Writing this article was a real eye opener for me as I realized how much the Premier League has changed since those Keane-Vieira days, where aggression used to be a necessary element for playing in England.
Players like Paolo Di Canio, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Jamie Carragaher and others played the game with so much fire in them. However, since the rules becoming more strict for the players to follow, Premier League stars have accordingly molded their game.
We no longer see the crunching tackles going in or players willing to die for the 50-50 battles. You can say that the game has softened to a degree, however, not entirely. There are still few players left who live by the sword and are willing to die by it as well.
Be it red cards or the fear of suspension, few players do not alter their playing style at all. On that note, we take a look at five most volatile Premier League players from the ongoing 2015/16 season.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
I don’t think anybody would even come close to the Spaniard for this role, he indeed is Premier League’s most volatile player at present. Diego Costa irritates the hell out his opponents and tends to get really angry if a bad tackle comes his way.
After avoiding stamping, spitting and biting incidents, Costa got his first red card of the English game when he was sent off during the Quarter Final tie vs. Everton. Despite few section of the fans and media disliking Costa’s antics, we cannot expect to see him change while his time with Chelsea Football club.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle)
The hot headed Serbian International came with a reputation of being a fiery striker, and he lived up to those claims by getting sent off in the early weeks of his Newcastle career. He saw red card vs. Arsenal, which followed a string of yellow cards as well.
However, he has managed to control himself to a degree but you can almost sense the nerves inside St. James’ Park when something irritating happens with Mitrovic in sight. It appears that he can explode anytime and take out couple of players with him.
Newcastle would need him to fire in terms of goals in remaining 8 games as they scrap for relegation this season.
Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
I for one had thought Wanyama to be more for a tenacious player, but this season he has been playing with some extra fire in his belly. He has seen 3 red cards this season, and often it has been about his altercation with the players or having a go at the officials.
His last red card came against West Ham on 6th Feb 2016.
Perhaps Ronaldo Koeman is doing a right thing by benching Wanyama in recent games, as he could danger Southampton by getting sent off and forcing them to play with only 10-men.
Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
Lee Cattermole and red cards is a renowned love story. The 28-year old combative midfielder has seen 7 red cards so far in his career, and the number could only rise as we cannot expect him to alter his playing style.
He goes hard in to tackles and never leaves anything behind. Sunderland at times draw inspiration from his fighting spirit, but have also suffered because of his over aggression.
John Walters (Stoke City)
Among the five men we have profiled, I find John Walters the most intriguing one. Walters has the ability to go through an entire season without any volatile acts but he can take out an entire opposing team with his aggression.
At most of the times, he keeps a check on himself but ends up taking all that out when referees give a wrong decision against Stoke City. If you have not noticed by now, keep an eye when Walters gets angry at referees. Spoiler Alert – It will not be pretty.
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