Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tuchel has no problem with Lukaku but does not understand interview reasons

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jan 2022

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An irritated Thomas Tuchel insisted he does not have to try and understand Romelu Lukaku’s reasons for saying he is unhappy at Chelsea.

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia conducted several weeks ago but aired on Thursday, Lukaku expressed dissatisfaction with life at Chelsea and spoke of his wish for a future move back to Inter, with whom he won the Serie A title last season.

Lukaku scored 24 times for Inter in Serie A in 2020-21 but has found the net on just five occasions in 13 Premier League games since joining the Blues for a second spell in August.

His second stint at Stamford Bridge has been blighted by an injury and a spell out with COVID-19, from which the Belgium forward has returned to find form in Chelsea’s last two matches, playing a key role in a win over Aston Villa before scoring against Brighton and Hove Albion last time out.

Lukaku also suggested that Tuchel’s system was not playing to his strengths, and Chelsea’s boss conceded in Friday’s news conference that the interview had brought “noise that we don’t need”.

However, he was adamant that he has no problem with Lukaku, and that he does not have to understand why the striker made his comments.

“You have a quote from another match, another direction, and he said he had a chat with me. And then the suggestion comes that he was not happy,” Tuchel told reporters, referring to a separate interview Lukaku gave after the win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

“Managers have chats with lots of players, where we want them, where he should be, when to arrive in spaces.

“This is a super normal chat and we had it with Romelu and before he played we had a discussion about him being on the bench because other players suited more the style of play.

“Romelu played when he came, then he got injured, then he caught COVID and when he came back he played with no training against Aston Villa and then against Brighton.

“There is zero going on. I do not have to understand why he did it, it does not make it better but it is not my situation – I will not enter into finding reasons now to understand the interview.

“I don’t want to, I don’t have to and I don’t have a reason to. We have zero problems. He gave an interview, if he has problems, he has to speak about them.”

Asked about what he feels is the best way to get Lukaku playing to his full potential, Tuchel added: “Training, playing, training, playing, sleeping, eating good, training, playing, sleeping, eat good, drink a lot of water, sleep, train. That’s the best way to get the best out of him.”

While Lukaku’s comments dominated the media conference, Tuchel’s main focus is on Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, a contest which both sides might well consider a must-win.

Manchester City could be 11 points clear at the top by the time kick-off comes around at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel knows, however, that even a win against Liverpool will not mean COVID and injury-hit Chelsea are in the clear from their recent problems.

“We come from the run we have been on, we have the circumstances that we have, we are struggling to have the best performances, the very best results,” he said. 

“This is something to admit. Now, things feel harder, more complicated. We need to be well prepared. We should not be naive. The situation of why we are in this [run] will not change even if we win games.

“We will push to the maximum to beat Liverpool but the day after the situation will not go away with one win.”

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SoccerNews

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