19 Jan 2022 | 09:23 | Football
The Stamford Bridge team hopes that Romelu Lukaku can solve the club’s central problem, but the Belgian striker has not yet met expectations.
Even Lukaku caused more problems for Chelsea in recent times. From this striker’s controversial interview in the Italian media about his old team Inter Milan, to his poor performance in recent times, the striker born in 1993 made himself and the host team in trouble.
More than 10 minutes before the match between Brighton and Chelsea at dawn on January 19 (Hanoi time) ended, coach Thomas Tuchel decided to replace Lukaku. When the Belgian striker stepped on the bench, many Chelsea fans followed the away team and booed the player wearing the number 9 shirt.
In the context of Chelsea needing a goal to avoid a disappointing draw, coach Tuchel’s replacement of Lukaku spoke of the disappointing performance of the former MU striker. Lukaku started in Chelsea’s last 2 matches in the Premier League last week.
In both of those matches, “The Blues” had bad results. And the star wearing the number 9 shirt is one of the worst Chelsea players in the past few days. Against Brighton, Lukaku plays the main role of “The Blues”. However, the 28-year-old player played faintly and did not leave a bold mark.
Central defender Dan Burns of the home team blocked Lukaku well and was not lost in the duel with the tall Chelsea striker. What Lukaku can do for the London team this match is a few bright passes to teammates.
When given the opportunity to face the Brighton goalkeeper, Lukaku also missed the opportunity. Once again, Lukaku made experts doubt his instinct to score goals and make decisions in front of the opponent’s goal.
Last weekend, coach Tuchel did not hide his disappointment with Lukaku in the 0-1 loss to Man City in the Premier League. He pointed to the spearhead wearing the number 9, when he said that Lukaku constantly lost the ball in situations where the team had a chance.
“Lukaku had a few good opportunities, but couldn’t take them,” complained the German strategist. “He and the players in attack have to do better than that.”
Coach Tuchel has a reason to complain about Lukaku’s form recently. The situations facing goalkeeper Ederson in the match against Man City, Lukaku were handled poorly. When he needed to pass, he shot, when he needed to shoot, he passed.
The Belgian striker’s ability to handle the ball and make decisions is problematic. After the disappointing draw against Brighton, coach Tuchel did not want to continue to criticize Lukaku, although anyone can feel the disappointment of the German strategist in the press room.
Chelsea is now 12 points behind Man City in the English Premier League despite playing one match ahead of the opponent. Chances of winning the league with “The Blues” are pretty low now.
“I don’t want to answer any more questions about Romelu (Lukaku),” coach Tuchel said in the press room. “There are too many questions about Romelu and I will not answer them. He is not the problem, but part of the solution.”
Obviously, the Chelsea captain chose a positive way to deal with Lukaku in the context of the home team’s decline. “The Blues” have only won one of their last 7 matches in the English Premier League. In that series of matches, the London team lost a match against Man City, but they drew too many (5 matches).
Chelsea’s defense played not too bad last time. Coach Tuchel’s problem lies in the attack. The “solution” that coach Tuchel mentioned after the Brighton draw was the ability to take advantage of opportunities and coordinate the players in attack.
Lukaku was once expected to bring new attacking options to Chelsea. In the summer of 2021, the defending Champions League champion spent up to £ 97.5 million (a record in the club’s history) to buy Lukaku from Inter Milan.
So far, the Belgian striker has brought many disappointments. Lukaku has only 5 goals and 1 assist in the Premier League 2021/22. He often lacks in big matches.
Except for his Chelsea debut against Arsenal at the end of August 2021, Lukaku hasn’t had a single goal or assist against big teams since the start of the season. Lukaku was trusted many times by coach Tuchel for the main kick when Chelsea faced Juventus, Liverpool, Man City, MU or Tottenham. In turn, the Belgian striker plays poorly and often misses delicious opportunities.
Just last month, Lukaku’s speech about Inter Milan displeased Chelsea fans and management. He was fined by “The Blues” for the above statement, then had to apologize to the host club. Lukaku’s mentality seems to be at issue, and his recent performances on the pitch have only made things worse.
The fact that Chelsea fans were present at Brighton Stadium in the middle of this week booing Lukaku as he left the field speaks volumes. Perhaps the time has come when coach Tuchel can no longer rely on Lukaku, but he must find other solutions.