Demba Ba blasts Senegal boss after African Nations Cup omission
Besiktas forward Demba Ba has hit out at Senegal coach Alain Giresse, calling the Frenchman "a puppet" after he was left out of his country's African Nations Cup squad.
Ba, 29, was the glaring omission from Giresse's selection when the Senegal boss named his squad to challenge for the African crown in Equatorial Guinea.
With 16 goals in 20 competitive outings for his club this season, Ba expected to be called up, particularly with Newcastle United forward Papiss Demba Cisse included but struggling with a troublesome knee injury.
Former Newcastle and Chelsea forward Ba had already made his feelings clear when news of his omission was first announced, using his Twitter account to say he would "destroy" his excuses before retweeting a series of messages about the decision.
Now, in an interview with Sen360°, Ba has suggested Giresse had been put under pressure to leave him out.
"It's easy to explain why I wasn't called up," he is quoted as saying. "After the list was made public, you get the impression you're dealing more with a puppet than the coach of a national team, because when you see certain decisions in the squad, you say to yourself that he didn't make them. And I have proof. Giresse is a coach who doesn't know what to do in the dressing room.
"Alain Giresse mustn't use the injuries as an excuse. A few years ago, I broke my leg. But I have had three-and-a-half or four years in England. I have missed only two games due to injury. It's nice of him to use injuries as an excuse, but he should really find a better one.
"He says I cannot play every three days. This season I have scored eight goals in Europe and as many in the league. And to play those competitions, you have to play Thursdays and Sundays, don't you?"
Provisional Senegal squad for African Nations Cup
Goalkeepers: Bouna Coundoul (Ethnikos Achnas FC, Cyprus), Lys Gomis (Trappani, Italy), Pape Demba Camara (Sochaux, France), Ousmane Mane (Diambars)
Defenders: Zargo Toure (Le Havre, France), Lamine Gassama (Lorient, France), Lamine Sane (Bordeaux, France), Kara Mbodj (Genk, Belgium), Pape Ndiaye Souare (Lille, France), Papy Djilobodji (Nantes, France), Boukary Drame (Atalanta, Italy), Ibrahima Mbaye (Inter Milan, Italy), Cheikh Mbengue (Rennes, France)
Midfielders: Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham, England), Pape Kouli Diop (Levante, Spain), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Lille, France), Stephane Badji (Brann, Norway), Salif Sane (Hanover, Germany), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Bodo Glimt, Norway), Alfred Ndiaye (Real Betis, Spain).
Strikers: Moussa Konate (SC Sion, Switzerland), Diafra Sakho (West Ham, England), Mame Birame Diouf (Stoke City, England), Sadio Mane (Southampton, England), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle, England), Henri Saivet (Bordeaux, France), Dame Ndoye (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia).