Diego Costa’s Chelsea career will end in tears with his antics likely to cost his side the title this season, according to former Arsenal man Paul Merson.
The Spain international was banned for pushing his hands into the face of Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny in last weekend’s spicy clash between the two London clubs.
The incident was not seen by the match officials at Stamford Bridge during the game, but the Blues star was charged on the basis of video evidence.
He denied the charge, but was proven guilty following an Independent Regulatory Commission – prompting a furious reaction from Jose Mourinho who believes Chelsea are being singled out.
Arsene Wenger was also left angry after feeling Costa should have been sent off during the game which he says cost his side.
Costa is renowned for his confrontational manner and Merson thinks his numerous high profile spats during matches is starting to finally catch up with him.
“He needs to play 30-odd games for them to win the league. But he won’t. Not after what happened against Arsenal,” he wrote in the Star.
“He’s a marked man now after getting himself banned for three games for slapping Laurent Koscielny.
“The powers that be will be telling referees to watch him more closely, and the whole league will be trying to wind him up.
“He will be banned again before the end of the season for sure now. And that will hurt Chelsea in the games he misses.
“Costa has a reputation now. Any little thing he does will get highlighted. That’s a massive problem for Chelsea.
“He’s going to outstay his welcome because of all the mischief. Refs will be looking for it. I think it will end in tears.”
And Merson feels that the physical nature of the English game has brought out an even more menacing side to Costa that was not so apparent before.
“I watched him play for Atletico Madrid and he was never as bad as this. He’s trying to get into the aggro all the time now. He’s got much, much worse,” he continued.
“But I think he’s frustrated because he isn’t fit. I don’t think his hamstrings have been right for months, and he’s not been scoring goals really.
“He’s been trying too hard to get an edge because of Chelsea’s bad start. But it’s just got him banned.”
Source: Off The Post