“OH Luiz Luiz”… as the song goes.
Although this morning I’m sure many a Chelsea supporter will be rescinding certain allowances they may have made for our personable Brazilian defender.
There’s rarely been a player so divisive in one sense, yet so unifying in another.
But Luiz’s move to Arsenal has only compounded what many Chelsea supporter already knew: Marmite plays football.
From the moment the mop haired Brazilian joined Chelsea in a deal with Benfica that saw Nemanja Matic leave (although later return), opinions were divided.
Most footballers are judged for their performance on the pitch, some for their behaviour off it.
Yet with Luiz it seems his off-field (or side-field) antics were often more the focus than his game in general.
Famously called a “PlayStation footballer” by Gary Neville, Luiz has never been a defender’s defender.
Prone to the odd lapse in concentration or untimely slip, these were always complemented by an 80-yard pass or a screaming free-kick to mask the deficiencies.
At his best in a back-three, Luiz excelled in his second spell at Chelsea under Antonio Conte.
During that time, he was given the protection he needs but also the freedom to do what he does.
It’s arguable Luiz had his best season in a blue shirt under the Italian’s guidance.
The arrival of Sarri and a switch to a back-four exposed Luiz’s weaknesses.
But due to limitations in the squad and the manager’s dislike for certain players, Luiz mostly found himself alongside Rudiger or Christensen in the back four.
Alongside his ability for world class 80-yard assists, or moments of sheer brilliance, was also the capability for disaster.
A diving tackle mistimed, a pass at the back misplaced, a booking, or red card… Luiz was always unpredictable.
Maybe why that’s why we loved him so much. He was a throwback to the days when our glorious unpredictability was something we held onto.
But the fact is times have changed, and Luiz is, and always has been, a liability.
As much as Chelsea’s transfer business is conducted by the board, I struggle to believe Frank [Lampard] was not consulted on this move. I for one think he gave it his blessing.
Toby Brown on Luiz to Arsenal
Easily responsible for five goals a season, some of them at crucial moments, and also a strong personality in the dressing room, one can only assume that Frank Lampard took the decision that it would be better for all involved if he moved on.
As much as Chelsea’s transfer business is conducted by the board, I struggle to believe Frank was not consulted on this move.
I for one think he gave it his blessing.
We are seeing a revolution at Chelsea, and for too long the player power has seemed to take priority over managerial direction, that’s changing now.
Luiz is very much part of the “old guard” of Abramovich teams, and now we have a team in place that are here for the club.
Not just the wages or prestige, it seems his is a face that no longer fits.
Luiz has been a great servant to Chelsea, but you simply cannot argue with the economics of receiving £8m for a 32-year-old, who costs us five or more goals a season.
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It also allows for influx of fresher blood.
Thanks for the memories David, just be sure to gift us one of your famous slips when we face Arsenal.
I’m sure we can forgive your recent behaviour and remember you as well as you deserve, if you do.