Atlético received great news on Wednesday (no, not Real Madrid’s 4-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund — we don’t really care about that…teehee).
The Disciplinary Committee of the LFP has agreed to rescind Diego Costa’s yellow card from this past Sunday at Sevilla.
The Beast of the Manzanares will be at coach Diego Simeone’s disposal, but is he the right man for the task of ending our over 13-year dry spell against Real given his temper issues? Could he end up being more of a burden than an asset?
Members of our tribe of Indios, Derek Maaijen, Robel Solomon and Billy ‘Big Dawg’ Edwards, weigh in on the subject:
Derek: While we have seen Diego Costa mature this season, his style of play and approach to the game still put our chances of beating Real Madrid at risk when the untamed beast goes up against similar players like Sergio Ramos and Pepe. They know even better how to play the game of cheating, frustrating and messing with opposing players. So, despite being a thug himself, I’m afraid Costa might lose his head against these seasoned and professional WUMs.
Costa’s upside — he’s the most fouled player in La Liga and he provides great energy — outweighs the risk, and without Adrián proving to be a worthy alternative, I do want to see Diego Costa take Real head on. It will be up to Diego Simeone to make sure his secret weapon doesn’t backfire.
Robel: Considering his dismal showing in Atleti’s defeat at Madrid in December, there’s no question that Diego Costa shouldn’t start this weekend. In that game we saw the Beast of the Manzanares at his worst, but not because he was trying to be especially devious. Rather, his opponents defended him well, and he increasingly became frustrated, rendering him ineffective.
Diego Costa can cope with provocation by opposition players and fans. It’s something he deals with practically every game, and generally, he does it well. It only becomes an issue when the rhythm of play isn’t favourable to him. In these circumstances, he gets agitated too easily. As a result, he doesn’t focus on performing his duties for the team, but on sparring with his direct opponent. He commits more fouls and he loses the ball more often. Basically, he becomes a liability for the team. Against Madrid there’s too big a risk of this occurring and therefore, Diego Costa shouldn’t start this weekend.
Billy: Diego Costa should play. Sure, he can be a risk at times, but when it comes to football, his assets outweigh risk without question. And with Arda looking doubtful for the weekend, we need him more than ever.
Also, the fact that he’ll get in defenders’ faces is not entirely a bad thing. It’s a derby and it’s important to have players fighting for the shirt. On the evidence of recent games he’s missed, we can’t afford to leave him out. If he does put in one of his big performances, then he’s almost impossible for anyone to handle.
In Costa’s defence, I do think that when he has to behave himself, he can. He is, in his own words, a provocateur, but if Simeone tells him specifically to keep a lid on it then I trust him not to let the team down. One thing we as a team could be accused of in recent derbies is not taking enough risks, but I wouldn’t even call this one. Diego Costa is worth his place in the team and simply has to be involved.
Join us next time when we talk about Costa’s ice cream date with Sevilla’s Kondogbia.