Well, what a waste of time the supposedly ‘biggest game of the weekend’ turned out to be this Saturday. All those who made sure they were in place to witness the latest Chelsea vs. Arsenal offering simply could have spent their time watching an amateur match at their local park instead, for there would have been more of a worthwhile game taking place there than at Stamford Bridge it seems.
As Chelsea fans left their stadium happy with the three points firmly in the bag, Gunners supporters went home with nothing but frustration and a few choice words for referee, Mike Dean. Once again however, the entire outcome of the match was solely dictated by the ill-fated officials, who seemingly didn’t want to be left out of the spot-light in the company of such a vast amount of talent on the pitch.
Nevertheless, although many will naively label the Blues striker as ‘clever’ for his ability to wind-up the opposition in a truly unsportsmanlike manner, Diego Costa proved the most significant player out on the field last Saturday. Via absolutely no footballing merit whatsoever, the former Atletico Madrid front-man succeeded in his shameful attempts to get Arsenal’s Gabriel Paulista sent-off – giving Chelsea free reign to dominate once the Gunners had been pegged-back to ten men.
So then, whilst the vast majority of Mourinho’s players actually behaved rather sensibly in comparison to their fiery centre-forward, is there actually any point in watching Chelsea from a neutral perspective in the modern era nowadays?
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Surely the answer must be no by now. Although Jose Mourinho seamlessly draws credit from all quarters of the footballing community for his ability to grind out results in any way, shape or form – how many times will the rest of the Premier League be robbed of watching great matches involving his side?
It may seem pointless to hark back to a time when things were a great deal better off for everyone involved, but when the title chasing likes of Arsenal and Manchester United once came up to face one another, the results would nine times out of ten be truly enthralling for all football fans alike. It would be the Gunners vs. the Red Devils, Arsene Wenger vs. Sir Alex Ferguson, Patrick Vieira vs. Roy Keane – a battle between two sets of men who clearly held the concept of entertainment close to heart. Yes, there would be fights among the players – but would an exciting match of football be sacrificed in the process? Of course not.
Nowadays however, since Chelsea’s financially backed route to the top of the English top-flight, big Premier League matches invariably turn out to be largely boring affairs where Jose Mourinho sticks eleven of his expensively assembled starting XI well and truly behind the ball, with the likes of Diego Costa sent out purely to antagonize the opposition and draw an unfair advantage for his side. Sorry, but such an approach is much closer to pathetic than special.
On the subject of Diego Costa personally, how the Brazilian-born Spaniard actually managed to stay out on the pitch himself remains anyone’s guess. In the past, a player of Andy Carroll’s reputation has been sent-off for elbowing Swansea City’s Chico Flores in the pony-tail – yet because this is Chelsea and Jose Mourinho we are talking about – Diego Costa is somehow allowed to stay on the field despite pushing Laurent Koscielny in the face twice, clearly winding up Gabriel Paulista off the ball when the ref had supposedly ‘calmed’ the situation, and subsequently going on the dive all over the pitch in an attempt to further con Mike Dean once again.
How childish is top-flight football going to become before we collectively start to realise? If for a brief moment the Chelsea vs. Arsenal match just became too much of a ridiculously pointless event to be involved in for many of this weekend’s viewers, the Rugby World Cup would have nonetheless provided English sports fans with an experience of dignified professionals going about their business – with a distinct respect for their opponents, as well as the officials themselves.
Players like Diego Costa simply act as nothing more than a stubborn stain on the rest of the Premier League. After all, no honest football fan wants to see someone sent-off when they clearly didn’t deserve it, players rolling around on the floor like little kids brandishing virtual yellow card signs to the referee, and a manager who claims his side were entirely free of controversy after it’s all said and done…
…yet as that is exactly how Jose Mourinho and Chelsea operate in the modern era, there really is no point watching the Blues any longer from a neutral perspective. Their games only serve to disappoint in the end.