Invest in competition - three ways to solve a problem like Diego Costa

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Football News

This time last year, Chelsea's Diego Costa was the talk of Stamford Bridge after scoring 11 goals in his first nine Premier League appearances for the Blues. Fans were waving goodbye to the days of misfiring strikers as they dominated the 2014/15 season.

However, one year on and the days of Fernando Torres, Andriy Shevchenko and Mateja Kezman feel all too familiar.

Scoring just three league goals since the beginning of the season, Costa's most recent act of petulance came when he threw a bib in the direction of manager Jose Mourinho when the 'Special One' decided against bringing him on during the 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.


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Following the incident, Mourinho said: "If he wants to hurt me it would not be with a bib. I have a good relationship with him."

Despite the supposed "good relationship" between the two, the Blues manager may well be looking into the January market if he can't get Costa firing.

But how can Costa return to the form that saw him score 20 league goals last season? Let's have a look at what Mourinho, and the striker himself, need to do.


It may be coming up to Christmas, but the Chelsea forward was cast as the pantomime villain a long time ago. Against Arsenal, Costa's antics got defender Gabriel sent off when the Spaniard lashed out at Laurent Koscielny.

Despite this arguably winning the game for the Blues, Costa was subsequently banned for three games. If the Spaniard is to get back to scoring ways, he needs to stop focusing on winding up opponents and get on with what he's paid to do.


With Radamel Falcao once again failing to deliver for a Premier League side and Loic Remy persistently on the treatment table, Mourinho's primary concern this January is a striker.

The Blues have scored just 17 goals this season and sit on a goal difference of minus six. If Mourinho's men, and Costa in particular, are going to get back to their form of last season then competition for places needs to be there.

Players like Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry and Costa have become too sure of a place in the squad and their performances have taken a hit because of it.


Strikers like Costa thrive on confidence; that's when they go back to working off instinct. It sounds simple, but the easiest way for Costa to score more goals is to start scoring goals.

That's easier said than done, of course, but with their next four Premier League games against Bournemouth, Leicester, Sunderland and Watford, there should be plenty of chances for Chelsea's number 19.

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Didier Drogba

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