BIB-GATE! Why there's no way back for Diego Costa at Chelsea

Published on: 30 November 2015

COMMENT: That's it. Diego Costa is gone. He's out. There can't be a way back for him at Chelsea.

If he'd kept his cool. If he'd kept his head down at White Hart Lane. Diego Costa would be back in the starting XI for the game with Bournemouth.

But after his meltdown at the Lane, we may've already seen his last game in a Blues shirt.

Jose Mourinho didn't drop Diego to get a rise out of him. If there's one player who doesn't need rattling, it's Diego Costa. This was about drawing a line. The striker had crossed it in Israel and Mourinho wanted to show his player whose boss.

The problem is, Diego refused to comply. He threw a wobbler. As soon as he learned of Mourinho's selection, Diego kicked off. He refused to do the pre-match warm-up with the rest of the squad. Instead, choosing to do his stretches on his tod, in a private area of the ground.

Radamel Falcao was injured. Loic Remy excused from duty for the birth of his baby. As far as strikers, Diego knew he was it. He knew Mourinho was testing him. And by going off on one. Having a strop. The Spain striker failed the challenge miserably.

Mourinho didn't say a word to Diego over the day. But his actions were loud and clear. To leave his star man on the bench, preferring rookies Kenedy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek as late substitutes, said it all. If Diego had shown a little humility... actually scratch that... a little professionalism, by warming up with the rest of the squad before kickoff, it's reasonable to suggest he'd have made it onto the pitch on Sunday.

Mourinho gave Diego enough rope. He basically left the final decision with the player. But ego and entitlement let Diego down.

The flailing bib wasn't the last act. We all saw it. The only person who didn't was Mourinho. If it had dropped onto the manager's shoulder - or head (!) - we'd have been witnessing an international incident. As it was, the bib went flying, landed safely, but it was a petty show of contempt for his young teammate, Loftus-Cheek, whom Mourinho had chosen to go with in those final minutes.

The carry on continued after the final whistle. Diego blanked the away support, choosing to rush down the players' tunnel without even a nod to Blues fans. He then skipped the post-match warm down, instead scurrying out of the stadium to sit on the team bus - alone.

As Mourinho stated afterwards, Diego is no Robin Crusoe when it comes to being dropped to the Chelsea bench. Eden Hazard has been through it this season. As has John Terry. Cesc, Oscar, even Gary Cahill, have all been withdrawn. Yet, none of them have behaved like Diego did on Sunday.

On the pitch, he does split opinion. But with his all-action style. His on the edge nature... Diego Costa has been an asset for Chelsea - and the Premier League. He's a headline act. It's exciting to watch him butt heads with the game's toughest centre-halves.

He wanted to play. We get that. Indeed, before Mourinho called up Loftus-Cheek, Diego was spinning around near the corner flag in frustration after Pedro had a shot blocked. The desire is as strong as ever.

However, the behaviour was a disgrace. Diego was given a test of character by his manager. And by his actions, he flunked.

"The message to all my players," said Mourinho afterwards, "not just Diego, is that when we play as a team, and especially when we defend as a team, the team is much better."


Has Loic Remy just fluffed his final chance at Chelsea?

Okay, the birth of your baby is significant. But that was on Saturday. Yet, Remy still missed Sunday's stalemate at Tottenham.

He knew Diego Costa was on the outs with Jose Mourinho. He was Mourinho's only option to lead the line. But decided to duck out of the game to be with his partner and his new child.

For many, Remy's choice is understandable. But in the cut-throat world of elite football, has he just blown his best chance of convincing Mourinho of his first-choice credentials?