Tag Archives: desailly

Ken Bates interview: Former Chelsea chief speaks out ahead of their visit to Leeds in Capital One Cup

EXCLUSIVE: Roman is welcome at Elland Road… as long as he's wearing a shirt and tie! Former Chelsea chief Bates speaks out ahead of grudge match



00:25 GMT, 19 December 2012

Ken Bates is sitting in his penthouse apartment in Leeds city centre, flicking through a picture book sent from Stamford Bridge on his 80th birthday.

It was put together last December, with messages from former players and staff from the 21 years he spent at Chelsea, by the club’s long-serving and adorable press officer Thresa Connelly.

Frank Lampard signs off: ‘Thanks for splashing out 11m on me — I could have been playing in the Championship with West Ham!’

Back in the day: Roman Abramovich (left) took control of Chelsea from now Leeds owner Ken Bates

Back in the day: Roman Abramovich (left) took control of Chelsea from now Leeds owner Ken Bates

John Terry thanks Bates for his ‘amazing support’. Others, including Gianluca Vialli, Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly, Claudio Ranieri and Roberto Di Matteo are among those paying tribute to the grand old man of football. ‘I call Robbie my son, he calls me Dad,’ Bates said of Di Matteo.

On Wednesday night the chairman and current owner of Leeds United has to put such memories to one side and support his team in trying to beat Chelsea in their Capital One Cup quarter-final at Elland Road; a night when 35,000 Leeds fans will renew hostilities with their bitter rivals.

‘Watching Leeds play Chelsea at Elland Road will be like getting a new Bentley with your mother-in-law in the passenger seat and watching it go over a cliff,’ he admitted on Tuesday. ‘But it’s a huge game for Leeds and I want them to win, of course I do.’

He does, however, admit to being tempted to visit Rafa Benitez’s players in their hotel this afternoon. They will be just across the road from his apartment, in the Malmaison.

‘I only know a few of the players because so much has changed since I left, but it would be nice to see Frank and JT again,’ he said.

‘It will be a fantastic occasion. We are playing the best team in Europe and the second best team in the world. Elland Road will be filled to the roof.’

Bates sold Chelsea to Roman Abramovich in 2003, but he remains proud of the part he played in protecting the future of Stamford Bridge; in particular his success in wrestling the freehold away from the property developer, Marler Estates, and reuniting it with the club. He created the Chelsea Pitch Owners, the organisation that recently prevented Abramovich from buying the ground and moving elsewhere.

‘I’m pleased the Chelsea Pitch Owners blocked the move to buy Stamford Bridge,’ he said.

‘My days at Chelsea are done, but it was a fight worth fighting for the supporters.

‘They have nowhere else to play now because Battersea Power Station will be turned into villages and so will Earls Court.

‘It’s not the Chelsea I knew, but things change and I accept that.’

His relationship with Abramovich, chairman Bruce Buck and director Eugene Tenenbaum soured towards the end and Bates eventually left Chelsea in March 2004.

Pastures new: Bates says he will welcome Abramovich at Elland Road... if he is properly dressed

Pastures new: Bates says he will welcome Abramovich at Elland Road… if he is properly dressed

Watching brief

But he will welcome them into the Elland Road boardroom on Wednesday, should they choose to attend.

‘In the boardroom we invite six guests and I don’t care who comes along from Chelsea as long as they wear a jacket and tie,’ he said.

Bates’s charming wife, Suzannah, has been known to offer a Leeds United club tie to those who do not conform to house rules, and the Chelsea officials who do attend should not expect too much pampering. The Elland Road boardroom has a special atmosphere, with long tables for guests and directors and a perfect view of the pitch from high up in the East Stand. But changes have been made since Bates took charge.

‘When I bought Leeds (in 2005) they had no money, the carpets were rotting and the toilets were disgusting,’ he said. ‘They were millions of pounds in debt and then you walked into the boardroom and they were serving ros champagne. I put a stop to that extravagance straight away. It was the same at Chelsea after I bought them for 1 in 1982.

‘They were going skint, they couldn’t pay the wages, but they were serving sparkling wine and smoking big fat cigars in the boardroom.’

Bates has spent good money at Leeds,
investing 20m in stadium maintenance in the past eight years. He also
had to set aside the animosity and rivalry between Chelsea and Leeds
when he told Suzannah he was buying the club.

Expansion: Bates with Chelsea board member Matthew Harding in front of the stand he helped finance

Expansion: Bates with Chelsea board member Matthew Harding in front of the stand he helped finance

‘We were living in Monaco in a penthouse and I was watching so much of Jeff Randall on Sky News that I found myself falling in love with him,’ he said.

‘I held Suzannah’s hand and told her, “I have to save Leeds United”.’

He has done that and now he’s on the verge of selling to Dubai-based investment firm GFH Capital after protracted talks about a takeover.

Testing: Bates says Neil Warnock pushes him to the limits and was unimpressed with Roberto Di Matteo's (below) dismissal

Testing: Bates says Neil Warnock pushes him to the limits and was unimpressed with Roberto Di Matteo's (below) dismissal

Roberto Di Matteo

The club are in good shape. On the pitch, under the guidance of Neil Warnock, they are enjoying a run that has seen them win four of their last five Championship games in pursuit of a play-off place.

‘Neil pushes me to the limits,’ said Bates. ‘But every manager is the same. They just want one more player. Look at the pressure they are under these days, it’s ridiculous. Alan Pardew was the greatest thing since sliced bread when he was given an eight-year contract at Newcastle and yet people are now beginning to question him.

‘Robbie Di Matteo’s an intelligent man. He has degrees in maths and economics, but Chelsea sacked him because he lost a couple of games.’

It might just give him an excuse to crack open the bubbly if Leeds do win on Wednesday night.

Michael Laudrup to be named new Swansea boss

Laudrup for Swansea: Dane to get nod to replace Rodgers after impressing Swans board



23:23 GMT, 12 June 2012

Michael Laudrup is expected to be named Swansea City’s new manager in the next 48 hours.

Chairman Huw Jenkins refused to confirm the appointment when contacted but Sportsmail understands the Dane is close to landing the position vacated by Brendan Rodgers on June 1.

The new man: Michael Laudrup is expected to be named Swansea boss

The new man: Michael Laudrup is expected to be named Swansea boss

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona legend, who has been unemployed since walking out on Real Mallorca last September, has been in discussions with Jenkins this week and has impressed the Swans’ hierarchy with his dedication to passing football and willingness to work on a modest budget.

The 47-year-old has been top of
Jenkins’ shortlist since Graeme Jones, Roberto Martinez’s No 2 at Wigan
and the former Swansea assistant boss, opted out of discussions because
he did not want to take his first job in management.

No approach: Ian Holloway

No approach: Ian Holloway

Former Chelsea defender Marcel
Desailly was also briefly considered as an option, but the Frenchman,
43, declined an invitation to discuss the role, while reports in south
Wales claimed that talks had started with Blackpool manager Ian

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston denied an approach has been made for his manager.

Euro 2012: Marcel Desailly blasts "weak and feeble" England

We will get better, vows Hodgson… but Desailly blasts 'weak and feeble' England



10:11 GMT, 12 June 2012

England returned to their training base in Krakow after the 1-1 draw against France with manager Roy Hodgson insisting his side will only get better.

A cool and foggy morning in the Polish city failed to flatten the mood of the England camp on Tuesday following their useful point in the Group D opener in Donetsk.

Lip smacking: Goalscorer Joleon Lescott returns to the Hotel Stary in Krakow

Lip smacking: England goal hero Joleon Lescott returns to the Hotel Stary in Krakow

Day after: The view from England team hotel on Tuesday

Room without a view: England team hotel was enveloped by fog on Tuesday

Hodgson said: 'You don't become a really good team in three matches and 10 training sessions.

'The French have gone 22 games unbeaten and that's not done overnight.

'It's been people playing together,
getting to know each other's games. The longer we play together, the
better we'll become too.

'I'm pleased the (France) game's out of the way. I'm pleased the players have shown they can cope well at this level.

'I'm looking forward to the next game.
This gives us a good platform. We'll get fitter as well — match fitter.
There are no injury concerns.

John Terry

Joe Hart

Positive signs: John Terry (left) and Joe Hart (right)

'But it was tough in those last 15 or 20 minutes. The French were also feeling the effects of the heat.'

England’s opening clash in Euro 2012 was watched by more than 15m viewers on Monday night.

Coverage of the Group D opener at
Donbass Arena in Donetsk began at 4pm with 1.92m (20.77%), according to
overnight Barb figures supplied by Attentional.

This rose steeply to 8.8m (53.9%) for
the 5pm kick off and peaked with 15.26m (60.44%) in the five minutes
from 6.45pm as the game ended 1-1.

But one viewer was not impressed with Hodgson's tactics was former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly.

Head boy: Lescott scored England's opener after 30 minutes

Head boy: Lescott scored England's opener after 30 minutes

The 43-year-old – who won the World
Cup in 1998 and the Euro 2000 titles with France – told Le Parisien he
had never seen an English side so physically weak and lacking the will
to press their opponents.

'I was not expecting at all an
English team so feeble physically,' said the Ghana-born great, who also
won the Champions League with Marseille and AC Milan.

'They made no impact and were incapable of pressing their opponents.

'In my opinion they will not win the
European Championship, that is for certain even if they succeeded in
limiting the damage in this match.'

Marcel Desailly rejects Swansea job offer

Swansea search for new boss continues after Desailly reveals he rejected offer



20:01 GMT, 11 June 2012

Former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly has revealed he rejected an approach from Swansea to discuss their managerial vacancy.

The 43-year-old is one of a number of high-profile former players to have been linked with the job, but he admitted the opportunity to take his first management position came too soon.

He told Le 10 Sport: 'I was approached, but it is not the right time. Everything seemed fine, but it was too early.'

Not joining the club: Desailly will not joining Swansea as manager

Not joining the club: Desailly will not heading to Swansea as manager

Michael Laudrup is favourite to land the position and is understood to be meeting with chairman Huw Jenkins this week.

Jenkins indicated at the weekend that the new manager will be in place by the end of this week.

Michael Laudrup wants Swansea job

Legend Laudrup wants to replace Rodgers in Swansea hotseat



00:41 GMT, 7 June 2012

Danish legend Michael Laudrup, 47, who has coached Real Mallorca, is interested in the Swansea vacancy.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has spoken with Wigan coach Graeme Jones and been linked with Denis Bergkamp and Marcel Desailly but former Mallorca coach Laudrup, 47, is understood to be very keen to take over.

Up for grabs: Denmark legend Michael Laudrup

Up for grabs: Denmark legend Michael Laudrup

Former Chelsea star Marcel Desailly on shortlist for Swansea job

Former Chelsea star Desailly emerges as shock contender for Swansea job



05:59 GMT, 5 June 2012

Former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly is the surprise name on the shortlist to replace Brendan Rodgers at Swansea.

Wigan assistant boss Graeme Jones
was favourite to take over, but talks broke down between the former
Swansea No.2 and the Welsh side's chairman, Huw Jenkins.

Legend: World Cup winner Marcel Desailly (right)

Legend: World Cup winner Marcel Desailly (right)

The Swans have also reportedly held talks with Blackpool's Ian Holloway, while Brighton's Gus Poyet of Brighton and Michael Laudrup are also in the frame.

But Desailly, a World Cup and double Champions League winner as a player, is also on the shortlist, reports the Daily Mirror.

The former France, AC Milan and Chelsea defender aged 43, would fit the profile of a 'young and hungry' manager that the Swansea board want to hire to succeed new Liverpool manager Rodgers.

Arsenal told Bayern Munich and Inter Milan want Yann M"Vila

Make your move! Arsenal fear Inter and Bayern in chase for M'Vila



06:08 GMT, 27 April 2012

Arsenal are being forced to firm up their interest in Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila as Inter Milan and Bayern Munich consider making an approach.

Arsene Wenger has been hot on the trail of the highly-rated 21-year-old for some time but is loathed to splashing out in excess of 20million on a player who is yet to prove himself consistently at the highest level.

However with Champions League finalist Bayern now entering the fray, the Frenchman's hand will be forced.

In demand: Rennes' midfielder, Yann M'Vila is attracting interest all over Europe

In demand: Rennes' midfielder, Yann M'Vila is attracting interest all over Europe

M'Vila, who has three years remaining on his deal at Europa League chasers Rennes, has been capped 18 times at international level and his club boss Frederic Antonetti has come to accept the dynamic midfielder will leave this summer.

M'Vila's stock has rapidly been on the rise for the last two seasons and after been selected as the man to model France's Euro 2012 kit, former France international Marcel Desailly claimed he had the potential to be better than Patrick Vieira.

'I would just say that if I was the chairman of a Premier League club I would just close my eyes and put the figure on the cheque to get him,' Desailly said earlier this month. 'Because he is really the future. The talent is there. It is obvious.

'Arsenal is probably a stable club where he can have a bit of time or [Manchester] United where he has time to assimilate the changing of clubs and start slowly to perform,' added Desailly.

'He needs to come to the Barclays Premier League. We want him in this competition because it is the best, first of all, and he can really develop his skills. It is for players who like to play with tempo.

'You can see by the way he gets the ball, control and passes straight away. Long ball, short ball. He has that sort of rhythm that the Barclays Premier League is demanding.'

Lionel Messi will sniff out any hint of Chelsea weakness, then strike: Gary Neville

Messi will sniff out any hint of Chelsea weakness, then strike



23:07 GMT, 14 April 2012

The first truly great team I watched
was the AC Milan line-up of the late Eighties and Nineties. They
dominated the game with five European Cup finals in seven years and had
great players such as Rijkaard, Gullit, Van Basten, Savicevic, Massaro,
Ancelotti, Donadoni, Desailly and Boban.

Just as importantly, they introduced
ideas that took the game to a new level. As a Manchester United trainee,
I remember marvelling at the level of aggression with which their back
four — Tassotti, Baresi, Costacurta and Maldini — pushed up as a unit.
I’d never seen that before.

Our youth coach, Eric Harrison, made
us watch the full 90 minutes of Milan destroying Lazio in one game. He’d
never used video to that extent before and he never did it again. But
he wanted to make sure we knew we were in the presence of something
really special.

Now, 20 years later, we are witnessing
in Barcelona, who face Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals this
week, the next great team. What defines a truly great team One that
not only win multiple European Cups but also redefine football with new
ideas, a new improved way of doing things. The level at which this
Barcelona side relentlessly close down opponents high up the pitch is
something I’ve never seen before. They win the ball back with the speed
of a gun. The term given for it in some coaching circles is

Out of this world: Barcelona and their stunning brand of football await Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals

Out of this world: Barcelona and their stunning brand of football await Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals

Their two centre-backs, usually Carles
Puyol and Gerard Pique, sometimes collect the ball from their
goalkeeper on the touchline, opening up space like never before. And
their system of playing without a centre-forward allows Lionel Messi,
the greatest player of modern times and arguably all-time, to roam and
find the weakest link in any defence.

It leaves Chelsea with a monumental
problem in a two-legged semi-final. Because even at their best, they
won’t be good enough to beat Barcelona without unforeseen help.

More from Gary Neville…

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Gary Neville: Titles are won in the head at this stage of the season

Gary Neville: I fear for Chelsea players who are running on empty

Gary Neville: Stop the knocking, we're still the best in the world

Gary Neville: Only two from five can escape, and I fear for my neighbours

Gary Neville: Win at Tottenham and Manchester United will know the title is within their grasp

Gary Neville: Giggs and Scholes show the older players how to manage their careers

Gary Neville: AVB must make his move… before Roman makes HIS!


United have played Barca on four
occasions in recent times. I was in the squad in 2008, when we beat them
1-0 on aggregate in a two-legged semi-final, and in the dressing room
for the two Champions League finals we lost, in 2009 and last year. In
2008, Frank Rijkaard played Messi on the right wing which pinned him
down and allowed Patrice Evra, who is quick and agile, to go one-on-one
to stop him. Wayne Rooney and Park Ji-sung played on the wings to stop
Barca’s full-backs, and although we spent the two games in retreat, we
won a painful victory. But after that, Barca, under Pep Guardiola,
improved again and became a different proposition. They win the ball
back quicker and Messi is more central now, impossible to pick up.

United tried to be more aggressive in
the two finals but it just didn’t work — they were too good. We pressed
them well for 10 minutes and then they wore us out. And the 2009 United
team, in particular, were a great team with Van der Sar, Evra, Vidic,
Ferdinand, Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo, Giggs and Scholes at their peak. Last
May, Barcelona beat us 3-1 at Wembley but there was almost a resigned
tone afterwards when Rio Ferdinand admitted Barcelona had been the
better team. Sometimes you just have to say: ‘Wow.’

I don’t want to appear overly
pessimistic about Chelsea’s chances, but one of three things has to
happen for them to have a chance in this tie — and none of them is
directly in their control. First, Messi could get injured and be unable
to play. Secondly, Barcelona could lose their discipline and get someone
sent off. Thirdly, Barcelona are totally distracted by the ‘clasico’
league game with Real Madrid that takes place between the two legs
against Chelsea.

Dangerman: Lionel Messi gave Ashley Cole the runaround in 2009 and will be a handful again for Chelsea

Dangerman: Lionel Messi gave Ashley
Cole the runaround in 2009 and will be a handful again for Chelsea

They are all long shots — and even
then Chelsea must be at their maximum to take advantage. They will have
to make it an English-style cup final, try to use their physical
presence against a smaller Barcelona team. That’s why I’d start with
Didier Drogba and try to exploit set-pieces.

The problem is that even if Chelsea win by two goals on Wednesday, I can’t see Barcelona not doing what they need to in the Nou Camp. That pitch feels huge and they utilise every inch. Messi is unplayable and Chelsea will have to stop the best three midfielders in the world, Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas, to stop him getting the ball.

Messi will sniff out where Chelsea are weakest and play in those areas. He might try to find space between John Terry and David Luiz because Terry is not the quickest and Luiz is suspect to diving in. He might think Branislav Ivanovic, a tall centre-half playing at right-back, is vulnerable.

As Eric Harrison made me study Milan all those years ago, youth coaches everywhere will be telling their lads to watch Barcelona play this week. How they press and win possession back, how they have the courage to play football in all areas of the field. They may be a curse to English teams but we should remind ourselves as football fans that we’re lucky to be in the era of Barcelona.

Great support: Messi can rely on the likes of Cesc Fabregas

Great support: Messi can rely on the likes of Cesc Fabregas

City lift-off came from Wigan win

From a week ago when Manchester City were dead and buried in the title race, there is suddenly a small element of pressure on Manchester United ahead of their game against Aston Villa.

People will point to the return of Carlos Tevez which has coincided with City scoring 10 goals in two matches but I think the real lift will have come from hearing about United’s defeat against Wigan on Wednesday.

A gap of eight points last Sunday morning is now down to two, although United have a game in hand.
Looking at City’s body language after their defeat at Arsenal, you didn’t feel they were capable of getting a string of results. They were always likely to beat West Bromwich at home, which they did, but Norwich is not an easy place to go to.

Wide open: Shaun Maloney's goal has breathed life into the title procession

Wide open: Shaun Maloney's goal has breathed life into the title procession

To score six, as City did, is a result, in my opinion, of United losing three points at the DW Stadium. I’ve been in close-run title races and I know it does help when your rivals slip-up, particularly if it is unexpected.

We have to put it in context, though. It is only a glimmer of hope and if United win, as I expect them to against Villa, they will be five points clear with four games to go, which is a great position to be in.

United could be eight points ahead the next time City kick off if they beat Everton next Sunday.

Of course, Tevez is a fantastic player and his hat-trick will probably make City fans wish he had not gone walkabouts earlier in the season. If nothing else, it might have given Sergio Aguero a much-needed rest.

Distin gifted it to Liverpool

Sylvain Distin’s mistake for Liverpool’s equaliser was the killer moment at Wembley.

I expected Everton to be able to see the game out at 1-0 but Luis Suarez’s goal from Distin’s backpass turned into a problem for Everton because they couldn’t get back in the ascendancy.

Andy Carroll ended as the matchwinner — he is still not at 100 per cent but the confidence he will gain from scoring against Blackburn and now a cup winner at Wembley will be absolutely incredible.

Roberto di Matteo should get Chelsea job full-time – Marcel Desailly

Give Di Matteo the job, Roman! Desailly calls on Chelsea chief to stick with Italian



10:57 GMT, 30 March 2012

Marcel Desailly has called on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to install Roberto di Matteo on a permanent basis.

Di Matteo has been handed the managerial reigns until the end of season after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked earlier this month.

Italian job: Desailly believes Di Matteo should be given the job on a full-time basis

Italian job: Desailly believes Di Matteo should be given the job on a full-time basis

And the Italian has taken the Blues to the brink of the Champions League semi-finals, whilst overseeing just one defeat in his seven games.

'Mr Abramovich will do whatever he wants but I would really love to see Di Matteo keep the post,' Desailly, who played alongside Di Matteo at Chelsea, told Goal.com.

'We are already hearing other coaches to come. Big names. Small names. Young. Old. But maybe the secret is to keep Di Matteo. Direct him on the mission and the vision the club have and see what is going to happen.

On target: Kalou's solo strike gives Chelsea an advantage in the Euro tie

On target: Kalou's solo strike gives Chelsea an advantage in the Euro tie

'I really think that they should give him a chance and I hope he [Abramovich] will keep Di Matteo.'

Chelsea secured a crucial advantage in the first leg of the Champions League last-eight clash following a 1-0 win in Benfica on Tuesday.

And Desailly believes Di Matteo has to take a lot of the credit for the result.

Team-mates: Di Matteo and Desailly played together at Chelsea

Team-mates: Di Matteo and Desailly played together at Chelsea

'You can see the commitment of [Didier] Drogba, [Frank] Lampard and John Terry. It is because of Di Matteo.

'It is because Di Matteo has a clear message to them. England is a country where you give a chance to people. Di Matteo is today in a moment where you should be able to give him the chance.

'What is happening on the field, apart from the game against Tottenham, which was not a very high level game, the Napoli and Benfica games have shown that there is a spirit and something special.'

Jamie Redknapp: Ledley King is a defensive Rolls Royce

A smooth operator! King is a defensive Rolls Royce

Ledley King is a smooth footballer,
the Rolls-Royce of defenders as he moves through the gears. If he wasn't
so good, he would have had to retire years ago.

He has a similar knee condition to
the one that ended my playing career prematurely, so I have an idea of
the pain he goes through just to get on the pitch. I won't write, 'It's a
shame, if only he had good knees', because he has had a good career at
the top level, but he has had to manage his body.

Ledley King: smooth operator

Ledley King: smooth operator

And when he is on the pitch, managers are seduced by him. Fabio Capello really shouldn't have taken him to the World Cup because the recovery time between matches wasn't sufficient.

Also, he couldn't train with his team-mates and, at international level, you have to forge partnerships. At Spurs, they know what Ledley can do. He won't work with his team-mates all week, but if he is ready to play on match-day, he plays. He is that good.

Security blanket: King can spot the dangers

Security blanket: King can spot the dangers


Ledley is one of the best defenders, but I was asked to
come up with a list of 10 others I
have played with or against. As with all these lists, it is personal and subjective. And difficult (my Sportsmail colleague Martin Keown, who knows a bit about
defending, might disagree with me!)

1. Tony Adams (Arsenal)

2. Sami Hyypia (Liverpool)

3. John Terry (Chelsea)

4. Marcel Desailly (Chelsea)

5. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester Utd)

6. Jaap Stam (Manchester Utd)

7. Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)

8. Steve Bruce (Manchester Utd)

9. Martin Keown (Arsenal)

(I had to put him in, my boss
at Sportsmail told me to!)

10. Laurent Blanc (Man Utd)

I played against him in midfield a
few times and though he has size 12 feet, he has happy feet. He covers
the ground effortlessly and is quicker than you think. But his reading
of the game is his greatest asset; he plays like he is holding a crystal

He will sense danger, get himself into position and then deal with the problem. He's also the last of a dying breed.

When I talk to my dad about buying players, he says the hardest players to find now are central defenders.

Strikers are like gold dust, but it's not hard to buy a player like Sergio Aguero for 40million, is it You know he will come and score goals. But top quality defenders are hard to find.

Modern defenders, like David Luiz, want to nick the ball and then come gliding out from the back. Tony Adams wanted to clean out the ball and leave something on the striker, in case he was coming back for more. The jury is out for me on Luiz. I think he might come good, but I want my defenders to do the defending and leave the playing to others.