion or demotion?

In the end, he couldn't find the field with a good team fighting for promotion to La Liga (which is kinda understandable).

So in summary, I would say his Barca career started promising in the winter of 2018 and then he stagnated in the fall of 2018 (around when he joined us) and then things fell off the rails from winter 2019 to present. Whether it is linked to playing for Canada is pure speculation, but I don't think it helped his confidence that he never impressed for us in the way David did (or even Millar). Especially considering the hype that was built around him due to being a "Barca" player.

It is quite sad, actually.... 

@Unnamed Trialist can probably give the best insight to this, as he has probably kept tabs on Tabla more than most since his time at Barca.

Edited by Obinna

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Well... we used to view him as the next "Davies". Maybe his move to Barcelona B and 2 NT courting him inflated his ego.

Time to come to terms with his actual value and get back to work.

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53 minutes ago, Ansem said:

Well... we used to view him as the next "Davies". Maybe his move to Barcelona B and 2 NT courting him inflated his ego.

Time to come to terms with his actual value and get back to work.

Geesh, maybe I have this wrong too, but werent we talking about Tabla before Davies came along??  Seems to me when the buzz started to get loud about Davies, I thought wow, good for Whitecaps, maybe they have found their own Tabla.  

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22 minutes ago, Jith12 said:

Now he's posting Nipsey Hussle quotes on Twitter:

Make of that what you will.

Edit: He has since deleted the Tweet.

Same quote Antonio Brown put up on is instagram a few days ago

Not a great sign to follow in ABs footsteps

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Lol I wouldn't read much into that...players quote rappers all the time.

What i am disappointed in is the fact he has the likes of Bernier and Drogba as personal mentors but still has to learn this stuff the hard way. 

Edit: Also...seeing top level pro's in person at Barcelona

Edited by Chad_Impact

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When you think about it what has Tabla really done? We hype him up because he was good for Montreal for like half a season and then went to Barca B where the association with the club helped the hype. But on the pitch he was okay for Barca B and didn't play at Albacete and now he's having issues at Montreal. He also probably was pointed out to the Ivory Coast because of Drogba (since they don't scout MLS, nor does MLS have a history of IC internationals), and because of his association with Barcelona. He was called up to the NT not because of what he was doing on the pitch, but more because we didn't want to lose him to IC, again, because of his club name giving him more visibility.

Tabla hasn't really ever impressed me, not at the same level as Davies did at Vancouver. He has no future at Barca and has come back feeling like a stagnant player at Montreal. He is still very young, and there is quality there, but I'm starting to getting Hanson Boakai vibes from him.

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It is really just because of his age that there is so much excitement - and it is the same reason why we are all hoping hard that he sorts things out.  An 18 or 19 year old having a good stint in MLS is exciting, even if it was just a short term thing.  

He performed with the Impact, and Barca saw enough potential in him to get him into their system.   That has to mean something.  I think if he gets his head on straight again, he can be a great player for us and for whatever club he settles in.  I am still hugely glad we got him to commit when he did.  He is 20 - and has a ton of time to come good.  

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As an IMFC fan, i feel IMFC is a large part of his issue (s).  Everyone knows he's a huge talent, we knew that when he was still a kid, i saw videos when he was only 13-14.  Everytime IMFC was asked when he'd get a start, the answer was always "we're trying to protect him".  Meanwhile IMFC was playing bozos like Choiniere, Oduro, Salazar and Ontivero.  Thats gotta hurt.  Meanwhile, he plays one exhibition game vs Roma and he outshines literally everyone on the field and we still don't see him get a real chance with the first team.  

IMFC kept implying he wasn't ready, needed help, etc...   fast forward a few months and Barcelona come calling.  Once he started seeing the bench again with them, its easy to lose confidence and spiral downwards.  He's needed playing time since he was 17 and hasn't gotten it.  He still has the talent, but he needs to see the field.  I feel IMFC still think they're too good for him.  He needs to go somewhere, anywhere that will make him play.  Belgium would be ideal.

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FFS Ballou. The only person that seems to want him to fail is himself.

Who does be surround himself with to get him so off track? Agent, friends, family feeding his ego? filling his head with how Montreal is only short term and the European offers will roll in? The truth is they wont. He will be released by Barca and will have to start bottom up a second tier player at best in Europe, worse If the attitude and mentality doesnt change.

He so obviously needs a mentor again. He is still young despite being around a few years. While he needs the love and support, it's a two way street and he has to make the effort back. 

 

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So you see sometimes it’s nice to actually get the real reason why a certain Canadian player is not seeing playing time in the MLS. Too many times people on these boards are to easy to jump to conclusions about why  for example player A who is Canadian is not getting a lot of playing time . Player A is not playing a lot because he is Canadian and the coach for example favours the American player. But sometimes there are real reasons why player A who is Canadian is not playing much and this Tabla story is a perfect example. Look at Richie Layrea he is getting a lot of playing time because he has performed when he has been on the field and probably also has the right attitude too. Like I keep saying if you play well and have the right attitude you will get playing time in any league MLS CPL or wherever yes even if your Canadian in the MLS. If you just don’t seem to be good enough and may also have attitude problems you ain’t seeing the field much !

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