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David Luiz urges Chelsea teammates to be big players with big mentalities in Manchester United showdown

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Chelsea v Watford - Premier League Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

While the plaudits thrown at David Luiz’s feet have not been coming at the same rate as last season, when he was making good on Conte’s promise to turn him into a combination of Bonucci and Barzagli and mould him into the best center back in the world, the 30-year-old remains a crucial member of the Chelsea squad and a key starter in the head coach’s preferred tactical setups.

Crucially, David Luiz also remains a winner, and a man who’s experienced plenty of ups and down, joys and disappointments, wins and losses on the football world’s biggest stages. He knows what it takes to win and what it feels like to disappoint an entire nation. So when he speaks about what the players themselves need to do to ensure victory against Manchester United on Sunday, he probably knows what he’s talking about.

"Every week is a big week for Chelsea, when you play for big clubs you need to win all your games. And you need to learn when you lose. You must improve to do better. We have a big game against a big team. It'll be a tough game, we need to be ready."

"We need to understand why you are here - you are here because you play for a big club, big players need to have a great mentality. These things happen sometimes, and we must be strong."

-David Luiz; Source: London Evening Standard

Chelsea could point to various factors to excuse the substandard performances on the pitch — injuries, inconsistencies, lineup/tactical decisions, cosmic injustice — but at the end of the day, everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions. This should not be a new concept for anyone, especially those where here for at least the last 2-3 seasons.

Can we show that we’ve learned from recent losses and recent seasons? Sunday’s game may not definitively answer all our questions, but it could be a good start.