Is Not Trusting David Luiz In FA Cup Final A Myth? by Dan Smith
Let’s be honest if Arsenal lost on Saturday due to a David Luiz mistake it wouldn’t be a shock. In one season at the Emirates he’s conceded more pens and red cards than his entire time at the Bridge.
How that has earnt him a new contract should tell you the ambition of Stan Kroenke. Compare that to the business our weekend opponents are currently doing and it’s scary.
Thanks to social media, our defender will be well aware how he’s viewed; not just by gooners, he has always been famous for a centre back who can be brilliant, then just makes an error suddenly.
In that sense the Brazilian has a strong mentality, having to bounce back from adversity and deal with ridicule.
One day, he might have children who read about their father on the internet. They will hear the likes of Gary Neville compare him to a ‘player off FIFA’. Yet their Dad could then take them by the hand and take them into a room where he keeps his medals. To be more accurate ….16 medals!!!!!!!
Yes, there’s an exception to the rule where Pascal Cygan had a title medal, but you don’t win 16 trophies by luck.
Every country this man has played in he has won their domestic championship and cup. Oh, and the Champions League and 2 Europa Leagues. So, in terms of big match experience, our biggest liability at Wembley will strangely be our biggest asset. In terms of winning honours, no one else in our squad comes close, which might be why he’s so respected in our dressing room?
The likes of Conte say Luiz was vital in Chelsea’s last Premiership win, when he got the best out of him by switching to a back 3, which Arteta has done.
You could argue his best ever performance was in the CL Final, where, without Jon Terry, he led a back 4 in defending for their lives.
There’s that version of David Luiz, then there’s the one who let the emotion of a World Cup semi-final cripple him in 2014. I never saw a top-level footballer be consumed by the pressure like he was feeling the night Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany.
Now we can’t quite compare an FA Cup Final in an empty stadium to a World Cup in your own country, a nation who maybe wanted to win it too much, to the point it got too intense.
Luiz comes across as a sensitive soul, so while making amends for poor displays and getting the last laugh over his old club might be motivation, his manager needs to make sure he’s not too pumped up .
And does history suggest we can trust Luiz more then we think? Do the facts show he’s actually a big game player?……..
Cup Finals at Benfica
2009 Taca Da Liga Final – Lisbon 1-1 Benfica (win on pens).
Luiz was only 21 when starting in his first ever Final and was crucial to the victory. At 0-0 he cleared a shot off the line and was trusted in the shootout (you can trust him on spot kicks).
2010- Benfica 3-0 Porto
Again, starts as Benfica retain trophy.
Keeps clean sheet
2012 Champions League – Chelsea 1-1 Bayern Munich (win on pens).
With injuries and suspensions to their back 4, Chelsea are considered underdogs. Without Terry, it’s assumed Luiz cannot organise or marshall a defence. Yet for 120 mins that’s what he does. He scores in the shootout as well
2012 Club World Cup- Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea
They say South Americans take this competition more seriously then Europeans. So that might explain why Luiz was in tears as he collected the Man Of The Match Award.
The first Final he would lose, yet ironically, he was judged the best player on the pitch.
2013 Europa League – Chelsea 2-1 Benfica
5 months after being in tears in the Club World Cup Luiz was another European Final, ironically against his former club. Under Rafa Benítez’s temporary charge he played Luiz in the DM role; a position many felt/feel suits the player better due to his ability on the ball.
2013 Confederation Cup – Brazil 3-0 Spain
Where some nations view the tournament as a mere warm up for the World Cup, this was an emotional victory for Brazil, due to political backlash of them hosting the 2014 World Cup. This intensified with them beating the current World and 2-time European Champions Spain with such a convincing score line. The closest we came to a Spanish goal saw David Luiz clear a shot off the line.
Trophee des Champions – PSG 2-0 Lyon
David Luiz’s first game for PSG saw him lift a trophy. This is the equivalent of the Community Shield, but they seem to count it as part of a treble.
ççCoupe De France – PSG 1-0 Auxerre
PSG made hard work of beating a side in a division below them, but Luiz had nothing to do defensively. He wrote himself into PSG history as they became the First French club to win the treble.
2016- Trophee Des Champions – PSG 4 -1 Lyon
Beat Lyon for the second year running in the French season curtain raiser.
Coupe de la Ligue – PSG 2-1 Lille
First Final where Luiz wasn’t selected to start. Came on for the final ten minutes to defend his sides narrow lead.
Coupe de France – PSG 4-2 Marseille
With his future unclear, Luiz was dropped for the Final. He came on for the last 12 minutes and PSG became the first French club to win the quadruple.
2017 – FA CUP- Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Part of a Chelsea side who were a shadow of the side who had won the title blowing their chance of the Double. He had just seen Costa equalise when he went to sleep, standing still as Ramsey charged into the box to head in the winner.
2019 League Cup Final – Chelsea 0- 0 Man City (City win on pens)
A week before in the League City had beaten Chelsea 6-0 so it took some defensive performance to suddenly not concede at all for 120 minutes at Wembley. Normally so reliable from the spot Luiz saw his penalty hit the post which would have given the Blues the advantage.
2019- Europa League Final – Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal
Ironically, his final game for Chelsea ensured that the one he would join that summer would not be in the Champions League. Given how we defended in Baku it was clear we needed a new centre back, but you wouldn’t have thought it would be Luiz
It’s not like Arsenal didn’t make chances but our final ball (especially from Kolasinac) didn’t make them pay.
So, in Conclusion
David Luiz has played in 14 Finals, winning 11 of them. Losing only 3 of them.
He’s kept 5 clean sheets and conceded 10 goals – none of which was a David Luiz error.
So, while he might randomly lose his concentration in a random League game his focus in Cup Finals is without reproach. We know that ourselves with his excellent display in the semi-final.
So, this might come back to haunt me. The idea we can’t trust David Luiz In the FA Cup Final is a myth…
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