Had Daniel Levy given Andre Villas-Boas the striker and midfielder he needed last summer, then Spurs would surely have finished above Arsenal. This was a predictable collapse...
Arsenal fans are largely positive after their top four finish, whilst one wag suggest buying Bale from their rivals. We also have an interesting final mail. Enjoy...
Let's begin with a quick reminder of an oft-forgotten truth: Football should be fun.
Now, David Luiz, most would agree, is indeed fun. To make such a case is a fairly simple task, though it's equally easy to fall into the trap of typecasting the Chelsea man as some sort of barmy-haired foreign eccentric while doing so (especially as each of those three descriptives are difficult to refute). To summarise Luiz's finest merit, though, while skilfully evading casual xenophobia: He just seems to enjoy it all. Whether he's bounding forward from centre-back or playing silly buggers in post-match interviews, he simply appears to be having fun. In a footballing age marred by racism, elitist ticket pricing and a pervasive mood of wilful hysteria, the simple pleasure of enjoyment should not be taken for granted. For this alone we should be grateful to David Luiz.
Beyond this, though, Luiz has no shortage of talent. In marked contrast to most Premier League defenders, Luiz can hit a raking pass with either foot as capably as he can fizz a dead ball goalwards. In short, Luiz's ease on the eye is the result of a too-rare marriage of carefree attitude and refined ability. It makes for a great source of entertainment.
Of course, he is far from a perfect footballer. Indeed, the 25-year-old has attracted much criticism during his two years on British shores, generally for his defensive susceptibility. While Gary Neville's now-infamous allegation that Luiz played like he was "controlled by a 10-year-old on a Playstation" was rather more quotable than it was completely fair, it nonetheless cut to the heart of the suspicions about the Brazilian's utilisation in central defence.*
Luiz has long been accused of vacating his position too freely, and for rarely reverting to the pragmatic long clearance when the situation demands. Both of these are fair criticisms, though both have been aired with a readiness bordering on cruel.
Either way, the recent arrival of Rafa Benitez has seen the Brazilian shifted upfield 20 yards or so, and into the position of holding midfielder. It is no understatement to say that Luiz has been a revelation there.
Part of the reason for the move was simple practicality: Chelsea are short of players who would find a natural home in the holding role: the unproven Oriol Romeu is sidelined for the season, Frank Lampard's greatest offering remains his goal-getting and Ramires' strengths lie in his box-to-box athleticism rather than any real positional nous.
John Obi Mikel is the club's only other real option for the position, but the Nigerian, ponderous and lacking in mobility, has never convinced. Mikel was consigned to the substitutes' bench even before his recent departure to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Luiz is by no means a world-beater in the defensive midfield role (yet) but he does possess a certain all-roundness that has ensured he plays the position with infinitely more authority than any of his teammates have done this season.
His assuredness on the ball - both passing it and carrying it forwards - is especially striking, but the Brazilian is also deceptively robust, strong in the tackle and boasts a speediness that has so far compensated for any wayward positioning.
All in all, the move seems a natural fit for all parties - for now, if not necessarily for the long term, and Luiz has performed exceptionally well in his newfound position (though he did start out as a wide midfielder for Vitoria in Brazil). The upturn in the tempo of Chelsea's football - their metronome now Luiz as opposed to Mikel - has been very apparent.
Luiz retreated back to central defence for
Jon Walters' Chelsea's destruction of Stoke on Saturday, but with the return of brave John Terry from his hurty knee and the aforementioned departure of Mikel, the expectation is that a return to the centre of the park is imminent.
It's something that bodes well for player, club and onlooker alike.
David Luiz, in his new incarnation as screening midfielder, brings joy not only to the sport in general but to a position that has traditionally been characterised by a distinct lack of it. In the post-Makelele era, adjectives like 'disciplined' and 'consistent' tend to serve as the closest thing to gushing praise that a holding player can reasonably attract.
Luiz's exuberant japes fly in the face of the dead-eyed efficiency of Makelele and Busquets and de Jong that has come to rule the roost. This may well, of course, be his downfall - too much merry bounding around and not enough quiet fire-extinguishing; too many dipping long-rangers and too little sensible ball retention. Too much joyful chaos and not enough discipline and consistency. Maybe.
Time will tell, of course. Hopefully Luiz will continue to prove a success in midfield. Hopefully he won't have to compromise his high-energy vibrancy to do so. This writer, for one, would love to see David Luiz become a 'new Makelele'. But I'd hate him to become a Makelele-style 'new Makelele'. That straitjacket is not for David Luiz. Football, after all, should be fun.
* The player's response, delivered via Twitter - 'Gary Neville I love u' - was typically Luizian.
Alex Hess - find him on Twitter at @A_Hess