David Luiz has confessed that he is “in love” with the football philosophy of new manager Maurizio Sarri, and hopes that in time they will eventually reach the level of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Chelsea were beaten 2-0 by City in the Community Shield on Sunday afternoon, but this is Guardiola’s third season in charge of City while Sarri has only been in charge at Chelsea for a matter of weeks.
Luiz pointed to the fact that in Guardiola’s first season in charge of City, 2016-17, the team struggled and finished third, 15 points behind champions Chelsea, and eliminated in the last-16 of the Champions League. But that season was only a precursor to City’s record-breaking season last year, when they won the Premier League with 100 points.
Luiz hopes that Chelsea can go through a similar process.
“It was a difficult game against one of the best teams in the world,” Luiz said.
“We have started a new philosophy, a new method, with a new coach. City are in the third consecutive year with the same coach, the same philosophy.”
“In the first year, there was a struggle and it was not easy [for them] to understand the Guardiola philosophy. And now you can see every single one knows what they have to do on the pitch. We are starting now, building a new philosophy with a new manager, so it’s never easy to play against them.”
Luiz said that he “hopes” the Chelsea players can “understand it quickly and can fight for the titles” this season.
So far though Luiz is a big fan of Sarri’s style.
“Guardiola is a fantastic coach, and also Sarri is a fantastic coach,” he said. But can he have the same impact?
“I hope so, and that’s our goal, and we’re going to work on that. At the moment I’m in love with his philosophy, with the way he works, the way he is training, the way he loves football.”
Asked what has most impressed him with the veteran Italian manager, Luiz could not even pick one specific aspect.
“Everything: the way he thinks [about] football, the way he loves football, the way he works with us, the way he sees the details, the things he can see,” Luiz said.
“He just tries to help us to understand his philosophy and then after that, the collective results are going to be on the pitch.”
And while Antonio Conte believed that Luiz could not play as one of two centre-backs, that is how Sarri used him on Sunday, and Luiz insisted that he is “amazing” in that role too.
“I won 17 titles in my career, and only two in a back three,” Luiz said.
“It doesn’t matter, you just have to understand the collective philosophy. If you win, it’s good – it’s always like that. I’m always happy to do my best to help the coach and the club.”