SPORTSDESK COMMENT: Luiz slip-up revives debate
A howler by Brazilian centre-back David Luiz on Saturday once again showed that his defending can lurch from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Allowing Cardiff youngster Jordan Mutch to run onto Ramires’ back-pass to score past Petr Cech was another example of his relaxed attitude to the art of defending.
Luiz, above, left, seemed to shine in a midfield role during the much-maligned reign of Rafael Benitez, the interim manager seeming to bring the best out in the Brazilian.
Jose Mourinho brought the less flamboyant Gary Cahill in for the Schalke trip on Tuesday and, alongside John Terry, the pair maintained a clean sheet in their 3-0 victory.
Many pundits, including Alan Hansen on Match of the Day, seem exasperated at Luiz’s occasional blunders, and I can see their point.
Chelsea may have continued their Premier League title push with a 4-1 win at home to the Bluebirds, but if the unpredictable South American lines up in the Blues defence in the crunch clash against Manchester City then Chelsea fans may well endure a nervy afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
The win in Germany means that the Blues are now unbeaten in seven games in all competitions and successive wins in Group E of the Champions League have put them in pole position.
After a few hiccups early on in his second coming, ‘The Special One’ is certainly, once again, living up to the hype and the Premier League is a lot better off for his return in my opinion.
The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, combined with the predictable teething problems of David Moyes trying to follow in his footsteps, means champions Manchester United are languishing in eighth place at the moment.
Pacesetters Arsenal have looked very impressive in the league since their shock defeat at home to Aston Villa on the opening day, while Liverpool, Man City and Spurs, as well as Southampton and Everton, have all shown some flashes of good form.
With only four points separating the top seven, this could well shape up to be the most exciting title race for years, let’s hope so as last season was dreadfully dull with United easing to glory without getting out of second gear.
The Old Trafford club are eight points behind the Gunners, and it seems that they cannot afford any more slip-ups if Moyes is to finally get his hands on some silverware as a manager.
While he will not want this year’s Community Shield and the 1999-2000 old second division title with Preston to be the only honours on his managerial CV, I believe that United fans should give him time to get settled in at Old Trafford.
Hopefully the club’s directors will also give him their support as well, as long as it is not the dreaded vote of confidence.