Carlo Ancelotti has warned new defender David Luiz he needs to calm down as he battles to overcome injury and face Blackpool on Monday.
The defender became a Chelsea hero when he scored against Manchester United in Tuesday’s 2-1 Premier League victory – and somehow managed to avoid getting sent off after giving the likes of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez a real battering.
Referee Martin Atkinson’s decision not to hand the centre-back a second yellow card infuriated United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who now faces disciplinary action for his post-match outburst.
And Ancelotti has warned the 23-million-pound signing, who also picked up a hamstring injury after racing around against United, he needs to take things a bit easier in future.
“He has to know English football. He has to be more calm on the pitch. Obviously he’s showed fantastic ability and quality. He has to improve, but he will because he’ll have more experience and knowledge about English football. He can change his behaviour on the pitch,” Ancelotti said.
“He’s showing fantastic ability offensively, obviously. He’s able to pass the ball and move in front without problems. He’s able to shoot at goal. But defensively, he can improve.”
The Chelsea manager is hopeful his new signing will recover in time to face Blackpool on Monday but he may need a late fitness test.
“Until now, he’s not been able to train. I hope he will train tomorrow,” Ancelotti said of Luiz.
“Mikel, too, had a knee problem in the warm-up before the game against United. He had a scan yesterday, but everything was ok. I hope, also, that he can train tomorrow. The other players are fine.”
Chelsea go into the match at Blackpool as huge favourites, not least because of the huge difference in financial muscle between the two clubs – after all the 50 million pounds Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres would probably be enough to buy Blackpool lock, stock and barrel.
“I know, I know – but it doesn’t mean anything. Obviously, when you have the money you can have important players, top players. But the difference in football is teamwork. If you are able to reach teamwork levels with fantastic players, you can win the most important titles in the world. The most important thing is to have that teamwork,” he said.
Chelsea must decide whether to recall Didier Drogba after he was left on the bench two games in a row.
But Ancelotti is expected to stick with Torres even though the former Liverpool man is still waiting for his first goal in a blue shirt.
“Everyone here isn’t afraid or worried because he hasn’t scored. Everyone is looking at his performances. He played a very good game – he didn’t score, obviously, and it’s important for the strikers to score,” he said.
“But not for us. I’m asking him to have good movement for the team and to have combinations with the other strikers. He’s doing very well.”