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Luxury Player? Is there a position for David Luiz?

Posted on Thursday Jul 10

Luxury Player? Is there a position on the pitch for David Luiz?

A raging debate among Premier League followers over the last 2 ½ years has been "what is David Luiz's best position on the football field?"

A highly talented footballer with great feet and technique, he can make the ball move in the air like few others , fooling many a keeper in the league over the last couple of years. He is energetic, has pace and can attack or defend equally well with his head. He has courage and he has a spark in his temperament which serves a player well when plying his trade at the highest level.

Prior to the World Cup, the debate could be summarised as this:

  • Defender: Composed - plays out calmly from the back, will fight for the ball on the ground and in the air, will put a brave tackle when required.........however, he wanders out of position and can't be trusted to consistently track or mark the opposition danger-man.
  • Defensive-Midfielder - Can hit pin-points passes across all areas of the pitch, great technique to get out of trouble when cornered, will run all day for his team and will frantically work to get back into position when the ball is lost........but again, too often he strays (often sprinting) out of position to the wings and up front - he also sprints to get back into position but it's too late, he's already exposed his back-line who thought he was their first line of defence, and his willingness to work back does not excuse the fact he should have already been in the covering position when his side loses the ball.
  • Attacking-Midfield - Has the ability to score great goals, will work hard up and down the pitch, throw himself bravely onto loose balls to get on the end of a cross, with head or feet........most would agree this is not his position - he isn't focussed enough to keep making the clever runs off the ball which are required to find space at the right time. Furthermore, he will too often over-play the ball in the final third of the pitch when a quick pass or through-ball would do most damage.

Jose Mourinho of Chelsea and Brazil's Felipe Scolari are two of the world's most respected and knowledgeable coaches and both have demonstrated their belief his most effective position is at the heart of their defence. Yet football has just witnessed one of the worst positional displays of an international centre half in living memory when he partnered Dante against Germany on Tuesday, proving beyond question he is NOT a centre half, regardless of what his legendary coaches thought.

David's overall performances at the World Cup have only served to fuel this debate - all the above positives have been in evidence - however, this 7-1 capitulation at the hands of the Germans in the Semi-Final has finally closed the debate - it proved there is NO job on the pitch where he can be relied upon to carry out all the responsibilities. Even in modern football where we have as many formations as we have Geometric shapes, he is out of a job.

Top level modern football formations do not have room for a "Luxury Player".

So where does he go now? Off to enjoy Parisian life initially - Paris Saint-Germain is a club where, no doubt, he will be a major success in a league which is a little more forgiving than the English Premier League or the latter stages of the World Cup playing against the best attacking sides in the world.  They have the money to bring a squad of talented players together to win a league approximately as competitive as the SkyBet Championship. Because it is not played at anything like the frantic pace of the Championship this is the league where he will get to play in his favoured position, based "somewhere on the pitch" roughly occasionally between the CDM (Central Defensive Midfielder) and the CAM (Centre Attacking Midfielder) and other times on the wing or up front or indeed, at right back... playing in his LCM role (Luxury Centre Midfielder).

We wish him well. Technically he is one of the most gifted footballers in the world and clearly made a very good decision in moving to France. Of course, we know he doesn't really need to turn to just yet but who knows, if he plays in one of the major leagues in future or dons the Brazilian National shirt again he may need to take a closer look at the job specification.

What are your thoughts?

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