Romelu Lukaku’s complaints ring hollow as finishing touch deserts him | Jonathan Wilson

1/16/2022 4:30:00 PM

Romelu Lukaku’s complaints ring hollow as finishing touch deserts him | Jonathan Wilson

Chelsea, Manchester City

Romelu Lukaku ’s complaints ring hollow as finishing touch deserts him | Jonathan Wilson

Chelsea striker went all guns blazing in recent interview but came up short at the vital moment against Manchester City

Read more: The Guardian »

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Thomas Tuchel criticises Romelu Lukaku's decision making in title-deciding loss Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has criticised the performance of record signing Romelu Lukaku during his side’s potentially decisive 1-0 loss to Manchester City . Tuchel saw his team’s title chances … Lukaku trying to Inter-pret😭

Thomas Tuchel criticises Romelu Lukaku's decision making in title-deciding loss Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has criticised the performance of record signing Romelu Lukaku during his side’s potentially decisive 1-0 loss to Manchester City . Tuchel saw his team’s title chances … Lukaku trying to Inter-pret😭

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Had Kepa not given that little skip to his right before Kevin De Bruyne’s shot, had Lukaku made more of either of his two big opportunities, this might easily have been regarded as another Tuchel masterclass. To an extent, that only highlights how result-driven a lot of analysis is: as Juanma Lillo, City’s assistant coach, once observed, what is praised is not what is done well but what ends well. “If you want to win these matches at the Etihad you need to convert and we did not do that so that’s why I say, decision making was not our best level today in the opponents’ half. But this was not like the game between the sides at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season; City were not so superior on Saturday as .” Speaking at his press conference, Tuchel went further, adding: “He [Lukaku] had many ball losses without any pressure, many ball losses in very promising circumstances. They are a supremely talented side and there are limits to what an opposing manager can do against them, even with a squad like Chelsea’s. “He had a huge chance. On Saturday, Chelsea did largely contain City and they did cause occasional problems on the break; for all the understandable frustration that Chelsea weren’t more proactive given their need to win in order to remain with even a sniff of the title, there was not a huge amount more they could have done. “So basically I’ll just be there to hang out with Dame Judi Dench and together we’ll both try and bond with Daniel Craig.

Perhaps they could have gone a little more direct a little more often, perhaps they could have slung in a few more crosses for Lukaku to contest with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, but retaining possession and with it the control that has characterised Tuchel’s Chelsea at their best was key to the plan.” Get The EDGE talkSPORT EDGE is the free football app that keeps you one step ahead of your mates with short, sharp and shareable content.” Get The EDGE talkSPORT EDGE is the free football app that keeps you one step ahead of your mates with short, sharp and shareable content. Romelu Lukaku tussles with John Stones. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters Little wonder, then, that Tuchel was frustrated with Lukaku, something apparent in his gesticulations on the touchline as well as his words after the match. How can I get it? It’s available on iPhone and Android devices. “He had many ball losses without pressure and in very promising circumstances,” the manager said. For iPhone, download talkSPORT EDGE via the. “Of course we want to serve him but he is part of the team and sometimes he needs to do service as well. Register for free to continue reading Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists register Please enter a valid email Please enter a valid email Password Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number First name Please enter your first name Special characters aren’t allowed Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters Last name Please enter your last name Special characters aren’t allowed Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters Select your year of birth 2004.

He had a huge chance so he’s included in this. Read more “He is part of the team and the performances up front, especially in the first half, we can do much better and we need to do better. We had eight or nine attacking transitions in the first half and zero touches in the box. That is a big problem. There was a lack of timing and composure.

We could have had more chances if we played with better precision.” Lukaku’s form is of more general concern. He’s not the only Chelsea forward underperforming. It’s only fair to acknowledge the impact of injuries and illness but none of Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech, brought in at a combined cost of £210m, have entirely convinced either. But his case is the most baffling.

Lukaku had shown glimpses of talent in the Premier League before; the sense was that he was as much a victim of Manchester United’s malaise as a cause. He had shown with Belgium his tactical intelligence, his capacity for drifting wide to create space for advanced midfielders – which seemed to be just what Chelsea needed in a front man – allied to an immense physical presence. And then there were his goals: 47 of them in the league over two seasons in an Inter team based around pressing, albeit a more frenetic system than that favoured by Tuchel. But maybe a championship in which 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic and 35-year-old Edin Dzeko still stand out isn’t that much of a gauge. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

It’s early. Nobody should be written off six months into a move. Lukaku has scored five goals in nine Premier League starts. But the truth is that this feels a lot like his time at United. There are flickers of what he could be.

The way he turned Stones before his ill-conceived pass to Ziyech was a demonstration of how terrifying he can be for defenders. But five of his 12 attempted passes failed to find a teammate. His one attempted dribble squandered possession. On the 42 occasions teammates attempted to find him with a pass, only 12 times did he claim possession. He lost all eight of his aerial duels (which may explain Chelsea’s reluctance to cross).

He registered only one touch in the City box. Playing against City is difficult, but that was not the performance of a player who can be demanding formational changes to suit him. Lukaku is 28 now. His gifts are obvious and seem abundant, and perhaps that generates unreasonable expectation. But if it ever is going to really work for him in the Premier League, it is going to have to be soon.

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