When Diego Costa arrived for his first day as a Chelsea player, it's rumoured he had something he wanted to say.
He didn't speak much English at that point but Oscar helped him with the words. He kept on practising one single, short sentence. Actually, it was more of a mission statement.
Going to war
So, when Oscar introduced him to John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic, they shook hands before Costa straightened up and delivered his pitch in heavily-accented English.
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“I go to war. You come with me,” is what he supposedly said.
He was true to his word, as he began his maiden season in England with an equalising goal on his debut. He followed that up with seven in four games. He then won the Premier League player of the month award and was arguably the deadliest striker in the league throughout the whole of last season.
He ended his campaign with 20 goals in 26 Premier League matches. His goals went a long way in handing the Blues both the Premier league title and the Capital One Cup.
Loss of form
This season, Costa and a some of the other key players have not performed at their usual standard and the team has suffered as a result. Naturally, the beast of a striker is not going to sit back and watch his team continue to dwindle.
The physical forward has often found himself embroiled in controversy due to his temperamental nature - he is currently serving a three-match ban for his tussle with Laurent Koscielny during the victory with Arsenal this campaign.
Already he has missed two games and will sit out the final one when Southampton come to town on Saturday.
Rallying cry issued
In his absence, his deputies Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy have failed to fill the gap he vacated. After another bad result in Europe, Costa has taken a stand and called upon his teammates to stand with him.
Speaking after the Porto defeat, he said, as reported by Chelsea's official website: “We are all united. It’s not a good moment now. We must do more. We have a good squad with a great deal of quality.
"We have maybe lost some confidence in three or four games. The manager knows the quality of his team. He knows what we can do. It is the responsibility of all of us. We have to improve our character and confidence.”
Last time the Blues players followed Costa to war they returned with the Premier League title and the Capital One Cup. Now, he has rallied them again and this time perhaps they'll begin to turn their season around, starting with Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea fans, can this season still be salvaged? Let us know your thoughts on the issues in the comments box below.
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