Diego Costa appears to have a major attitude problem. Not only has the Chelsea striker proven to be a controversial character on the pitch, but Sunday's game against Tottenham showed he can cause contention from the touchline as well.
Costa was dropped to the bench for the match with Jose Mourinho instead giving Eden Hazard a chance to impress up front. Any player of Costa's quality would have been unhappy with the decision, but most would have hid it better than the Brazilian.
He looked less than enthused when warming up on the pitchside and went viral after throwing his bib in Mourinho's general direction when it became clear he would not be emerging from the substitute's bench.
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Chelsea fans criticised Costa in their droves on social media while some pundits have suggested his time at Stamford Bridge is likely to come to an end as a result.
But club vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic is more empathetic, suggesting he understands why Costa was so upset and expects him to return to the starting XI in the near future.
However, the Serbian also said that Chelsea will not recover from their poor start to the season if Costa continues to prioritise his own agenda at the expense of the team.
Ivanovic told reporters: “I expect Diego to come back strongly. We start the season as a team and we have to finish as a team. Sometimes for a player who isn’t playing it’s difficult but it is a normal situation for the club.
“This is important. When we start losing we all know it’s not about the one or two players playing badly or playing well — it’s about the team.
“Diego didn’t play against Tottenham but he’ll be ready for the next game. He scored against Norwich — the winning goal. It’s all about the team. We all have to think about that.”
Costa can learn a thing or two from his captain, John Terry, who himself has had to get used to sitting on the bench at times this season. The former England international has been a first-team regular for over a decade in west London, but there was no bib throwing when Kurt Zouma took his place earlier this season.
Coupled with his antics against Arsenal, Liverpool and Stoke City, Chelsea fans are already losing patience with Costa and his behaviour on the bench has only lowered his standing further. Only goals can get him back on the right side of Chelsea fans, but will he get the chance?
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