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9 hours ago, costarg said:

I'm sorry, what?  "way that Drogba appeared to have a positive influence on him"?  If anything that's the moment his career went off the rails and stagnated.  All his troubles started at exactly that moment.  A few months before he was lighting up highlight reels and people were really starting to talk.  Once Drogba came, all the Ivory Coast talk started along with the rumours about his attitude and arrogance.  I liked Drogba and all, but i don't feel he was a positive influence on Tabla at all.

I always got the impression his troubles started when he moved to Barca

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One of the best Canadian soccer interviews I've read in a long time, although some parts were unnecessary in my opinion. I have decided to translate it as literally as possible, without spending

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1 hour ago, Blackdude said:

I don't buy the Drogba thing. I think Ballou's path has been complicated since he was 16.

Yeah the timeline doesn’t even make sense.  Drogba had been at Montreal before Ballou joined the first team .. he then earned a move to Barcelona after his first year.  Hardly a bad influence.

I think Barca was a wake up call but the true “dive” was when he was loaned to Albacete.  That’s it.  He was never going to play first team at Barcelona so he needed to show himself at a good level and he never got that chance. 

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12 hours ago, costarg said:

I'm sorry, what?  "way that Drogba appeared to have a positive influence on him"?  If anything that's the moment his career went off the rails and stagnated.  All his troubles started at exactly that moment.  A few months before he was lighting up highlight reels and people were really starting to talk.  Once Drogba came, all the Ivory Coast talk started along with the rumours about his attitude and arrogance.  I liked Drogba and all, but i don't feel he was a positive influence on Tabla at all.

Drogba was a player that always gave 100% in his prime and during his return to Chelsea. He toiled for many years in the French leagues before the big transfer to Chelsea. There is no way he inflated Tabla's ego... That's on Tabla.  The Ivory Coast or Canada wavering is another issue...none of us know the facts. It was reported that Drogba did tell Ballou to focus on soccer and that the national team decision would sort itself out. Tabla looked fragile since his move to Barça and the stage is now set for him to excel once again.

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18 hours ago, toontownman said:

No choiniere either. Definitely worried about Tabla. On the upside he is likely free for the qualifiers and that is a huge chance for him. On the downside if we get pouty uninterested underconfident Tabla it's a wasted spot in a tiny squad.

At this point I wouldn't even call him for the U-23s when you consider how little he has played and the other options we have 

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13 minutes ago, JuicyHam said:

At this point I wouldn't even call him for the U-23s when you consider how little he has played and the other options we have 

Exactly. No idea whether he will be in or out of the 20 man squad but I dont think it would be a real shock if he wasnt picked. Millar, Borges, Buchanan, Schaffleburg and Zanatta are all getting more minutes out wide. 

Obviously an on form confident, first stint at impact Ballou would be everyone's first pick but if we get what we have seen the last year there are better options.

My gut is he still gets picked.

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16 hours ago, badname22 said:

Hopefully just until their defenders recover and then push someone like Raitala out wide

Raitala is out for a few months... aside from him and Corrales I don't know if anyone else can play left back/left wing back. You'd think that Bayiha would be a more natural fit to make that move rather than Tabla but 🤔

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If playing in the back improves his defensive work I don't mind it. If playing in the back gets him on the field I don't mind it. If playing in the back improves his decision making I don't mind it.

Those are seemingly 3 challenges with Tabla at the moment. He switches off defensively, doesn't play as much as his talent deserves, and does have a habit of unessesarily slowing down the play when he is isolated with the ball 1 v 1.

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3 hours ago, Obinna said:

If playing in the back improves his defensive work I don't mind it. If playing in the back gets him on the field I don't mind it. If playing in the back improves his decision making I don't mind it.

Those are seemingly 3 challenges with Tabla at the moment. He switches off defensively, doesn't play as much as his talent deserves, and does have a habit of unessesarily slowing down the play when he is isolated with the ball 1 v 1.

Agree with all of this.

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I watched a year of Ballou at Barça B, and he was often asked to track back and hold, even deep into his own end. And then would progress slowly, modestly, forward, into attack. He was fairly disciplined and did not do badly. Remember half of that was in Spanish 2nd division.

I am more concerned that there is no one telling him to go for it, to break some balls going forward, to take risks and not worry about it not working. How many attacking moves are successful, maybe 5% overall? He really needs to be psychologically molded into being daring and reckless, rather than the other, which I just see as a way of babysitting him while he figures out the other stuff.

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