Diego Costa’s fearsome character has helped him, according to critics, with his goal-scoring. He used his anger to motivate himself, to take himself further than he perhaps would get if he was sober. His mere presence, as a result, made the opposition defenders lose their heads. Even the best ones have had struggles in making sure they don’t lose their self-consciousness in spite of this guy.
This was the Diego Costa that his own club’s supporters thought of as a vintage hero, but who opposition supporters thought of as a villain and a big obstruction in the path to glory for their respective teams.
This was the Diego Costa that Chelsea fans would love to see come back again.
In the last game against West Bromwich Albion, Costa was not an object to be feared, but rather an object who became bothered. He worked his ass off, but not in the manner which gets the team goals. His persistency was still there, but it lacked the charisma that he’s, at his best, usually associated with. The West Brom players had got to him. And he became, shall we say, a clear reflection of Chelsea themselves this season.
Chelsea play well when they don’t allow the opposition to make them afraid and tense. So does Costa. If and when Chelsea do let the opposition get into their heads, they have, more often than not, lost games. Costa’s scoring record and overall performance record is clearly reminiscent of that.
He’s played well in games that Chelsea, overall, has. In games when he’s allowed himself to be sucked into the endless heated arguing against the opposition players, he’s lost his vision, his calm in front of goal, and his overall footballing ability. Never once has he been able to come back after he gets overly angry. But, when he keeps this anger at a medium level, even though it’s hard to do for such a fiery character, he’s been at his best.
To provide an example of what this ‘point of no-return’ does to him, you could refer, obviously, to the West Brom game midweek. He was more interested in getting one over his defender than he was at putting the ball into the back of the net. You could see him, persisting and persisting in his effort to dribble past 2 or 3 defenders on his own during counter-attacks, even when there are teammates open and a simple ball to them can bring a great opportunity for the team. Instead, he was unsuccessful, more often than not, in his attempt to beat all those defenders, and then he just lets his frustration take over and he ends up smashing the pitch.
The point is, no matter how much talent you have, if you are forgetting what you get out on the field for in the first place, then it’s not worth keeping you. You’d think that any striker is better than him if he does this every game. But, no, Chelsea won’t be able to do as well with a ‘second-class’ striker like Remy, or Berahino of West Brom in place of Costa because, as I said earlier, Costa still has that presence about him which makes the creative players think more creatively, and feel much more comfortable in possession. What Chelsea need is an option equal or better than Costa at his best, even though those are hard to come by. Competition, more than anything, is the best solution for keeping footballers focused on football instead of a grudge-match.