David Luiz insists he chose the difficult option by leaving Chelsea to join rivals Arsenal during the summer.
The 32-year-old made his Gunners debut in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley having swapped west London for north London.
New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, who had played alongside Luiz at Stamford Bridge, allowed the Brazil international to leave as he was not part of his plans.
Luiz was warmly welcomed to the Emirates Stadium as goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved enough to see off Burnley, who had equalised through in-form Ashley Barnes.
Luiz is expected to become a big part of Unai Emery’s plans for the campaign, playing alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos as he did at the weekend, and the South American is raring to go for a new chapter in his career.
“I am a guy with ambition and that is why I moved,” he said.
“I could choose a comfortable zone and get money and be cool and that is it. But I like a new a challenge and new things in my life.
“This is what gives me oxygen and gives me motivation and also to really enjoy this moment of my life. One day football will finish and you have to try to do things and improve every day as one day I will miss football.
“I am trying to be first honest with my heart and honest in the way that to try to feel new things. Everyone knows I was so happy at Chelsea and won many trophies there and had a real honest conversation with Lamps, and Lamps had different ideas for his plans for the year.
“So the best way for me to respect the club where I can was to move on and try to do a new challenge. And give him the opportunity to do his job.”
Luiz’s last game for Chelsea was last season’s 4-1 Europa League final win over his new employers as the former Paris St Germain defender lifted his sixth major honour in two spells at the club.
Now he wants to use his experience to help Arsenal get back amongst the elite – and feels it is all about the squad having belief in their capabilities to do so.
“In life you have to believe, if you don’t try things you are never going to know if you can do it or not,” he added.
“My philosophy on life is to be positive and to be a dreamer. But understand to dream is one thing and to achieve your dream you have a lot to do.
“I have my health, I can dream and we can fight for something big. That is always going to be my speech to everyone – it is possible for us and everybody.
“It is up to the team, the team is going to dream more, the team is going to prepare better, understand the game and that is it.”
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Liverpool and Arsenal lead the Premier League with the only 100 percent records after two games as VAR and Tottenham denied Manchester City in a 2-2 draw.
Frank Lampard is still waiting for his first win as Chelsea manager as the Blues were left holding on for a 1-1 draw with Leicester, while Norwich and Sheffield United got their first victories back in the top flight.
Here, we look at three things we learned from the second weekend of the English top-fight season:
Leicester give Lampard plenty to ponder
Frank Lampard was greeted as a returning hero when the Chelsea boss emerged from the tunnel ahead of his first home game.
But 90 minutes later the mood was decidedly gloomier at Stamford Bridge after Leicester earned a share of the points that left the Blues legend with plenty of work to do.
Battered by Manchester United in their Premier League opener and beaten by Liverpool on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup, Chelsea were in need of a morale-boosting success against the Foxes.
They looked well on course after young midfielder Mason Mount marked his home debut with his first goal for the club in the seventh minute.
Mount, an attacking midfielder in Lampard’s mould, had impressed under the Chelsea boss during their time together at second-tier Derby last season.
But the 20-year-old was one of the few positives for Chelsea as they faded badly after their bright start.
Perhaps fatigued by their midweek trip to Istanbul, Chelsea were lucky not to lose after Wilfred Ndidi’s equaliser, leaving Lampard with plenty of food for thought as he chases that elusive first win.
Norwich’s Pukki party
Of the three promoted clubs, Aston Villa were the big spenders, splashing over £100 million in the transfer market.
However, it is Sheffield United and Norwich who have made a brighter start to the season.
Norwich spent just over one million in the transfer window, but trusted in the likes of Teemu Pukki to make the step up to the Premier League.
Last season’s top scorer in the Championship already has four in two games in the top flight after becoming the first Norwich player in 26 years to score a Premier League hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
Sheffield United were also worthy 1-0 winners against a toothless Crystal Palace in the first Premier League game at Bramall Lane for 12 years on Sunday.
By contrast, Villa’s first home game back in the big time ended in a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth with two of their 12 signings Tom Heaton and Douglas Luiz at fault for the Cherries two goals inside the first 12 minutes.
No slip in City’s standards
Manchester City have become a relentless winning machine under Pep Guardiola in the past two seasons, yet despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham on Saturday, the Catalan lauded the Premier League champions’ performances as the best of his tenure at the Etihad.
City dominated the Champions League finalists with 30 shots on goal to Tottenham’s three and would have scored an injury-time winner through Gabriel Jesus but for the intervention of VAR.
“Better than this I don’t know if it is possible,” said Guardiola, normally known as an arch-perfectionist.
The manner in which City conceded two soft goals to Erik Lamela’s long-range effort and Lucas Moura’s header from a corner will give those hoping to end Guardiola’s men’s reign as champions hope.
But on the evidence of the first two weeks of the season after a 5-0 thrashing of West Ham, there appears no slipping of City’s standards.
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Former England defender Ashley Cole is planning a move into coaching after calling time on his illustrious playing career.
Cole won 13 major titles during his 20-year career, including the 2012 Champions League with Chelsea, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup triumphs.
The 38-year-old, who also won 107 caps for England, announced his retirement on Sky Sports before acting as a pundit for the afternoon’s Premier League games.
“After hard thinking and consideration, it was obviously time to hang my boots up and look towards my next chapter, which will hopefully be coaching. I’m doing a course at the moment,” Cole said. “Now I want to be great at being a coach.”
Asked to sum up a career in which he made almost 700 appearances at club level for the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Roma and LA Galaxy, Cole added: “Incredible to be honest.
“As a young kid I never expected to be a professional so looking back now to be able to say I played in World Cups, Champions League finals… being lucky enough to lift Premier League titles is a young kid’s dream so I’ve fulfilled my dream.”
Despite winning so many trophies with Arsenal and Chelsea, Cole said he was proudest of his England caps. Only Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Bobby Moore have made more England appearances.
“I probably didn’t grasp it as much as I should,” Cole added. “I look back now and I’ve played for my country, not just once but I’ve managed to play over 100 times.
“I’m proud of that and it’s just a little bit disappointing I didn’t get to a final or even a semi-final with England.”
Cole began his career with Arsenal and, after a brief loan spell at Crystal Palace, went on to make more than 200 appearances for the Gunners, lifting the FA Cup three times and winning the Premier League twice.
He was a member of the “Invincibles” who went through the 2003-04 Premier League season unbeaten, but left the club in acrimonious circumstances in 2006.
Cole was fined £100,000 – later reduced to £75,000 on appeal – for his part in an illegal approach from Chelsea in 2005, the club he would join for £5 million the following year.
It was a move which angered Arsenal fans, who dubbed him “Cashley” after learning via his autobiography that Cole had “nearly swerved off the road” after being told by his agent that Arsenal were offering £55,000 per week in contract negotiations, compared to £90,000 from Chelsea.
Cole won the FA Cup in his first season at Stamford Bridge and four times in total and also won the Premier League in 2010 and the Champions League in 2012, scoring in the penalty shoot-out as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich.
After leaving Chelsea in 2014 Cole enjoyed spells with Roma and LA Galaxy before ending his playing career under former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard at Derby.
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