Gary Neville once described David Luiz as defending ‘like he was being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation’.
If that child was playing on Saturday, he would have pressed R1 and square to produce the 50-yard pass he executed with wonderful precision to find Pedro and give Chelsea the lead against Newcastle.
Now apply that same console analogy to his performance in November against Tottenham and it would have appeared every single button on the controller was being hit in a disorderly manner.
Chelsea were already 1-0 down when Harry Kane collected the ball and shot. Luiz, a defender, sidestepped rather than block or close the striker down. Kane scored.
After the break, Heung-Min Son burst past Jorginho to find himself face-to-face with the Brazilian, but rather than halt Son, Luiz ran beyond him such was his lack of discipline.
Tottenham were 3-0 up and Luiz was left facing the corner flag.
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At this point, the boy’s mother should have stormed into his room and turned his game off. You’ve had enough, time for bed.
It was the kind of showing from Luiz that had the critics licking their lips, questioning his concentration, his ability to play in such a disciplined position.
“David Luiz on the ball is fantastic, he has personality, he wants to play and deliver the ball into dangerous areas for his team and he can play those balls but especially places like here, before you think about the ball, you have to get your house in order defensively,” Rio Ferdinand said after that Tottenham match.
Famed for his ability on the ball, the former Manchester United centre-back is rightly positioned, literally, to make such points.
But Luiz’s Wembley nightmare proved to be a blip. After a strong start to the season alongside Antonio Rudiger, Luiz has set about making amends.
Overall this campaign – the Spurs performance aside – the Brazilian has been an asset to a pedestrian Chelsea thanks his ball-playing ability, as shown against Newcastle.
In fact, Luiz has played more accurate through balls than any other player in the Premier League.
So, with such creativity coming from an unsuspecting position, it’s surprising the Blues could force out the Brazilian, according to the Guardian, due to their contract policy of only offering those aged 30 a one year extension.
It is a medieval way of handling transfers in 2019. How can a backdated approach apply in a world where science and controlled diet means footballers are as fit as they ever have been.
A player does not become a bad one as soon as they surpass their third decade and Luiz is a case in point.
A stunning diagonal pass found Pedro and set Chelsea on their way to an opening goal against Manchester City. His header completed a 2-0 win.
At Crystal Palace, the scores were level and Chelsea looked bereft of ideas. Not Luiz. Carefully weighted, his ball found N’Golo Kante and the Blues went ahead.
These types of defence-splitting passes are nothing new from the maverick defender; what may come as a surprise though, is to see Luiz’s name top the through balls list with 31.
The next nine players in the list are all midfielders, and he’s miles ahead of them.
Such a statistic tells only half the story. Chelsea are a better side with Luiz in it.