It’s summer 2014, and Brazil are taking on Germany in their own backyard. It’s the World Cup semi-final, the global football community are glued to their TV sets, the carnival atmosphere is at fever pitch. It seems written in the stars that the host nation will lift the trophy for a historic sixth time. But things didn’t quite go to plan…
As you might well recall, Germany completely obliterated
Flash forward five years, and the 31-year-old played a part in a performance eerily close to that fateful night in
And that performance was just the tip of the iceberg; throughout the campaign, the defender has been at fault for a hefty proportion of the 29 goals the ?Blues have conceded in the ?Premier League, and has looked completely incapable of creating a reliable, communicative centre-back partnership with Antonio Rüdiger.
David Luiz is having an absolutely shambolic game. Three times now he’s getting close to making a critical mistake
— Clay Merritt (@notclaymerritt) February 14, 2019
Just last week, when the ?Blues looked to have secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Malmö in the Europa League, his defensive error (followed by a half-hearted jog back to correct it) led to a precious goal for the hosts, setting up an
Now, let’s get a few things straight about the player: firstly, he’s arguably one of the best long-range passers of the ball in the Premier League, if not Europe. He’s got more flair than a samba dancer juggling flaming swords; even his simple passes along the backline are played with a ridiculous level of showmanship. In short, his technical skills are, quite frankly, exceptional.
This facet of Luiz’s play has been picked up by previous Chelsea managers before, and both José Mourinho and Rafael Benítez briefly flirted with the idea of playing the mercurial defender in a midfield role. Conte tried it during his second season at the club, and the player excelled during a clash with Roma – but a calf injury cut short what looked to be a tactical masterstroke.
Kanté’s dogged determination to defend would also afford Luiz the freedom to make his trademark marauding runs up the field, which we can all agree is a far more pleasing trait in a midfielder than a centre-back.
Luiz’s passion for Chelsea cannot be questioned. Sure, he celebrated like a madman when his late goal for Paris Saint-Germain helped them knock the Blues out of the Champions League, but given the circumstances, you can’t really blame him for showing some passion.