Arsene Wenger is well aware of the qualities od Diego Costa, so the Arsenal coaches will have been working with the players, especially the ones on the defensive side of the team, on how to best cope with the Spain international and stop him from scoring when Chelsea come to north London in the Premier League today.
It is not just Costa’s abilities as a striker that is worrying the Arsenal boss, however, but his talent as a wind up merchant. The referee Mike Dean was largely to blame for our loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season, as he failed to take action when Costa should have seen red for fouling Koscielny but then sent off Gabriel for his reaction.
That was hard to take but Wenger wants his players to make sure there is no repeat, even if the Chelsea forward is doing his best to get a reaction from the Gunners, as a Daily Mail report explains. Hopefully Gabriel will not be on the pitch today as he does tend to get worked up but the boss wants whoever is playing for Arsenal to keep their cool no matter what.
He said, ‘By being completely cold-blooded and just focusing on your game and not responding.
‘Just try to annihilate his qualities and his game. You need to be committed but by respecting the rules of the game and not responding.’
‘Last year we were a bit unlucky to be down to 10 men at Chelsea because he was suspended after.
‘In the second game we deserved the red card because we were caught on a good run from him.
‘Of course, for the result tomorrow, it will be important the way we play football and the way we behave.
‘Discipline and results are linked.’
That red in the second game came about from a Mertesacker mistake and the good news for us is that neither of the two centre backs done by Costa last season will be playing, so can Arsenal keep 11 players on the pitch this time and finally end the long wait for an EPL win over Chelsea?