If cheating, childish, spoiled-brat Chelsea striker Diego Costa played for another team in the English Premier League he would have been sent packing long ago.
Thankfully for the emotionally-immature Costa his team is one of the league’s ‘Big Four’ privileged, financially-mobile super powers ( which also includes Manchester United, City and Arsenal) so his ridiculous antics are repeatedly condoned by misguided match officials.
In his latest unsavoury episode of over-the-top emotional fury, our poor tormented hero came unhinged again. This time Costa went berserk after some repeated prodding and winding up by Gareth Barry - in the 84th minute of Saturday’s F.A. Cup quarter-final clash versus Everton.
After reacting to a challenge from Barry, Costa came at Barry in a fit of rage. Costa then smashed his head towards Barry’s face headbutting his opponent and then appeared to sink his teeth into the neck of the veteran midfielder. Following the match Barry denied he was bitten by Costa but many weren’t convinced.
Judge for yourself in this youtube video:
Barry’s attempts to defuse the incident following the match didn’t stop the Costa memes and jokes from freely flowing. Within hours of their clash social media exploded with speculation about another soccer biter, reminiscent of the controversy surrounding Barcelona striker Luis Suarez and his infamous Premier League and World Cup moments.
But the most disturbing thing about Costa’s behaviour in Saturday’s game is that Costa never should have played the whole match to begin with. That’s because Costa intentionally bumped into Oliver and then spit at his feet in protest of his tenth minute yellow card. An offense which should have seen his early dismissal, and eventual suspension, but Oliver chose to do nothing.
Costa’s reputation precedes him and normally when a player has a reputation of gross unsportsmanlike conduct and referee abuse – he becomes blacklisted by referees.
Costa’s rap sheet is lengthy, but its one which Oliver and others continue to ignore when applying the laws of the game.
In January 2015 he was given a three-match suspension for intentionally stamping on Liverpool opponent Emre Cann in a League Cup semifinal clash.
At the beginning of this season he made headlines again during a flash point with Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny where he repeatedly slapped his opponent. Later in the game he had Arsenal’s Gabriel sent off for a non-existent phantom stamp with Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger stating Costa’s action’s were “disgusting”. He eventually received a three-match ban leading English newspaper the Daily Express to label him the Premier League’s dirtiest player.
Also this season we have seen him throw his bib at former manager Jose Mourinho, kick Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel in the chest and escape punishment.
If you go back further there are plenty of other incidents too. In December 2012 he faced disciplinary action for a spitting incident with Real Madrid opponent Sergio Ramos and in his next match, a Europa League clash with Viktoria Plzen he was sent off for headbutting opponent David Limbersky and was handed a four-match ban by UEFA.
For pure-entertainment value Costa is a thrill to watch and it isn’t because of his scoring abilities we avidly tune into matches – for many of the same covert reasons someone would watch the Springer show or auto racing: because the carnage that ensues.
Sure it’s high-drama and always interesting to watch Costa behave like a full-grown baby, but a more serious, dire question remains: Why does the league and football association continue to tolerate Costa’s behaviour when others when similar incidents by others like Mario Balotelli and Luis Suarez were not?
Perhaps the only way to understand the leniency towards Costa is that the poor chap, his team and the Premier League itself suffer from an acute case of ‘Affluenza’ much like a troubled Florida teen Ethan Couch who was in the news recently.
We all know that if Costa (not to mention Super Mario or Crazy Luis) played for one of the league’s less financially-mobile clubs like Crystal Palace, Swansea, West Bromwich his antics wouldn’t be tolerated.
We are hoping that English soccer’s power brokers have finally reached the breaking point with this latest incident but we aren’t holding our breath. That’s because we all know that economic interests of a wealthy few and blatant corporate collusion are behind many of the officiating and executive decisions in the modern game today. Sadly expect more of the same.
If you were unimpressed with Oliver’s performance don’t forget to vote in our poll for worst referee:
Who is the worst referee in the English Premier League?
- Paul Tierney (1%, 10 Votes)
- Keith Stroud (1%, 11 Votes)
- Neil Swarbrick (2%, 14 Votes)
- Craig Pawson (2%, 17 Votes)
- Robert Madley (2%, 19 Votes)
- Roger East (3%, 20 Votes)
- Stuart Attwell (3%, 21 Votes)
- Mike Jones (3%, 22 Votes)
- Simon Hooper (3%, 25 Votes)
- Anthony Taylor (4%, 30 Votes)
- Andre Marriner (5%, 36 Votes)
- Lee Mason (5%, 36 Votes)
- Michael Oliver (5%, 37 Votes)
- Jonathan Moss (6%, 47 Votes)
- Mark Clattenburg (9%, 68 Votes)
- Martin Atkinson (9%, 71 Votes)
- Mike Dean (27%, 214 Votes)
- Kevin Friend (34%, 265 Votes)
Total Voters: 787