Friday, 13 June 2014

Diego Costa's debut

Diego Costa's dream debut has turned out to be a nightmare introduction having been humiliated by the Netherlands. Netherlands put five past Spain after Xabi Alonso scored a penalty won by the Atletico Madrid striker. The Dutch came back and equalised at the end of the first half against the run of play thanks to an amazing diving header from their captain Robin Van Persie. Netherlands then kicked into another gear as they dominated the second half, with Arjen Robben giving Holland the lead eight minutes in before Stefan de Vrij scored the third with his first international goal. This was followed by Robin Van Persie and Robben both earning their respective brace.

Diego Costa didn't look settled into the Spanish team, but as much was expected. The Brazilian born striker is plays as an aggressive wasp and in contrast was surrounded by floating butterflies. In the Spanish national team there are only two other players that share his mentality, his Atletcio Madrid teammates Koke and Juanfran, and neither played against Holland.

Diego Costa chose to represent Spain earlier in the year and as a result received a backlash of boos from the Brazilian crowd during Spain's World Cup opener. The forward started off the match with enthusiasm making runs in behind the Netherlands defence that were unnoticed by his midfielders. The few runs that were noticed though Costa tried hard to score, taking an ambitious shot at a tough angle just to fly wide. He also tried to twist and turn defenders in the box in the first half but couldn't get the best of the Dutch defence.

The only glimpse of the Diego Costa that harassed defences all season at Atletcio Madrid was when he won a penalty by instinctively leaving his left leg out to be challenged by Stefan de Vrij.

Although Diego Costa looked like the piece of the jigsaw puzzle forced into it's position, if manipulated the right way he can become the weapon Spain need him to be. This match Spain lacked the aggression and bully approach an inform Diego Costa exerts. Costa isn't like his fellow strikers in the team Fernando Torres and David Villa where he lingers around the defence, instead he harasses them and takes them on. Spain need to adapt to his game, allow him to be the target man he was last season for Diego Simeone. They need to feed him service, give him the ball and allow him to charge at defenders. They cannot play around him like they did against today against Chile, they need him to be the focal point and give him chances to score.

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