Fan favourite and Number One Geezer David Luiz returned from Paris Saint-Germain to Chelsea on the last day of the summer transfer window; he’s since become a key member of the squad, especially after Antonio Conte switched to the 3-4-3 system, in which David Luiz, perhaps a bit counter-intuitively, plays as the center-most defender as opposed to one of the wider center backs.
As during his first stint at the club, David Luiz’s influence extends off the pitch as well, and he’s often interviewed both by English and Brazilian news outlets. We already heard from him in the former, so let’s see what he had to say to the latter after Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday.
"The change in the system to three centre back didn't make the team lose offensive power and brought more safety to our defending. However, the main point is how [Antonio] Conte has been implementing his work."
"He makes sure that every player assimilates and understands perfectly how to behave on the field. When you have conscience of how to execute your actions, the results appear naturally."
"Another important detail is that we study a lot how our opponents play. Preparation is quite heavy. Coupled with that, the individual style of every athlete has helped in our collective growth."
Players (and managers) are often more comfortable expressing themselves in their native tongues, and so it is with David Luiz, who sheds some insight on Conte’s methods. As observers, we can only analyze what we see on the pitch, but Luiz reveals that much of the preparation is mental — and that’s in addition to the “back-breaking” physical training (those are Fabio Quagliarella choice of words, in fairness).
With 9 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses on the season so far, Conte has enjoyed a good start to his Chelsea tenure. The new plans seems to be working very well; now the trick will be to keep up the levels of concentration and effort as we head into the middle part of the season.
"That's why we need to enjoy and be happy whenever the results come through, but always keeping our feet on the ground. We need to keep on thinking one game at a time, [as we] haven't won anything yet."
-David Luiz; Source: Lance!
Confident, yet pragmatic — the way forward.