Tuchel Cements Control After Lukaku’s Power Play
Excerpts of this opinion piece: Tuchel Cements Control After Lukaku’s Power Play from January 8, 2022 by Oisín Doherty / @O_Doherty_99 are courtesy of Breaking The Lines: https://breakingthelines.com/opinion/tuchel-cements-control-after-lukakus-power-play/.
Romelu Lukaku has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this past week. In an interview with Sky Italy, the Belgian found himself at the centre of a storm of controversy, as he revealed his displeasure at the style of play and tactical approach employed by manager Thomas Tuchel.
As punishment for his indiscretion, not only was Lukaku left out of the squad for Chelsea’s Premier League game with Liverpool, but he has also been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds. Lukaku was recalled to the starting eleven for the League Cup tie with Spurs on Wednesday, but only after issuing a grovelling apology to fans, Tuchel and his fellow teammates.
What makes this situation even more bizarre is the fact that Lukaku has only been back at Stamford Bridge for less than six months. His much-anticipated return to his first English club was secured by a club record fee of over £97 million being spent.
With Chelsea having struggled for goals with Timo Werner leading the line last term, many considered Lukaku to be the final piece of the puzzle. Off the back of Lukaku’s goals, Chelsea were one of the title favourites before the season began.
And Chelsea may very well still lift the trophy come May. However, one thing that’s for certain is that Lukaku hasn’t dominated defences in the same manner that he did during his devastating two seasons in Italy with Inter Milan.
Lukaku’s excellent record in Serie A, coupled with his continued prolificacy for Belgium, suggested that the centre forward was close to fulfilling his potential and becoming one of the best strikers in the world.
Things have failed to play out in this manner. Lukaku has played 19 games for Chelsea, registering just 7 goals and zero assists. Of course, 19 games is far too short a period to deem a transfer a failure or indeed a success, but he hasn’t hit the ground running.
Additionally, Lukaku has been sidelined with injury and Covid for periods this season, which has made settling in a tougher task.
However, some of the criticism that has always followed Lukaku, has risen to the surface once again. At times, the Belgian offers little in open play, can sometimes appear immobile and disinterested, while also seems unable or unwilling to put pressure on defenders. These are all problems that plagued Lukaku during his two-season stint at Manchester United.
At Inter, however, things were different. During his two seasons at Inter, Lukaku evolved from the inconsistent figure that frustrated at United, into a goal-scoring machine.
One look at his record for Inter versus his record for United tells the entire story. In 95 games for the Milan club, Lukaku scored 64 goals and registered 17 assists. At United, he scored 42 goals and registered 12 assists in 96 games.
For the rest of the story, “Tuchel Cements Control After Lukaku’s Power Play”, from January 8, 2022 by Oisín Doherty / @O_Doherty_99 are courtesy of Breaking The Lines, please go to : https://breakingthelines.com/opinion/tuchel-cements-control-after-lukakus-power-play/.