This shouldn't be shocking to anyone who's followed Ballou. It's been pretty clear for a while that Ballou could benefit from a Psychologist. I still believe he's a spectacular talent, so I remain hopeful he can turn it around.
Speaking of psychology, here's my unqualified read on him: The young man was the star of Quebec youth soccer because his talent was off the charts, not because he outworked others or had a great attitude. Whether it was down to his entourage or his own personality we can only speculate, but either way he clearly had delusions of grandeur and saw himself as a world star footballer in the making.
It is quite healthy to dream of being a world star and make that your goal (the story of Jonathan David), but you don't get there by keeping toxic company or failing to be humble - that's the difference. Thinking you can get there without humility is delusional.
Some time back I mentioned how his Ivory Coast aspirations were a symptom of the problem. It was my theory that giving it all up for Canada was a major set back for him mentally. For someone like Davies, playing for Canada is/was bigger than him (you can just tell), so it was not a set back at all, it was more of a mission, but for Tabla it felt like his arm had to be twisted to play for us. Canada was not the sexy choice and we had no track record of success compared to IC, so his decision to play for Canada always struck me as bizarre - though I was happy he chose us.
He announced himself against Roma, was scouted by Chelsea and was signed by Barcelona (with a 25M release clause), so he was on his way to stardom on the surface of things. However, I can't help but feel he lost something the moment he declared for Canada, an "inferior" national team, AND failed to make an impact with said team. I honestly feel that it broke him, because he wasn't really the same after that.
If you go back and study his career you will see that following his two senior caps in 2018, things started to go downhill.
I believe in general that holding on to delusions are a sign of a fragile ego and low self-confidence. When you truly believe in yourself, you know in your heart of hearts you can fail and come back stronger. Delusion is not a replacement for self-confidence, it is a cloak and/or a coping mechanism.
Anyways, enough of my arm chair analysis...
Let's just keep supporting him, because he's not a lost cause. He's still under contract and he's getting into cup matches and scoring. He was also part of the U-23 Olympic team, looked a bit more mature, and played rather decently.