Regardless of whether or not Chelsea appeal by the 6pm deadline today (Tuesday), Diego Costa looks set to miss our next 3 domestic matches after The FA charged him with violent conduct in Saturday's 2-0 win over Arsenal.* In fact, it's probably "at least" the next 3 matches, depending on just how much The FA gives in to the latest wave of media hype against the Chelsea striker. Scourge of football and all that. Must mean that we're still in with a shout for the title!
* His sparring partner Gabriel Paulista will likely miss at least a couple as well, for giving him the business.
Amidst all the drama, a few have questioned whether this is at all beneficial to Chelsea. Do Costa's antics help or hurt the team? We know that they help him, personally — he doesn't really know any other way to play; take the fight out of the man, and you might as well take the man out of the fight — but do they help us achieve our goals, too? In his first season, when he was scoring goals left, right, center, the easy and obvious answer was 'yes'. Now that the goals have dried up a bit, is the answer still that obvious? According to Cesc Fabregas, yes, yes it is.
"He's very competitive; it's good, he's hungry for success and to win all the time. You can see the fans love him as well, they get behind him all the time so it's great for us."
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Chelsea FC
Cesc joins Zouma, Matic, Mourinho, and I'd guess the rest of the team as well, in full support of the villainous striker. And why wouldn't they? Costa, by all accounts, is a fantastic teammate, friend, and dressing room presence. He leads the team into battle; his snarl brings back memories of Wise, Drogba, Carvalho, Ballack, just to mention a few of our more recent troublemakers and, not coincidentally, fan favorites. He has yet to cost the team during a match with his antics — unlike, say, Drogba or Terry in their Champions League moments of petulance — and it's not like he's suddenly not going to get all those penalty decisions he's been showered with since his arrival.
We are well equipped to handle any suspension he may face with backups Loïc Rémy and Radamel Falcao, especially if these three games end up being Walsall in the League Cup (against whom he wasn't going to play anyway), and two of the (only) five teams that have started the season even worse than we have in Newcastle and Southampton. So, I say, keep on keeping on, Diego.