I think it would be safe to say that Arsenal had a rough day on Wednesday. They finally got to hit the pitch to play again, and they were absolutely shellacked by Manchester City 3-0 inside the quiet confines of the Etihad Arena. Now, while a lot of this simply couldn’t be helped, Man City are certainly good enough to beat down any other club in the Premier League, except for probably Liverpool. Be that as it may, the defending Premier League champions got a little help from Arsenal defender David Luiz.
The Brazilian International didn’t start the match in question, he instead was subbed in for an injured Pablo Mari in the 24th minute. At that point in the game, City had yet to score. By the end of his 25 minutes in the game however, he would be responsible in some way for two Man City goals and would then be sent off after receiving a red card early in the second half.
His performance on Wednesday was so bad, that people who’s job it is to rate players’ games had a field day in mocking his downright pathetic display. Josh Sippie from PainInTheArsenal.com started off his review by first asking whether or not the former Chelsea man was a “double agent” in the article’s title. He then went on to explain that “it would have been better if we’d just not sent anyone on for Pablo Mari.”
When fans of your team are asking whether or not the squad would be better off with a one-player disadvantage, that just proves how horrific you were that day. Of course, after the moment Luiz received his red card, Arsenal would only give up only one more goal, meaning that maybe Sippie was right in his albeit facetious take.
Luiz’s first major blunder came just before the halftime whistle when he deflected a through lob pass from Kevin de Bruyne. The ball careened into his left thigh and right to Man City superstar Raheem Sterling, who slotted in the game’s first goal. With that shot, Sterling had finally scored for the first time in 2020.
Now if you’re an Arsenal fan, or just a football fan who knows about Luiz’s history, you can easily hand wave one mistake. Not to pile on the guy, but he’s kind of a lock to make easy blunders like this from time to time. Think of him as footie’s version of J.R. Smith. But, while we could all point out that Smith can play basketball at a pretty serviceable level, I’m not so sure that any of us would confuse Luiz with an adequate footballer. And besides, any benefit of the doubt that he may have been allowed was thrown straight out the window early on in the second half when he foolishly fouled City’s Riyad Mahrez for a penalty.
Not only was this stupefying foul his fourth conceded penalty of the season, which is tied for the most in a single season in the Prem’s history, but it also warranted his second red card of the season, which is also tied for the most in a single campaign.
It only took 25 minutes for David Luiz to enter the game as a substitute, commit an error that resulted in a goal, foul a guy in the box, and receive a red card. The last time a player in any of the big 5 European leagues did all of that was when Inter Milan’s Ivan Cordoba did it back in March 2011. To put into perspective just how long ago that was, current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hadn’t even started his career as a Gunner player and was ending his run at Everton.
Now I’m not trying to disrespect David Luiz. During his peak, he was one of Europe’s best center backs. He was a stalwart with Chelsea back in the last decade and has a trophy case that would rival just about anyone. But it’s time for him not only to leave Arsenal after only one year, but it’s time for him to leave the Premier League. He is no where close to the quality that the league demands anymore. He deserves to wind down his career in a lesser competition so that he can be remembered less as a liability and more as the player he actually was with Benfica, Chelsea, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Luiz’s contract with the Gunners is set to conclude at the end of this month and from the sounds of it, it will take a minor miracle for the club to re-up the Brazilian. And while there are some, like Arteta, who believe he should stay at the club, the real decision will be handed down by the powers that be in the office. I would be stunned if he stays another season, let alone if he plays another game in the red and white. He has proven time and time again that he lacks any sort of playing ability to last another 90 minutes for a club with the aspirations that Arsenal should have right now. But I guess, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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Featured Image Credit – World Sports Tale