Diego Costa is past his prime, but he hasn’t lost his raw desire for a scrap and is quickly becoming a fan favorite of the Wolves stalwarts…no one gets the crowd going more than the former Chelsea man
- Diego Costa returned to the Premier League in the summer with Wolves
- The former Chelsea title-winner hasn’t scored a goal since moving to England
- But despite being 34, he still shows the qualities that endeared him to fans
- Costa still retains his scrappy character and showed his hunger in victory over Forest
Thank goodness for Diego Costa. The controversial attacker may be past his prime, but no one can get a crowd going like the former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid man, who is now writing the final chapters of his top-tier career at the Old Gold of Wolves.
Costa has yet to score for his newest club and in reality rarely looked like he would. He’s a bit heavier these days and the power of nature that has such a fearsome defense has been waning for a while.
Something Costa will never lose, though, is that raw craving for a scrap. As the great Australian bowler Shane Warne used to say, sometimes the best way to get yourself worked up is to get into a fight with your opponent.
Diego Costa showed his scrappy qualities against Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s win
The former Chelsea striker (right) unexpectedly returned to Premier League Wolves
When the ball was thrown into the penalty area midway through the second half from the right, Costa struggled with Steve Cook, who passed the ball for a Wolves corner. End of the matter? Not a little.
In vintage style, Costa took on Cook, who is also no character to step back from.
Costa still has to score for his new club
It never turned into a real confrontation and referee Thomas Bramall didn’t have to intervene, but the home crowd loved it. ‘Diego! Diego! Diego!’ they roared and minutes later Costa was enjoying his best moment of the match.
He grabbed the ball to the left of the penalty area, cut smartly into one challenge and found a firing position, but was denied by Neco Williams’ recovery tackle.
After a shaky start to the season, Wolves need a hero and are expected to sign a new one early next week.
Whoever enters will understand that Costa is not the warrior of yesteryear, but nevertheless is a leader who can be just as important off the field as on the field.
And Costa knows how important it is to take the audience with you. If only the officials here, and those leading the infernal VAR process, had the same instincts.
The ball was barely in play for the first part of the second half. The first stoppage was for the VAR team to judge a relatively clear handball from Harry Toffolo, which was then to be checked on-screen by Bramall. Four minutes after the roll call, Ruben Neve converted the penalty.
Costa is loved by Wolves fans and has been rapidly building his fitness since joining
Wolves defeated Forest 1-0 on Saturday when Ruben Neves scored from the penalty spot
Shortly after his successful kick, Neves received long-term treatment for a blow to the ankle. Injuries are part of the game and should be properly assessed, but what happened to taking players off the field and letting play continue?
Then it was Forest’s turn to win a penalty for a foul by Matheus Nunes on Ryan Yates, but after the next endless VAR check, Brennan Johnson was unable to capitalize and saw his bet saved by Jose Sa.
VAR wreaked havoc in the game as numerous delays forced fans to wait
Such delays are simply not acceptable. Attending a Premier League match is often a three-figure sum these days, when you factor in travel and food and drink, plus an odd match day souvenir.
It is an insult to keep supporters waiting while officials focus 100 miles away on fringe calls. Find out, Premier League, before the fans stop altogether.