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Mourinho, Drogba comment on what Diego Costa needs to do to rediscover goalscoring form

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To say that it's 'sorted out' may be too strong, so let's just say that Chelsea have improved a bit, finally, on the defensive side of things.  One could argue that the only way was up, but with just two goals conceded in four November matches, we're either playing better or getting luckier.  Either way works.

An improving defense has brought our attacking issues into focus, Diego Costa's poor play, silly (and more importantly mostly useless) antics, and lack of goals leading the charge.  Which is what he should be doing with our attack, except he isn't.  And despite becoming an instant cult hero last season, Costa's lazy play and often non-existent movement in the box is rubbing more and more fans the wrong way.  Against Norwich City and Maccabi, manager Jose Mourinho joined the unhappy club as well, which led to a half-time confrontation midweek.  While Mourinho claims that they've kissed and cuddled and hugged it out, Costa's poor attitude was obvious to many in the stands.

"In the game I told him, from a distance, that I was not happy with the movement he did.  He told me a few ‘nice words' from where he was. And nothing happened. Nothing happened at half-time."

"Everything is OK, no problem, no problem. But he's not reading the game properly in these actions. That was my opinion. As a striker he must read. You have to play not only when you have the ball but when others have the ball. You have to anticipate things and read the game faster. Everything is an accumulation [of confidence]. You're not on fire again just because you've scored a winning goal against Norwich. It's all a process."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Guardian

So that's pretty clear and matches what a lot of us have observed as well.  Many of Costa's goals last season were poached off of cutbacks and low crosses; while our wide players have once again started supplying these passes, there's often nobody in the box to finish them off.  Costa rode these to 20 goals last season.  He just needs to do the same things he was doing then to bring back the good times now.

Not all is lost for Chelsea's main striker of course.  But he needs to take the criticism onboard, like all his teammates have done, and others before him, like Didier Drogba have done.  The Chelsea legend, still out promoting his new book (and thus, at least according Mourinho, being needlessly sensationalist), recently commented on Costa's misfortunes.

"It was difficult for me to understand why I was being criticised at first. But as soon as I did, I did everything to change. I was the one performing and I was the one who had to show that I was good. So I have to adapt to them. And if I adapt to them they are going to support me and be with me. So I did everything for the fans to be with me."

-Didier Drogba; source: Evening Standard

It's easy to forget that Drogba came under severe criticisms during his first few years at Chelsea.  But he took those to heart, changed for the better, and became a legend of not only Chelsea but the world game.  Drogba wishes the same fate on his successor.

"I wish Diego the same end result as it was for me."

-Didier Drogba; source: Evening Standard

One thing is clear, Costa having a good game on Sunday will go a long way towards putting this latest conflict successfully behind us.  Go on, Diego!