With Jose Mourinho moving into the red part of Manchester, leaving Chelsea in tatters, the London club has seemingly found a new lease of life under Italian manager Antonio Conte. While the summer saw much speculation and some peculiar dealings, one player that was constantly in the headlines was Diego Costa regarding his readiness to leave. With the window shut and the striker still there, he more than most of the Chelsea squad has been on a genuine path to rediscovery which could possibly fire Chelsea to the title this May.
While the main focus remains on Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho’s titanic arrival and rivalry at the Manchester clubs, Conte, as a big arrival has been seemingly swept under a rug despite his impact being almost instant. In that he has found a way to return a bit a magic to the feet of Eden Hazard and rekindled the fire in Costa’s belly.
While some may point to the shaky defense of they have in terms of numbers and depth, so far the club’s spine has seemingly returned to its near best and Costa can be seen as a catalyst for that.
Normally a fiery player, Costa has no problems getting into altercations and letting his presence known among opposition players. This usually gives games an additional intensity, one that a traditionally physical team in Chelsea does not mind. At home it allows the fans to get involved seeing a bit of bite and fight in the players and demonstrates the meaning of the 12th man. We have seen already how Costa’s style and antics have gotten players sent off or completely out of focus during games, and while they can be perceived as underhanded and dirty their effectiveness can’t be questioned.
While those are intangibles, in regards to actual play, Costa has rediscovered his scoring touch. Currently joint top of the Premier League scoring chart, Costa looks on course to repeat what he did for Chelsea in his first season and compete with the likes of Aguero and Harry Kane for the Golden Boot. He has found himself in inspired form and has been leading from the front for his club. This is so, even with Chelsea’s spine being in need of a slight shake up and with an assist to boot, it is quite clear that Costa has been a pivotal part of Chelsea’s revival this season and has made Conte’s induction significantly easier.
While he may be seen as an overly physical and disingenuous player, Costa’s current impact on Chelsea has the team looking more like title contenders with each game. While we note that the season is very young we see where Chelsea is leading in shots per game and is in the top five when it comes to possession and passes per game, which indicates an improvement in managerial quality. However, the team has had a noticeable push in aggression being tied for the number of yellows this season which mirrors Costa’s push and leadership displayed so far from the front line.
Costa’s fire rages, and the embers have ignited Chelsea.