We start off with the weekends controversy surrounding Diego Costa. The situation hasn’t been helped by Kurt Zouma apparently agreeing with media that the club are not surprised by the antics of Costa and that they know he is a cheat.
Zouma went on to say that the club are pleased with the way Costa plays. Obviously to the outside world this doesn’t look good and young Zouma has clearly not been advised correctly on the way he talks to media – if these reports are true.
I think Zouma’s naivety and age has caused this lapse of concentration and he’s failed to realise the bigger picture and consequences. But at the end of the day, who can argue with what he is saying? Costa’s game plan IS to get at players, wind them up, make little digs and frankly be very unsportsmanlike.
It does concern me though that these actions are seemingly encouraged by the club and players. Being a Coach of young footballers myself, it worries me that I am witnessing 10 year old’s going in to the game, copying the ways of people like Costa. To me, this isn’t football and I disagree with Mourinho on this subject. Of course yes it is part of the game, but that doesn’t make it right.
I wonder, would he and certain supporters be so defensive of Diego Costa if he had deservedly got sent off and we went on to lose to Arsenal on Saturday and drop in the relegation zone? No, of course they wouldn’t. Costa get’s away with murder and now after all this attention it is getting, we WILL see referee’s tightening up on him and he WILL get sent off, it’s inevitable. He WILL lose us more matches. And it’s not even like he scored a goal for us that game and his general all round play and distribution was poor, yet Mourinho names him man of the match?
Are we missing something here? Because all I saw was a clumsy and erratic striker losing the ball often and being highly predictable on his headless runs at defenders, cutting inside and then losing the ball. Am I the only person who saw this!?
The incident in the game that really made these thoughts come to the surface for me is at the end of the game when the match was already won against Arsenal – Costa got involved in a spat with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (one of the games nice guys who doesn’t have a bad bone in his body). Costa barged Chamberlain and flicked out a leg – much to the disbelief of the Arsenal winger who had clearly done nothing wrong or even tried to get involved. But this could have been a red for Costa again and he was consequently taken off by Mourinho. Why do that at that stage of the game? It’s preposterous. Then he went off the pitch angry for being taken off, shouting and blaming everyone else spitting his dummy. I’m sorry Costa but you were hugely lucky that you got taken off by choice and not sent off whilst losing us the game.
Before you jump on me for saying Costa is poor, I’m by far from saying that. Costa is a good striker, he will always get goals and his presence up top is vital. But unfortunately he will also lose us games this season by getting sent off for stupidity that he doesn’t even need to get involved in and I am sorry but as a grass roots coach at youth level, I will NEVER encourage that or condone it. Frankly, it’s disgraceful and I am sad to be associated with it.
People are comparing Costa’s ways to Didier Drogba but I’m sorry – it’s a whole different ball game. Although Drogba would often dive and play act – he was never spiteful or vicious and even for opponents it was hard to hate him if only in a jealous way. No Chelsea fan would ever question what Drogba was doing, but I’m hearing many discontentment with Costa from fans. Drogba will always be remembered as a gentlemen and an all round nice guy. He never had the look of wanting to kill someone, Costa does.
Football is and should be a game played with respect. We have various campaigns going on backed by high profile players such as ‘kick racism out’. We are all trying to make and keep the game respectful – yet we have these antics going on at the highest level that is being encouraged by some people. It’s beyond belief to me. Youngsters will copy this style of play and think that it is right.
You can be an aggressive player without the nastiness, you can be one of the worlds best without cheating – Lionel Messi as the obvious example of this. You don’t see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale spending their whole game kicking out, flicking, pinching or putting their fingers up players noses do you? No, because they are busy doing what they are paid to do – be world class football players.
As a Chelsea supporter though, I will ALWAYS support whoever is out their wearing that shit. But this situation I am finding increasingly difficult, especially with the support of the Manager. I fear this support will only backfire and lead to regrets when referee’s finally get tough on Costa. And it’s not just Costa who plays this way, the laws of the game will get strict with all of these players because it is what the game demands and it’s punters expects.
Bottom line – Costa could end up losing us more games than he wins us when the luck runs out.
That’s it for now Blues but follow my Twitter here for the latest Chelsea news – @cfcneteditor
Simon Phillips – News Editor – CFCnet