Thomas Tuchel initially tried to play off the whole Romelu Lukaku situation with some light-hearted comments, but has deemed it fit to drop the striker completely for today’s match against Liverpool. Reports of this happening emerged over the past 6-12 hours, but the lineup announcement has confirmed the decision.
In the pre-match interview, Tuchel explained his decision thusly.
“The thing got too big, too noisy, so close to the match, so I decided to protect the preparation for the match, so that is why he is out. We delayed the decision over what to do, but we have to protect the preparation for the match, we have a big game to play.
“Of course we have spoken, twice. And to the main players, but after that we had to realise it was too close to the match, it’s too big.
“Full focus, which is hard to get even without this decision, was easier in my opinion if he is not in the squad, and that is why we did it. It was a difficult decision, but in my opinion it was the decision to take.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Sky
Fair enough, I suppose.
Am told Chelsea squad broadly supportive of how Tuchel has handled all this.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 2, 2022
In a way it reminds me of the Mourinho and Carvalho thing from 2005, when the latter was punished for a public outburst by two weeks’ wages and a telling off from the manager, featuring the classic “maybe he should have an IQ test” line. José and Riccy would of course go on to have a great time together for many more years.