The Curious Case of Diego Costa

Chelsea’s striker is both a supreme talent and magnet for controversy.

Diego Costa has no problem playing the villain, which just may be the problem for the Chelsea forward. During 2014 he netted twenty goals in twenty-six games played, a prestigious campaign for any striker, yet he did so while also conceding over thirty fouls (thirty-three to be exact) and pocketing eight different card bookings. Within the 2015 EPL season Diego already has 6 fouls, 2 cards, and only 1 goal and an assist within seven games.

The problem isn’t in the penalties, but the reputation that Costa has been building steadily for having a playstyle that no one in the Premier League can come to a consensus on. Arsene Wenger calls his play style “unacceptable” after his forearm harassment of Laurent Koscielny during their 2015 Derby Match, while Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho lauded his striker and said he should be man of the match, further insinuating that anyone who thinks differently likely “grew up playing badminton”. Some critics call Costa a thug street-fighter type while others, Costa included, say that this is his playing style and what he brings to the table causes people to tune in. Michael Cox framed him in his 2014 article like this,

“a snarling, indefatigable centre-forward who hunts down opponents relentlessly, who works the channels tirelessly…Beautiful to watch on the ball, horrible to watch when he starts getting angry, Costa is a terrifying opponent.”

Unfortunately for Diego and Chelsea, the FA is not seeing his performance on Saturday in a positive light. The board has announced,

“Diego Costa has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video. The Chelsea forward was involved in an incident with Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny in the 43rd minute of the game.”

A panel of three elite referees will review the footage independently and if Costa is found guilty by unanimous decision he will suffer a three game suspension. This will not be Costa’s first time facing a forced vacation as he was denied appeal and suffered a three game suspension for his stomp on Liverpool player Emre Can during the League Cup semi-final.

As Diego continues to embody his reputation as Premier League panto-villain, the cards will come quicker and quicker and the talented striker will see the pitch less and less.

Mourniho would do well to remind him of that.

C.M. Stock

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