Is David Luiz the leader Arsenal have been waiting for?

Luiz Is The Leader We Need by Dan Smith

When my main talking point at half time is ‘could the game not just stop and let poor Scott Mctominay go to the toilet’, then you know there’s been a lack of quality. 15-20 minutes is a long time to hold yourself, especially when you’re trying to play top level sport.

I also posted on social media; why does the Emirates keep playing WWE theme music? (any wrestling fans let me know).

In all seriousness, there were a few moments from David Luiz that encouraged me. A couple of moments of body language which suggested he brings much needed leadership to our dressing room, followed by an inspired post-match interview.

The defender was mocked on Sky Sports for celebrating getting a block on Bruno Fernandes’s free kick, having arranged the wall. Yet isn’t that what’s been missing from our defenders for years? We have lacked defenders who love the art of defending.

Seconds later, the half time whistle was blown, and the Brazilian looked at his teammates and pointed to his head, telling them to keep the focus.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 30: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal organises the wall during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United. (Photo by Andy Rain – Pool/Getty Images)

In the second half he cuts out a cut back after those around him were ball watching, and immediately screams and directs them into position. Again that’s what we have been needing for years. The likes of Holding and Gabriel are going to massively benefit from partnering him.

This wasn’t the centre back being content with a 0-0 draw but perhaps realising how crucial it was for his peers’ development.

Earlier in the campaign and especially last season, our back 4 would have had a lapse in concentration, now we were able to, when not playing great for the first 45 mins, fight, dig deep and stay in the contest (and to be fair we were better in the second period).

I have read some arrogant statements this week from our fan base, boasting that a win would ‘only’ put us 7 points BEHIND Saturday’s opponents.

Instead of asking how we have gone so far backwards that Villa, Everton, Leicester, West Ham are above us, readers were talking about our ‘title hopes’.

I got in a debate with a couple of peeps on Arteta’s perceived ‘fantastic record’ against the top 6. This point makes the Spaniard ‘s record in the League W 4 D 2 L6. That’s not terrible but we need to have higher standards than calling 4 wins out of 12 ‘fantastic’.

It’s educating newer fans that it is wrong to say Mr Wenger didn’t have that record, or didn’t knock out big teams in one off cup ties like Arteta has done.

Fans do themselves zero favours by pretending we are better than we are. Don’t listen to me, listen to David Luiz’s post-match interview which was almost as great as his performance.
I have always said to find a solution first you have to admit there is a problem, but our fan base is divided in that regard.

Luiz, though, is a winner who has won every domestic honour available to him in three countries as well as the Champions League and 2 Europa Leagues. When he retires his legacy will always be what he did at Chelsea. Yet he’s always spoken respectfully about us.

Last year he said his aim was to take ‘this club back to the level it deserves’. He doesn’t seem one on these players past his best in North London for a final pay day. He seems to care about helping us re-establish ourselves.

Yesterday he spoke about the need to be ‘humble’, to admit how far away you are from the level you want to be. Ask yourself why would a proven winner be reiterating that being ‘humble’ is crucial to our development?

Because he’s smart enough to know that to return to our previous levels we need to take little steps and build slowly. Not win a few games and pretend that everything is fine. He realises that twice this season Man United have found us hard to beat and that hasn’t always been the case.

Don’t get me wrong Luiz is capable of individual mistakes, sometimes caring too much. As a leader though, I’m glad our youngsters have him to listen too

Football is about opinions. It’s not for me to say I’m right or wrong, and I refuse to base anything on short term results. Next time though you read about our title bid or chances or making the top 4, or Maitland Niles being better then Kante, or Arteta better then Wenger, just think of the words Luiz uses ……. Be Humble…

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan

34 Comments

  1. adajim says:

    To be candid we have gotten some lplayers with fine leadership traits in recent years, you might not agree with me but guys like Xhaka, Luiz, KT , Lacca, and even Bellerin are much more of leader than Auba, always communicating and giving their best within their limited abilities

    OT: watching Aston Villa highlights, i can say it will be totally unfair and selfish to hold unto both Martinez and Leno, both are very good and i support every decision to sell one off, i hate to stop people progress, once again good luck to Martinez

    1. adajim says:

      and to cap it all, no arsenal player has made error leading to goal this season, that an improvement on the general team performance

      1. Ed says:

        Runarrson?

    2. Lenohappy says:

      adajim Martinez is a world class goalkeeper so also is Leno, like have always said the issue I have with Leno are his mistakes which I think he has worked on now.

      1. Reggie says:

        In the last 5 seasons three players playing for Arsenal are in the top 5 of players mistakes leading to goals, Leno is top, xhaka is the leading outfield player and the other was Cech. One has gone but two with form remain, agree they have been better but it is in their make up.

        1. Reggie says:

          And that is in the Premier league not just Arsenal.

  2. Reggie says:

    David Luiz is a fantastic player who does make or get the odd brain fart but any fool can see the class the guy has. Just go look at his trophy cabinet.

  3. Eddie says:

    Great bloke. On his day we’ll always need him.
    I don’t doubt his quality, it’s his consistency. We all know he’s a good leader.

    Our defense is the second strongest in the league behind City only despite we’ve played more games than teams around us. Only City has conceded few against us.
    I heard even Neville admitted it’s harder to score against us now?

    This isn’t even the most impressive part for me. Last season when Arteta came, he had to keep selecting a team with 5 defenders and even the attackers are always in our box. Like we sorta were parking the bus and playing on the counter.
    This season it’s a total different ball game. Our 4 defenders regardless what pair they’re in, are all doing great individually and keeping the errors on a low. In our last 7 games we’ve conceded just twice.
    This defensive stability is what we’ve always called for.
    Kudos to Arteta and his coaching team for that.
    Slowly we’ll fix our attacking prowess too.

    P.S: Pepe seems to be getting himself back, I love all his attempts and moves yesterday

  4. gotanidea says:

    Luiz could potentially be a great manager in the future, since he’s learned from many top managers in the highest level of European leagues

    But we still need a left-footed CB like Mari or Magalhaes in the left CB position, whose passing can help Tierney to break through the opposition’s defense. Luiz’s long through balls were too wasteful for my liking and he’s more suited to be a right CB or a DM

  5. Wyoming says:

    When you are paid a guaranteed
    £120,000 a week whether you play well or even play at all you never have to listen to a leader. Premier league footballers owning several mansions villas and a bevy of hugely
    expensive cars should not be publicly extolling the virtues of humility.

  6. Almaria says:

    Great player Luis, keeps going forward as well, not like most of them passing back all the time, and then hardly anyone in the goal area .

  7. RW1 says:

    He is one of the most slow witted players I have seen in the epl … so if we want to be led into the valley of footballing mediocrity he is our man

    1. Davi says:

      Nah he’s won so much you can’t say he’s not capable. In his time he was a world class footballer, incredibly good with the ball at his feet, if not consistently a world class defender.

    2. Lenohappy says:

      RW1 maybe you should take a look at his trophy cabinet before you say anything.

      1. RW1 says:

        Since when did arsenal fc live in someone else’s past ??!!! Barca have had some pretty average defenders inc piquet in the last 12 years but they had iniesta xavi and Messi … in any event Luiz is now slow error prone and poor in the air … he should not be starting in a team that claims to be in the elite of football

        1. jon fox says:

          RW1, I warn you that merely being correct and a fellow realist who states the truth will get you nowhere with some of the fantasists who inhabit this and all fan sites.

          I have been fighting their antipathy to what is relevant to us NOW , for many years and it gets me nowhere either. Realists are rarely well liked because they speak the plain truth, fearlessly.
          But you have MY admiration for being a fellow realist.

          1. RW1 says:

            Thanks Jon reality can indeed be an uncomfortable place for some people to inhabit but in the end we all just want to see AFC back at the top of the pile

      2. jon fox says:

        LENO HAPPY Please explain any RELEVANCE of what his trophies won at Chelsea -with a better team, better team mates,(and when he was younger and faster) than us TODAY – has to us right here and now!

        We live in today ,NOT years ago and today is all that matters. Today and the future, NOT and NEVER the long ago past. That is silly and unthinking, frankly!

        1. Weeble says:

          Like it or not Holding had to cover for him a few times yesterday due to oopsies.

  8. Danny says:

    When hes focused he shows his qualities but for me to often he has lapses of concentration and makes errors although lately he has not made many as the defence as a whole has improved beyond recognition to previous seasons. But isn’t he in last year of contract so would only offer him a year extension as he seems to be a good influence on the younger players and his experience will help us keep improving!!

  9. Sid says:

    Great leader, and an improved player this season 👏
    Always loved Luiz’s shooting and freekick goals. To be a CB and have great deadball specialism was something which was new exciting for me. Now his leadership qualities are top-notch. If he ever wants to have a crack at management, I hope he chooses us and becomes MA’s assistant and future successor.

  10. Declan says:

    Luiz is a leader, along with Holding and Xhaka.

  11. Dan Smith says:

    Worked out the wwe music
    I remember now a few years ago Auba visited a WWE live event and as captain would pick music ?
    It’s funny to watch video.of wrestlers not knowing who he is treating him like a child , not realising he’s richer then them

    1. jon fox says:

      Obviously those responsible for the choice of music have not realised Wrestler Sokratis has now left!

  12. jon fox says:

    This love in for Luiz is a typical overreaction to a player,who though clearly past his best, is still capable (like yesterday) of the odd top game . But as a reliable, fast enough, reliably mistake free enough CB he is NOT the quality we need NOW.

    YES HE SPEAKS WELL IN INTERVIEWS AND HAS A WORLDLY WISE FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE . BUT WHAT MATTERS IS HIS QUALITY ON THE PITCH – NOT HIS PERSONALITY.

    His previous trophy haul at Chelsea, some many years ago , which some wet their pants about, is of complete irrelevance to us and what we NEED NOW.

    I DO WISH MORE PEOPLE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT NOW AND OUR FUTURE THAN WHAT PLAYERS DID IN THE DISTANT PAST AT OTHER CLUBS , as that is of zero importance to us and to NOW. REALISM!!

    1. Sir Michael says:

      jon fox Nobody’s perfect not even you

  13. Jah son says:

    When we play teams that are not organized and well drilled all of a sudden everyone becomes world class. Luiz is amongst the worst defenders arsenal ever signed but a smart guy like Dan wouldn’t bother to involve stats.

    1. Dan Smith says:

      If your a defender only stat i care about is clean sheets
      He’s been involved in 6 clean sheets in the last 8 games
      A smart guy like Jah Son wouldn’t bother to say that

  14. RSH says:

    He has his moments where you see how quality he is. Think he’s been great since lockdown ended. It’s characteristics our ideal captain should have. It’s qualities I see Tierney having in the future and it think it’s just a matter of time before he’s given the captaincy.

  15. Weeble says:

    No and he double toothpicks no. It great to have David here but he needs to be gone next year and let the next gen take over.

  16. Gunner4life says:

    Respect for Luis but please, being the oldest guy he should offer advice to all young players. Arsenal are evolving and our captain should be Holding. Not Luis who will be leaving nor Tierney who has just had a handful of great games and unfortunately got injured.

  17. Deo tyson says:

    Luiz is agreat man!!

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