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Conte: Dropping Luiz Was Tactical

08 November, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Gossip column: Bilic, Silva, De Jong, McClaren, Sanchez, Conte

Former Chelsea player Ray Wilkins has backed Antonio Conte's decision to drop David Luiz for the crucial Premier League game against Manchester United on Sunday.

Luiz had been the linchpin of Chelsea's defence in the Conte era at Stamford Bridge but wasn't involved against United, with Andreas Christensen starting and impressing at the back as the Blues went on to win 1-0.

"Christensen came in yesterday and played very, very well indeed in a massive game".

Chelsea now head into the global break on the back of their win over Jose Mourinho's men and Christensen has key World Cup qualifying action on the agenda with Denmark.

Given the personalities involved, it was surprising that we had to wait until January of last season before Conte's patience with Costa snapped. This mindset has yielded spectacular results when selling players - most notably Ramires, David Luiz and Oscar - but led to more problems when buying.

"It was only a tactical decision", he insisted.

"It's very simple. The coach has to make the best decision for the team".

"I have to make important decisions".

He said after the United win: "Maybe in the future I can decide a different way or continue in this way". I must take the best decision for the club, not for a single player. I have a squad with 16 senior players, and five young players. "But I do the best things for my team".

Luiz was guilty of some shocking defending against AS Roma in the Champions League.

"I'd be happy to eat humble pie if I'm wrong - and there's part of me that will be pleased if I am because I've a lot of respect for the guy".

In dropping David Luiz for one of Chelsea's biggest games of the season, Conte gave the clearest message that he will not manage in fear of what owner Roman Abramovich might do next.

"I thought the decision to drop Luiz was the right decision".



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