Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink spoke to the press on Friday ahead of our match against West Ham, and naturally, one of the first questions asked was about suspended striker Diego Costa. For those who have already blocked last weekend's match against Everton out of their minds, Costa was sent off after receiving a second yellow card, meaning he'd automatically be handed a one-match suspension. That wasn't enough for the FA, however, and Hiddink seems to be implying that England's governing body was simply looking to create something out of nothing when they charged Costa with improper conduct:
"He will see if he gets the other game as well. I think he was not happy with it, of course, and will it go to a third game? Yes or no. He desperately wants to play of course, he accepts he is suspended but is not happy with it."
"The kiss, or bite, whatever you mention it, Barry made a very good statement by saying what has happened or not happened in this case. Maybe there was a little bit searching for Costa. Where can we get him? He is frustrated."
While you'd obviously expect most managers to come to the defense of their players, I really think Guus is probably more or less correct, here. This particular charge is pretty weak, in my opinion, and almost certainly a bit of payback for other incidents in the player's past in which he hasn't been caught by referees. We've seen that before with other players which the FA and referees have made targets of, most recently, Luis Suarez.
Unfortunately, this is probably going to be the reality of life with Costa unless he has a lengthy incident-free period in the future, something that's hard to imagine happening. With that in mind, it's probably in the Blues' best interest to find a better backup option than we've had for the past few seasons this summer, when both Falcao and Alexandre Pato depart.