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First Diego Costa, now David Luiz - Antonio Conte wins yet another battle at the Bridge.

David Luiz was dropped from the first team squad to face Manchester United yesterday and faces a battle to get back in favour with Antoni...


David Luiz was dropped from the first team squad to face Manchester United yesterday and faces a battle to get back in favour with Antonio Conte. 

It's a shame really that plenty of the focus post-match has been about Luiz and a reported bust-up rather than the excellent performance that won us the game 1-0.  Again, we wake up this morning and speculation is rife over what has happened with Antonio Conte's post-match comments adding plenty of fuel to fire.

When asked of the omission of Luiz from the matchday squad and if he still has a future at Chelsea, Antonio Conte responded by saying:

"I don’t know. He has to work really hard, otherwise they are on the bench or in the stand.”


Considering that only a few weeks ago Conte described the Brazilian as "World Class" you have to wonder what has happened to change his opinion to being the complete opposite in such a short period of time?

If we are honest, and let me start by saying that I love David Luiz has much as the next person, but his form this season hasn't been anywhere near the levels he achieved last year. When he joined the club everyone up and down the country questioned why we had brought him back, that's no bullshit, that's fact.

However, under the guidance of Conte and playing in the heart of our back three as the designated sweeper, Luiz played with a disciplined approach to his game and was imperious he really was. His ability to read the game is excellent and playing where does he is able to sense danger quickly. He really was immense last year and shut alot of his critics up. There were even pundits that held their hands up and admit that they were wrong to have made negative comment over his decision to come back to the club.


This season has been a totally different story in my view. OK, at times he still senses the danger and sniffs it out, he still puts himself in the right areas to block crosses into the box and to step in front of his opponent to win the ball. Those instances have been few and far between of late and it's cost him.

We all know Luiz and his playing style and we are all only too aware of when he seems to lose focus and discipline. He steps out of position, he misses tackles and his head goes. Roma the other night was a perfect example which has led to Conte's decision to drop him over poor form. Think back to the first leg against Roma at Stamford Bridge, when Antonio Conte made the tactical decision to substitute him, Luiz gesticulated to him in a blatant public display of ill-discipline which for a manager on the biggest stage is not acceptable.

In addition it seems that Luiz took issue this passed week to Antonio Conte's tactical approach ahead of facing United yesterday in training at Cobham. So much so, he was reportedly banished to the sidelines when the players involved in the matchday squad worked on drills and set pieces.

Antonio Conte has made it clear that he is the boss to Luiz as he previously had with Diego Costa. His decision to play Andreas Christensen in his place proved to be a masterstroke as the young Danish start delivered an impeccable display. It now looks as though Christensen has made his mark and will have his place in the starting eleven as long as his form remains good which is how it should be right?

The issue I have with all this in the past 24 hours is the focus on the apparent fall-out in the press. Two seasons ago, as we looked to defend our Premier League title, the reported player-power and lack of strength from the management team at the time played havoc with our form, our confidence and ultimately our position in the top four. It became clear then that Roman Abramovich needed to appoint someone who is strong mentally and demands hard work coupled with discipline to put an end to it. He did that with Antonio Conte.

None of us want to see what happened to us back then, happen again at this club. As Greame Souness on SKYSPORTS claimed yesterday, there are plenty of managers in the game right now that prefer to shy away from confrontation, they do not have the balls to take these players on to dispel any thoughts that the players can get their own way or have the final say. Antonio Conte is totally different and is not afraid to hit these issues head on.

Antonio Conte said:

“It’s very simple, no? Very simple. The coach has to make the best decision for the team and tonight the best decision for the team was to play with Christensen and to have, on the bench, [Ethan] Ampadu. Another young player. A really good player for the present and the future.

Maybe in the future I can decide a different way or continue in this way. That’s normal. I must take the best decision for the club, not for a single player. It’s only a tactical decision. It’s normal. This can happen to every one of my players, if I see they are not in good form. It’s normal. I repeat: I have to put my face to every situation and then sometimes to make important decisions. Today I did this and I think Christensen played a massive game. I was very happy for this.” - Source: The Guardian.

Diego Costa tried his luck and failed and now David Luiz has questioned his approach to suffer similar initial consequences. We wait to see what happens from here on in but it's clear, if David Luiz wants to get back into the team he must work hard and recover his approach to the game he had last year.

This looks to be another battle Antonio Conte has no intention of losing at Chelsea.

ChelseaFan12.com

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