David Luiz has been speaking to the press in his homeland about why he left Chelsea, why he joined a rival who aren’t in the Champions League, and what Arsenal’s aims are this season.
David Luiz has had a mixed start to life at Arsenal.
The blow of giving away two penalties has been softened by decent defensive displays. Well, decent by Arsenal’s standards, I guess.
I’ve noticed that Luiz is very chatty in terms of talking to the press and his latest interview has been given to Mauro Cezar’s blog.
First up, he was asked why he left Chelsea when he liked it there. “Always liked yes, no doubt,” he replied. “My respect and affection for all people remain the same inside.
“A new moment has come in my career, a new cycle where I have had the opportunity to move to another major club, pursuing ambitions to win titles. That’s how I went everywhere, and that’s how I hope it can happen at Arsenal as well.
“So I saw this possibility of writing a new story in a new place, but I am forever grateful to Chelsea, to all people, to friendships that are for life. I get messages to this day from everyone in the club because what I built inside was true”
He was then asked if joining a rival complicated things. “It’s always very difficult because of the rivalry, but I made the decision to leave Chelsea even before receiving Arsenal’s bid,” he answered.
“It was not a thing done together.
“As soon as I decided to leave Chelsea – after a few days – Arsenal’s proposal came, and as it was another great club, I didn’t think twice.
“It’s hard for rivalry, yes, but I couldn’t help but live a new story, in a new place, in a big club just because of it. I want to be in world football at a high level and for that you have to play in big clubs.”
Cezar then highlighted that Arsenal aren’t in the Champions League and wanted to know if that come into his decision-making process. “As I said, it was not a decision taken together, it was a decision made later.
“God was very good to me because I’ve had the chance to win both the Champions League and the Europa League. Whatever the competition, wherever I am, I will always try to come in to win, so whether it is the Champions or the Europa League, my goal is always to give my best in every competition”
Arsenal and Chelsea face each other for the first time this season during the Christmas schedule. They will go head-to-head at the Emirates on 28 December when Luiz will have the chance to play his former side. “Of course they [the games against Chelsea] will be different. I have a huge affection for Chelsea, where I won titles, evolved and made great friends.
“But today I defend Arsenal and I will always do my best to honour the shirt I wear.”
With Arsenal still a side in transition, Luiz believes they need to ‘evolve with ambition’. “I think we have to try to evolve every day, to think that way, with ambition. Only then can teams achieve success. It is knowing that every day we can learn more.”
And how do they fix that defence? “Today, with the evolution of modern football, we know that for a team to be defensively cohesive all players must know how to play the defensive role when they do not have the ball.
“As I always repeat, the first defender is the attacker when we don’t have the ball. Just like the first striker nowadays ends up being the goalkeeper, who is evaluated by the game with his feet. They are the first to go out and the ball has to come out with quality from behind.
“So group understanding, collective defense, and collective attack are the big differentials of big clubs.”
Get all that right and who knows what Arsenal can achieve. “Our intention is to fight for all competitions,” he concludes. Let’s look for that….”