Benched Costa sulks, as Mourinho makes his point

Date published: Sunday 29th November 2015 2:41

Diego Costa: Having a frustrating season at Chelsea

Diego Costa: Having a frustrating season at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho described the display as Chelsea’s best of the season and spoke of a renewed team spirit after Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham.

Not that Diego Costa looked to have any of that shared togetherness after his petulant afternoon in north London.

The Portuguese boss denied a falling out with Costa, whom he dropped for the first time in his Chelsea career, but Mourinho was undoubtedly making a point, a stance that he is the man at the helm, that he makes the decisions, that he is the man Roman Abramovich has backed, despite their woeful start to the season.

The benched Costa swung his bib over his head with disdain at White Hart Lane, but Mourinho was blissfully unaware as he focused on Chelsea’s disciplined draw.

Mourinho opted to drop Costa to the bench, and the Spain striker did not seem too impressed. The 27-year-old failed to join in the pre-match warm-up with the rest of his Chelsea team-mates at White Hart Lane – a fact which irked former Spurs gaffer Harry Redknapp, who claimed “there would be murders” if that had happened while he was manager of a club.

Costa’s body language throughout the match was that of a child who had seen their favourite toy confiscated. He then, with full-time approaching, tossed his bib in the direction of Mourinho and refused to show up for the warm down with the rest of the Chelsea subs. But there’s been no major falling out, so we’re led to believe.

Costa has been an almost ever present for Mourinho this season starting 11 games in the league, but he has managed just three goals, while at the same point last term the targetman had scored 12 times.  


He did though grab the all-important goal in the 1-0 win against Norwich last weekend, and his omission did come as a surprise on Sunday afternoon, but it was a fully justified one. Mourinho instead opted for Eden Hazard in a false nine position with Oscar, Pedro and Willian the three behind the Belgian playmaker, and Chelsea looked compact and dangerous on the counter-attack, especially in the first 45 minutes.

Hazard revealed last week he had spoken to Mourinho about playing in his preferred No. 10 position prior to the end of Chelsea’s League Cup defence at Stoke City, when Hazard missed the decisive penalty in a shootout. “I said to him: ‘Maybe we have to try to change something. If I can play number 10?’ And we try,” said Hazard. “I played a very good game in the (League) Cup in Stoke. And, (against Norwich), it was the same.

“I just want to be on the pitch. And if I play number 10 or on the flanks it’s not a problem.”

Mourinho obliged and Hazard put in a man-of-the-match display, but over the weekend he revealed he does not fancy Hazard in the No. 10 role on a permanent basis.

“We have different concepts of No. 10. Me and him,” said Mourinho.

So instead he started Hazard as the focal point in attack, and the Belgian almost rewarded the decision with his first goal of the season. The makeshift striker initiated a smart move which ended with him heading over the bar when well placed in the first half and in the second period his brilliantly controlled volley was palmed away by Hugo Lloris.

But that was about the sum total of Chelsea’s attacking, despite threatening on several occasions to break quickly on their hosts. The speed and link-up play between Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Oscar was encouraging – and more like the Chelsea of last season – but Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic again struggled to impress with the ball and in Fabregas’ case the form he showed for his country recently, but Mourinho, who resisted the temptation to introduce Costa as a second-half sub, was more than content.

Spurs, now unbeaten in 13 Premier League games, have been brushing aside their rivals of late and another clean-sheet – their third in succession – will be encouraging for Mourinho as his team begin to show the shoots of recovery. They limited Tottenham to very few sights of goal and were well worth a point on a ground where they were hammered 5-3 last season.

Hazard’s speed of thought and fleet of foot set up the majority of Chelsea’s best attacking assaults, but the compact manner which Chelsea and Hazard pressed Tottenham from the halfway line was impressive. In fact Hazard – criticised by Mourinho for his work rate – dashed back 50 yards to halt a Spurs foray forward in the first half and he set the tone for a disciplined, hardworking team performance.

Without a recognised striker and last season’s 25-goal top scorer Costa, it was a new formation, but it was much more like the strong, spirited and disciplined Chelsea of old.

Matthew Briggs

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Home Forums Benched Costa sulks, as Mourinho makes his point

This topic contains 21 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  nine nine nine 1 year ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 22 total)
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  • #719181
    Matthew Briggs
    Matthew Briggs
    Moderator

    Jose Mourinho described the display as Chelsea’s best of the season and spoke of a renewed team spirit after Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham.

    [See the full post at: Benched Costa sulks, as Mourinho makes his point]

    #719193

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Hopefully it shakes Costa up.

    Currently he is a shadow of the player we saw in the first half of last season how Costa reacts to it from here and if it’s not positive will shape his future at Chelsea.

    #719210
    Chelsea.man
    Chelsea.man
    Participant

    Good results though, spurs away was always bound to be a tough game. very pleased with the display, disappointed that we didn’t take the rare chance we got. but any way can’t complain. if i was offered a point against an inform spurs i will have happily taken it. the defensive solidity is returning slowly. Oscar was my man of the match. Hazard tried well. the downside of the result is the bad blood between Costa and Mourinho. they are not good looking images. the sooner its resolved the better for our team. now Bournmouth is next. one game at a time. pleased that Fabregas is improving his game. so to Matic. the future is looking good for this great club. remember this is the same stadium that City lost 4-1. in that case this draw is good.

    #719237

    michael_nri
    Participant

    Glad to see Costa on the bench. With Mr Oliver as the referee, Costa would have gone for an early bath because he would not put up with any of Costa’s tantrums. I wish JM persists with this formation in next match. There is no room for any player who does not want to pull his weight.

    #719330
    liquidator
    liquidator
    Participant

    I’m very happy with the performance and pretty pleased with the result. Defensively, we looked solid, and could have nicked it with two or three decent chances. When you consider T*ttenham are probably the league’s form team at the moment, and Kane has been on fire, you have to be happy with how we contained them at their place.

    With regard to the Costa issue, he can have no complaints about being dropped, given his recent performance, and Mourinho set up a team in a given way, and got what he wanted out of the game. The bib issue was stupid by Costa, as it just fuels more negative media, but its another storm in another teacup, and those that want to wet their pants about it, will. I would put money on Costa starting against Bournemouth at the Bridge next Saturday

    #719392

    Disleksickerik
    Participant

    Liquidator. Costa’s “bib” issue was the action of a complete idiot. The bloke is an unfit brainless liability. In the greater shape of things, whether he starts or not next week does not really matter one jot in a hill of beans. He is no longer worth bothering about. He’s probably on his way out. But do feel free to stick your money on the bloke if you are that way inclined.

    #719400

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    liquidator, the perfect analysis.

    #719449

    NorthernBahrain
    Participant

    looking at the performance i can only say the 3rd season syndrome theory for jose is in fact a reality, but a 4th season in charge will may turn that theory on its head and potentially ad another dimension to Jose. looking at the last 5 games for Chelsea it is evident their are problems in the dressing room, however i think can be fixed if Jose is backed. for me with from my sources there are inherent problems with senior players who in the past has used Roman Abramovich’s approach to sacking managers to their advantage. if you look at the situation the 4 key players 2 of which were signed last season are complete opposites to last season. the 4 players i am talking about is Terry, Ivannovic, Fabregas and Costa which really make up the spine of the team in terms of where they are on the pitch and the infuence they have on the pitch and in the dressing room. i know Hazard and Matic have been a miss this season but they have shown improvement and really could have been rotated effectively to give them some much needed rest. however the other 4 for me look out of sorts and look to not want to play for the manager, and before Chelsea fans slate me about Terry please note he was influential in getting Jose out of Chelsea the first time round. for me Chelsea need to change their approach, they have 2 players for each position plus 33 players out on loan with a small percentage made up of local youth products. the key to sustained sucsess is having a core backbone of youth products who has the clubs ethos installed in the club… this was evident of Liverpool, Utd, Bayern and Barcelona…. Fergie would even use the younger players to keep senior players on their toes which worked to great effect which is something jose and Chelsea needs to consider, going forward… for me this season is a write off for chelsea and removing the 4 players mentioned from the squad for a while and placing in some much needed youthful exuberance may provide a necessary lift to the squad and send a strong message to how the Chelsea will be run in the near future.

    #719453

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    NorthernBahrain, be interested to know who your sources are reporting inherent problems in the dressing room ???

    Terry has been a magnificent servant to the club but is probably coming to the end of the road at Chelsea but he’s played well in his last few games and has always been committed, Ivanovich has just suffered a complete lack of form but even being so out of form Mourinho continued to pick him when it would have been far easier to leave him out which suggests to me there are no problems between them and Fabregas who has struggled for form since Christmas but according to the stats is still running more miles than anybody else in the team and imo Costa has just lost his way.

    Is the dressing room a completely happy place? I suspect not players don’t like going from winners to losers and they certainly don’t like losing their place in the team as Costa demonstrated yesterday!

    Great theory on the youngsters but who is managing to do that nowdays?

    #719467

    CFC1905
    Participant

    Have not seen any football this weekend so hard to comment on the quality of the game. However, I had previously stated that this was our biggest test for a while, that I would not be surprised if we lost and that a draw would be considered a good result. Therefore, I am more than happy with the result and it keeps of progress and momentum going in the right direction. Very brave decision to bench Costa for such a high profile game but obviously totally v=indicated and to be fair – fully deserved. Costa has not been playing well and as Jose says, he deserves to be dropped as much as any of the other high profile players. for me, this sends out a clear message that no one is deemed safe and that Jose will do what is required for the team. KTBFFH

    #719515

    Disleksickerik
    Participant

    Northern Bahrain / Nine Nine Nine. Is the dressing room split? That’s an interesting question. I wouldn’t say ‘split’ as such, but I would imagine there are a few bad vibes from players not dancing to Jose’s hymn-sheet. The fact is, Mourinhio wants to play Mozart, but some players are happier playing Bubble-Gum.

    #719593

    Blueowner
    Participant

    Chelsea.man I would be interested to know why Oscar was your man of the match-while he did little wrong he also hardly did anything at all- I thought of the attacking players Hazard had the best game but still not up to his previous standards-while the man of the match for me was either Cahill or Begovich who were both outstanding.

    #719671

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    I thought Hazard was back to his best again yesterday which following very good performances v both Stoke and Norwich suggests he might be over his loss of form.

    #719672

    Ro Tab
    Participant

    I know the feeling-not very nice for anyone to sit constantly on the bench but that fact that you getting paid big bucks for doing virtually nothing except train makes up for it.

    #719709
    liquidator
    liquidator
    Participant

    Disleksikeik. Good job we were carrying the liability of Costa’s 20 + goals last season, eh? The point of him playing next week is that its a game at home we are expected to win and where we are expected to have most of the possession, which is an entirely different scenario to yesterday. Costa scored in the last similar game (although played poorly), and I would expect him to start on Saturday, which would happily crush the excitement of all those who want to see the Costa / Mourinho / Bib issue as the latest hyped out of all proportion Chelsea dramatic crises. Whether he plays well, scores or is still at Chelsea in February remains to be seen. My money isn’t on any of those things.

    I was pretty critical here last week of Costa, and stated I would rather see Remy given a run, but next Saturday should be a good opportunity to give Cost a chance to re-discover his form, because when he is good, he is very very good. I also see no need to pounce on every negative Chelsea story out there and roundly and insultingly criticise the players and management of the club I support at every opportunity on a public forum

    #719892

    Disleksickerik
    Participant

    Liquidator. It’s obvious that Costa was great last season. It’s just as obvious that he has been poor this season. It’s also obvious to me that he is carrying an extra few kilos these days which could be part of the reason why he is nowhere near as sharp. Perhaps the manager should have a quiet word. Mourhinio was right to shake his rattle, but I was not surprised that Costa chucked a dummy. Who could be? It is simply the nature of the beast. As for criticising players and/or management when they are underperforming, are you serious? What do they deserve, a tip of the hat? Criticism and praise is what a forum like this is all about. It thrives on it. So get a grip mate, after all, Chelsea are only 5 points above Newcastle!

    #719929

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    As Mark Holmes succinctly put it in his lead article “talk about a fuss about nothing”!

    I would wager a pound to a penny that there is not only a very good chance that Costa will come back in v Bournemouth but there’s probably a fair chance he will score too, perhaps more importantly than that he might start getting himself into some decent positions again.

    The fact is that Costa needed motivating and Mourinho wanted to try a different tactic in v Spurs the latter almost delivered three points but for a fantastic save from Lloris let’s wait and see what the former ultimately delivers!

    #720275
    liquidator
    liquidator
    Participant

    Disleksikerik – Its becoming pretty clear not only from this thread but your responses on others you only read the bits in messages that suit your agenda, and ignore the rest. Add this to you making authoritative sounding statements based on not only no evidence, but plentiful evidence to the contrary, and I am thinking maybe you are a professional politician.

    I clearly stated I personally was critical of Costa (its there, right at the beginning of the paragraph), yet you imply I said players should not be criticised! I dont know if you noticed, but that is a direct contradiction of the stance I took. I am perfectly happy to see players and management criticised, particularly where there is some degree of measure in the criticism. What I also said is I see no need to pounce on every negative story and INSULTINGLY criticise our players and management. There is a difference, or is that too subtle for you? There are enough journo’s pundits and oppo supporters only too willing to put the boot into our club, manager and players at every single opportunity, without our own supporters doing the same in my opinion.

    I’ll get a grip, if you get a pair of specs and start reading posts properly.

    #720397

    Disleksickerik
    Participant

    Liquidator. Your analogy of a professional politician is interesting but I’m afraid you are well wide of the mark. I certainly have no aspirations to become just another lazy bastard in a suit. But moving on, I am aware that you have been critical of Costa. Who wouldn’t? Let’s be honest, he won’t be a contestant on Mastermind anytime soon. I just hope he is smart enough to lose a bit of weight and regain some form. As I said earlier, a football forum like this thrives on praise and blame. The degree of criticism or compliment levelled at players and management of a club will vary depending upon the circumstances and the poster’s personal opinion. The degree of subtlety used will also vary, and rightly so. Some people find certain posts insulting others don’t. That’s how it goes. Topics are kicked around left right and centre, sometimes to death, and even when the carcass is finally dragged out there is often still no concrete conclusion about anything. And so what? Does anyone really have a clue where is this particular thread is leading? Perhaps it all depends upon your politics after all. That’s of course unless you have compelling overly subtle evidence by implication to the contrary. Now where did I put that monkey-grip?

    #720479

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Costa came back overweight in pre season,quite why he would do that is puzzling but there is not a chance that he is overweight now!

    Costa’s current problems are his form particularly his goal scoring form and his temperament.

    Without he channels the latter into being a positive in his game as it was in the first half of last season,discovers some form and starts to hit the onion bag as our old friend Jess would say his time at Chelsea will be limited.

    The news from yesterday’s training session suggests no hangover from Sundays storm in a tea cup and the likelyhood that Costa might well be back in the starting eleven on Saturday v Bournemouth which is exactly what both he and the team needs to happen to move forward in the hope of achieving the above!

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