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The Premier League Needs More Bastards Like Diego Costa

Illustration for article titled The Premier League Needs More Bastards Like Diego Costa

It takes a certain type of person to start an argument with a person who can't even understand what they're saying. But with Chelsea leading 3-1 at Everton with a little over 20 minutes to play, a goal already to his name, that's what Diego Costa did.


An innocuous challenge from James McCarthy prompted a volley of Spanish abuse from Costa towards his Evertonian counterpart. Soon 21 players and the referee were crowded around Costa, grabbing and pulling at the Chelsea striker's shirt.

And yet this is all part of the Costa package. His assholery is as much a part of his identity as the goals that make him the most potent striker in the Premier League. Costa is unabashedly a bastard, and soccer needs more bastards like him.

The Premier League has always been disconnected from the rest of Britain in relation to its share of bastardom. In a country whose evil only manifests itself in Ben Kingsley and Jaguar commercials, its soccer league has always been an altogether nastier place.

There has been Eric Cantina, El Hadji Diouf, Roy Keane, Martin Keown and of course Luis Suárez. English soccer, the domain of crunching tackles and thundering headers, has always been home to the sport's chaos merchants.

Suárez was the Premier League's bastard-in-chief for the best part of the last four years. The Liverpool forward drew boos and jeers like a movie villain, with only stewards preventing fans from getting to Suárez like protesters banging at the blacked out windows of a police truck.Not since Piers Morgan called these shores his own have the British public united so vociferously to rid the country of a public figure.

Soccer needs these figures. Costa's ethos encapsulates the us-against-the-world mindset that underpins the fandom of every soccer supporter. He plays soccer as if it is warfare, just as fans consider it.


At a time when attachment between players and fans is stretching with every Wayne Rooney pay rise and tale of FIFA bribery, Costa's nature provides a much-needed emotional bond with his public. A siege mentality can be tedious from the outside, but from within there is no better galvanizer.

This summer finally saw Suarez leave his hurt locker at Liverpool, joining Barcelona for a reported fee of £75 million, thus leaving a bastard-shaped void in the Premier League. Costa has filled a void, in a wider sense and in the Chelsea team.


"The team was built in a way that we were waiting for a certain type of striker," explained Mourinho after one particularly bombastic performance from Costa. "And I think now everybody knows that Chelsea did the right thing in waiting for him and not going into the market in the summer of 2013 or January. We waited for the right one."

While the signings of Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis have undoubtedly improved Chelsea's starting lineup, but Costa is their new kingpin. Costa embodies the competitive essence of Mourinho in its crudest form. Costa is the little devil sitting on the shoulder of the Special One luring him into temptation.


Didier Drogba set the precedent for a player of Costa's like at Chelsea, but even the Ivorian striker, who was a battering ram of a forward in the same mold of Costa, had some sort of valve on his anarchist streak.

The Brazilian-born Spaniard was already educated in a high-pressing, high-intensity game before his arrival at Stamford Bridge – having performed a near identical job for Diego Simeone at Atlético Madrid. As the Chelsea boss says, the London club had been waiting for him to complete their otherwise well drilled frontline.


If Chelsea are to claim its first league title since 2010 Costa must translate his early season spurt of seven goals in just four games into a consistent campaign-long streak.

And if that should that materialize, the rest of the Premier League stands little chance of grappling their way past Chelsea to the title. The bastards always win.