Chelsea: Diego Costa Lacks Class But We Don't Care
So, it didn't take long for Diego Costa to finally get under a few people’s skin, and don’t expect it to be the last time. Following a couple of innocuous run-ins with Everton right back Seamus Coleman on Saturday Costa got his own back by taunting Coleman after the third goal went in.
Taunting a young man after he has scored an own goal in front of his own fans certainly lacks class, and Tim Howard made his opinion known. What Chelsea fans will love is how utterly unfazed he looked when squared up by the six-foot, three-inch, bearded goalkeeper. Costa is ultra-competitive and has that classic combination of a short fuse and a long memory which makes him a disciplinary risk and an intimidating opponent.
Roberto Martinez chimed in:“I think there are certain foreign players who, when they come to the Premier League, they need to understand the ethics” he said. “It is a completely different culture and the last thing you want to be is disrespectful from a player to another player, even if he is on the opposing team. I am sure he will learn that very quickly.” I wouldn’t be so sure, Roberto.
This is natural, Costa’s behaviour had the intended effect of riling up the opposition and gave the rest of the league their first real glimpse of the Costa many will know well: the aggravator. Suggesting that he is consciously trying to incite opponents rage may be a push though, it is more a reaction to his surroundings and born from his desire to compete. Much like Luis Suarez but without the violence and racism. Saying that Costa, or any other individual for that matter, is the reason Chelsea have been able to score at a much higher rate so far this season is short sighted though.
Yes, Fabregas has also been instrumental, as I documented in Chelsea’s first game against Burnely, and as shown with his perfectly weighted through ball for Costa’s early opener on Saturday. Costa’s second was wonderfully composed, and four goals in his first three games (it took Fernando Torres 39) is a fantastic start. However, even though Chelsea didn’t have as much possession as they are used to, the space afforded to them when they did have the ball (just 38%) will be cause for concern for Roberto Martinez’s side.
Burnley and Leicester weren't exactly tough tests, and Everton, for all their billing coming into the game on Saturday, were poor. The midfield duo of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy weren’t within ten yards of Cesc when he played that through ball through a gap the size of a bus that has rolled over on its side. Everton’s midfield pressing was so poor it made Ramires look good passing the ball.
At the other end Chelsea have been uncharacteristically sloppy at the back, allowing three goals in on Saturday. Naturally the blame always seems to be leveled at another target of opposing fan bile: John Terry.
Looking back at Everton’s goals the veteran centre back is not at fault. For the first he is in his classic position: the ball is wide and he takes up a position on the corner of the six yard box, ready to clear anything short. This relies on Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic covering the two zones in behind him, and Cahill allowed Kevin Mirallas to get a run on him when the cross proved to be too high for Terry. Ivanovic was marking Samuel Eto’o for the third. Lucky for him he’s attacking better than Oscar right now.
Cahill and Ivanovic were again at fault for Everton’s second, getting sucked to Terry’s side and leaving Gary Naismith all the time in the world to get his customary goal against them. People love to blame Terry but he is still one of the best organisers, and best positioned, in the league. He may get caught out in behind once or twice this season, but nothing Everton did phased him directly.
People aren't talking about John Terry though. Diego Costa took all the headlines, and that's natural. His desire to win will often spill over into reprehensible behaviour. The media and opposing fans will hate this, Chelsea fans will love him for it.
Remind you of anyone?