Another game, another Diego Costa controversy. There seems to be no end to it this campaign, and there’s only been four games. This time, Costa was accused of taking his game of upsetting opponents and angering them too far, as well as seeing his overhead goal be suggested that it shouldn’t have stood as his foot was too high. Afterwards, it was debated that Costa needs protecting from other players as much as the other way around.
It is fairly safe to assume by now that Costa’s playing style is this way – aggressive, passionate, win-at-all-costs. His over-head kick on Sunday proved that he is a man who loves to play by using anger as his motivation, not un-like a lot of sporting athletes. Clearly, he goes close to the line but so far he has never deemed to have done anything to get himself sent off this season, although TV replays may debate this depending on what is deemed too aggressive. At the moment, he is just keeping within the rules.
Quite possibly, Costa is well aware of his actions and how far to take them. When Chelsea played Arsenal last season, the Spaniard was all-over defender Gabriel. The Arsenal defender reacted by stamping on Costa and was sent off. Chelsea went on to win 2-0. While the Chelsea striker could have also received his marching orders, once again he didn’t. It does suggest that the striker is well aware of what he can do to rile defenders and get them to lose their cool, while also staying on the pitch himself. Or it just suggests consecutive poor refereeing decisions.
With the striker as he is, he has developed a reputation, and that means opposition players always believe that they are about to get into a Costa-style scrap whenever they play Chelsea. Despite the Spaniard being able to protect himself, with defenders ready to get stuck-in, could this raise the risk of Costa being injured consistently as players go straight-in, giving kicks to let him know they’re there, or committing to dangerous tackles to try and out-wit him?
While the striker does play with dangerous aggression, often keeping just below the line or sometimes just over it, players are now giving it as much as they are receiving. When it comes to Costa, the word Karma could be used, however one thing to say is that the striker never injures a player and uses his anger almost tactically more than anything. He doesn’t necessarily need protecting, but nobody wants to see Costa getting a bad injury from an over-the-top challenge. It would make the League less entertaining, and we wouldn’t see any more over-head kicks.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Ben Sutherland.