Arsenal need a player like Diego Costa in their side... Arsene Wenger made the same mistakes he always does against Chelsea 

  • Diego Costa was the centre of controversy as Chelsea beat Arsenal
  • But the nine-man Gunners should have stayed focused and professional
  • Arsene Wenger is still making the same mistakes against physical teams
  • Arsenal manager targets referees and tries to control the uncontrollable
  • Wenger could do with a player just like Costa in his Arsenal side now 

Should Diego Costa have been sent off? Yes, of course. But he wasn't. And if your team is up against him you need to make sure your players stay focused and professional, and most importantly, stay on the pitch.

Martin Keown summed it up superbly in his column for Sportsmail this week when he said he would have loved to play against Costa. Arsenal don't seem to have that kind of spirit anymore.

The irony of all this is that Costa is EXACTLY the kind of player Arsenal need.

Chelsea's Diego Costa should have been sent off against Arsenal but the Gunners failed to keep their cool

Chelsea's Diego Costa should have been sent off against Arsenal but the Gunners failed to keep their cool

Arsene Wenger's side do not seem to have the same sort of battling spirit they once had in abundance

Arsene Wenger's side do not seem to have the same sort of battling spirit they once had in abundance

Arsenal defender Gabriel was sent off for clashing with Costa during the first half at Stamford Bridge

Arsenal defender Gabriel was sent off for clashing with Costa during the first half at Stamford Bridge

Arsene Wenger's long reign at Arsenal should have taught him how to prepare his players for people like Costa. How to fight that battle, and come out victorious.

Unfortunately the Arsenal manager made the same mistake as he always has – he tried to control things he cannot control.

He may be the immovable force at the helm at the Emirates, he may control the enormous cash reserves sloshing about at Arsenal, but he cannot control referees. So why does he persist with his pursuit of officials? And do Arsenal fans still swallow Wenger's nonsense? Surely they're not so naïve anymore?

Costa is now the enemy, in the same way Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City were demonised by Wenger.

November 2003 – Wenger claimed referee Andy D'Urso didn't 'deal well with pressure' from Bolton manager Sam Allardyce as the Gunners threw away a two-goal lead.

April 2005 - Wenger moaned about Blackburn's 'physical approach'.

May 2010 - The Arsenal boss said he couldn't 'understand' Martin Atkinson's decisions in a 2-1 defeat at Blackburn.

September 2010 - Wenger complained about a bad tackle in a win over Bolton, calling on the FA to act.

Wenger has had similar moans about refereeing, such as when Arsenal struggled against Bolton in 2003

Wenger has had similar moans about refereeing, such as when Arsenal struggled against Bolton in 2003

The long-serving boss had similar complaints against Stoke last season, and it has become a weakness

The long-serving boss had similar complaints against Stoke last season, and it has become a weakness

He said Stoke made the game 'physical' as they lost at the Britannia in March last year; and a few months later when they lost again at Stoke, Wenger complained about referee Anthony Taylor sending off one of his players.

Wenger keeps moaning about referees, so it's obvious his words are having no effect whatsoever. He's either not important enough to take notice of anymore, or he's wrong.

The point is this: all managers moan about referees and decisions. It's an easy way out when you need to protect your players from criticism, we all know how it works.

Diego Costa did what so many players across Europe have been doing for years: he wound up the opposition. I don't enjoy watching it, but if I had been manager of a football club for nearly 20 years I would like to think I had enough experience to know, by now, how to teach my players to deal with players like him.

Costa winds up opposition, as players have done across Europe for years, and Arsenal need someone like him

Costa winds up opposition, as players have done across Europe for years, and Arsenal need someone like him

Gabriel fell for Costa's antics and Wenger failed to 'control the controllable's as a wise manager once told me

Gabriel fell for Costa's antics and Wenger failed to 'control the controllable's as a wise manager once told me

But Wenger seems to have learned nothing. His approach to physical teams, to aggressive opponents is to fail to prepare his team for the challenge, watch it happen, then moan about it afterwards. He keeps doing the same things, why won't he change? If you realise that smashing yourself over the head with a stick hurts a lot then you'd stop doing it wouldn't you?

It's probably one of the reasons why Wenger has failed to win the Champions League despite plenty of seasons in the competition.

'Control the controllables,' a wise manager once told me. Wenger can't control referees, they don't listen to him anymore. He can control his players, but he absolutely failed to do that on Saturday. Gabriel fell for Costa's antics. Santi Cazorla got a second yellow while Jose Mourinho substituted two players who had been yellow-carded.

Santi Cazorla was also shown the red card after Jose Mourinho had smartly substituted his booked players

Santi Cazorla was also shown the red card after Jose Mourinho had smartly substituted his booked players

Arsenal also lost against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, Wenger's latest European failure

Arsenal also lost against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, Wenger's latest European failure

And if any Arsenal fans want to blame the turnaround after a mid-week trip to Zagreb, then don't bother. If your experienced manager hasn't found a way by now to manage situations like that then you really need to ask questions.

Arsenal fans are understandably angry towards Costa. But when they calm down they will surely wonder how Wenger has again sent out a team unable to deal with a difficult opponent.

As Wenger would say, it's a case of déjà vu.

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