Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown says he would have “reacted like he does” after admitting he would have “loved” to have played against Chelsea’s Diego Costa.
Keown, 49, has insisted he “wouldn’t be bullied by him” after watching Costa’s display in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday, in which he appeared to catch Laurent Koscienly with two flailing arms before having a large part in the sending off of Gabriel.
But Keown, who was part of the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ detailed how he would stop the Spain striker.
“I’d try to overpower him and then give him a taste of his own medicine by reacting like he does. I’d look for the help of the referee: if you fall over, so will I. He’d have to know that he couldn’t trust me either.
I’d tread the line carefully — whatever happens, I’m staying on the pitch,” Keown wrote in the Daily Mail. “That’s how you beat him. Enjoy it, relish it.”
Keown, who played for the Gunners in two spells, was renowned for his tough approach on the pitch and admitted he would have liked to have gone toe-to-toe with the Chelsea striker.
“Once in a while I wish I could beam a current player back to my era so I could play against them,” added Keown.
“Diego Costa is top of that list. I was a little bit crazy and I’m pretty sure he is too, so I’d love to go toe-to-toe with him and show him that I wouldn’t be bullied by him.
“Costa has a black belt in the dark arts. He plays his opponents as much as he plays the match, constantly trying to draw a reaction from and bully defenders.”
Gabriel was red carded just before the break at Stamford Bridge after kicking out at Costa after the Chelsea man had appeared to have slapped Laurent Koscielny and barged into the Arsenal man before Gabriel intervened.