15th October, 2021
Demba Ba has revealed how former Chelsea captain John Terry confronted ex-coach Rafael Benitez after their defeat to Manchester City in an FA Cup semi-final encounter.
Chelsea lost 2-1 to City in April 2013 and Ba confirmed that the aftermath was a heated atmosphere in the dressing room.
He said Benitez criticized the team’s lack of intensity after the game but Terry stood up to defend his teammates.
“Big players will take responsibility on the pitch but also off it when things don’t go the right way,” Ba told the Athletic.
“I remember when we lost 2-1 to Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final, Rafa was criticising our lack of intensity after the game. But John Terry went: ‘No gaffer, the problem is that our training lacks intensity.’
“Rafa’s training was mostly tactical, but the players wanted it to be more full-blooded. So the two of them had a frank exchange of views in front of everyone, and the next day, the whole team got together to talk things through as well. We didn’t lose any more games after that.”
In 2012, Benitez succeeded Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge.
The Spaniard helped the club to win the 2012-13 Europa League title- which was Ba’s first major title – but he was not welcomed by fans.
Ba who retired from professional football in September described the experience as ‘crazy’.
“It was weird because Rafa was getting booed by the Chelsea supporters at every game,” he said. “To see your manager getting booed all the time is crazy. But he stayed focused.
“He managed to get us into the Champions League, we finished third, he won the Europa League, and we went to two semi-finals in the domestic cups. So he must have been good.”