An interview that took place a few weeks ago but was released by Sky Sports on December 31st has sent shockwaves through football and particularly Chelsea. From missing Inter Milan to not being happy with the set-up at Stamford Bridge, Romelu Lukaku has not held back in his comments and the manager is not happy, as Thomas Tuchel slams Romelu Lukaku comments as ‘not helpful.’
Tuchel on Romelu Lukaku sentences: "Let's be honest – I don't like it because it brings noise we don't need. It's easy to take lines out of context – of course I don't like it, it's noise we don't need and it does not help". 🔵 #CFC pic.twitter.com/BW2sPGHg1n
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 31, 2021
Thomas Tuchel Slams Romelu Lukaku Comments as Not Helpful
Tuchel: ‘Interview Not Helpful’
Matt Law of The Telegraph has also reported that Tuchel will hold clear-the-air talks with his striker but there is ‘zero chance’ the Belgian powerhouse will be leaving the club during the January transfer window.
Chelsea face a pivotal match in the Premier League title race on Sunday against Liverpool and the bombshell comments from Lukaku have left a sour taste in the mouths of fans and, in particular, manager Thomas Tuchel.
Throughout New Year’s Eve, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has reported sections of the interview and it is fair to say that the majority of the comments have more than raised eyebrows. In the words of Tuchel: “We don’t like it of course because it brings noise we don’t need and it is not helpful.”
Lukaku spoke about not being happy aboutat his chances to play but that he does respect the manager’s choices:
“I’m in a moment in which I believe the manager can make me play more but I respect his choices. I just have to keep working and wait for my moment”.
Lukaku has developed into a confident man during his rise to fame, particularly at Inter Milan, and, as has become apparent in his recent comments, he holds the belief that he should be picked when available.
Most managers would say that they want players to be unhappy when they are not playing as it shows a hunger and a desire to be heavily involved in every game.
Throughout the interview, Lukaku expressed his regret at leaving Inter and said that had the Serie A champions come in with a new contract offer then he would have stayed at the club. But that new deal did not materialise and he joined Chelsea despite hoping to be picked up by one of what he refers to as the ‘top three’ clubs in football:
It appears that Lukaku is making it clear that he believes he should be playing for the best for clubs in football, although any Chelsea fan doubting his commitment to their club should also take note of the following:
“I’ve been a supporter of Chelsea since I was a kid, it’s my favorite team. Then I went to Chelsea at 18 and it wasn’t working – so I always had that Chelsea mission/challenge in my head”.
Tuchel Asks Fans to Read Beyond the Headlines
Despite being clearly unhappy with the comments made by Lukaku and their timing, Tuchel has also spoken of the need to take a step back and read beyond the headlines, saying that although the comments are unhelpful, there is a need to not read into them something that is not there:
“It’s very easy in general to take lines out of context and take lines and make headlines to get the focus and to get the best out of these interviews for several days. Maybe we here can take the time to try to understand what’s going on because it does not reflect his daily work, it does not reflect his daily attitude, it does not reflect the daily behaviour which Romelu shows here at Cobham.”
Tuchel Slams Romelu Lukaku Comments But Dressing Room Harmony ‘Not Necessary’
The comments from Lukaku will be a source of tension between the player and manager behind closed doors and even within the dressing room but Tuchel believes that harmony is not always needed for success;
“The dressing room is not necessary always to be in harmony. It is absolutely not necessary to be successful. We don’t have to hug each other, love each other every single day. Sometimes [it is] good to be on the edge, sometimes good to be a bit like in this harmony when it is in between certain boundaries.”
Whilst Tuchel is being cautious on how he deals with this situation in public, it may be a different story behind closed doors.
Not every play gets on with each other and that has been seen over the years with players such as Teddy Sheringham and Andrew Cole who reportedly hardly ever spoke to each other but still created a formidable partnership for Manchester United.
However, Lukaku’s comments have caught many off guard, not least Thomas Tuchel, and the German boss now finds himself with a superstar player talking openly of being unhappy and needs to manage the situation carefully to avoid this blowing up and leaving Chelsea with a season to forget.
It looks like there needs to be some bridge-building at the Bridge, and rapid bridge building at that.