Sometimes you hear something from a professional footballer and it’s just a bit baffling.
Opinions on Sky Sports, BT Sport and in the written media often have me scratching my head. How do these guys make it to the very top when they don’t understand the game? Or has the game changed so drastically since they stopped playing that they’ve lost touch?
Basically: What are they on about?
The latest to inspire such a thought is former Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Southampton and England left-back Graeme Le Saux. Speaking to Standard Sport ahead of Sunday’s London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea, the defender suggested that Diego Costa should target Laurent Koscielny.
“Arsenal have a back four and a goalkeeper who look really solid,” Le Saux said. “The full-backs are very good and are great athletes and reliable. [Per] Mertesacker and [Laurent] Koscielny are generally looking solid so it will be interesting to see what [Diego] Costa does if he plays.
“If I was in the Chelsea camp, I would be saying to Costa go and play against Koscielny because he’s bigger than him.”
Acting up in this season’s clash at Stamford Bridge, Diego Costa did appear to be trying to intimidate Koscielny but the Frenchman was having none of it. He wasn’t physically inferior in any way, and got on with the game even though the Chelsea striker pushed him in the face (an offence he was banned for) and bumped him to the ground with his chest.
It was all farcical, as was the refereeing of Mike Dean, but let’s not get into that again.
Koscielny can be overly eager to anticipate play and has, at times, been caught out as a result. He isn’t, however, the sort of defender you see bullied or physically dominated. Between Koscielny and Mertesacker Arsenal have a brilliant defence and there’s no obvious way to play against them.
I hope Diego Costa does try to play against Koscielny, because it won’t end well for him.