Romelu Lukaku to be fined by Chelsea after controversial interview

Tuchel dropped the Belgian striker for the draw with Liverpool after an interview that aired last week

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 04 January 2022 22:29
<p>Romelu Lukaku was dropped by Thomas Tuchel for the draw with Liverpool </p>

Romelu Lukaku was dropped by Thomas Tuchel for the draw with Liverpool

Chelsea have fully backed Thomas Tuchel in his response to the Romelu Lukaku situation, with the striker set to face “some discipline action”, understood to be at least a week’s wages.

The Stamford Bridge boss stated that the 28-year-old has made it clear he “will accept” the punishment following his controversial interview to Sky Italia, but that the situation had now been cleared up. Tuchel largely put the issue down to “impatience”.

In a press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Tottenham Hotspur that was naturally dominated by Lukaku, the German manager could not confirm whether the Belgian would be back in the squad having been dropped for the draw with Liverpool, but that was only down to the fact training took place in the afternoon.

It is widely expected Chelsea’s record signing will return on Wednesday evening.

Tuchel stated the situation was obviously unwanted, but was satisfied with how it turned out, right up to the backing he got from the club after dialogue with directors Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech.

"It is the most important thing," Tuchel said of the club's support. "Because it is not about my opinion and the club’s opinion. If we count Petr Cech to the club, it is not like I push my opinions or the club pushes its opinions. We are adults and we reflect on the situation. The more the story went on I had a clear opinion and I was more than happy that it was OK for the club to go with it.

“I had the feeling it was really OK. Otherwise, as you understood, I spoke clearly to the players. It is not only about my feeling and my idea. This is our job and it was very nice to see that we have an open and very close relationship and that we can find very quick solutions without any political interference and without putting every disturbing factor aside. Just isolate it on the moment and what is best for the moment. From there we went. It was a very nice to be a part of it.

“There will be some discipline action of course and he will accept it, of course,” Tuchel added. “It happened what happened. It’s not a small thing, it’s not the biggest thing out there and it doesn’t make a comeback impossible, absolutely not. This is what we prove now, but something happened and he will be fined and, of course, he needs to accept it.

“I think its impatience more than anything else. He is impatient. He wants big chances. But he is impatient and it is hard for him to accept that sometimes the grass does not grow faster when you pull it.”

Tuchel also insisted his relationship with Lukaku – who made a public apology to Chelsea fans on Tuesday evening – remains positive.

Lukaku has apologised to Tuchel

“First of all, we were happy that we took the time that it needed to look calmly on it. This is what we did. He apologised and is back in the squad for today's training. Today’s training is later. For me, the most important thing was to understand and to clearly understand I believe he did not do this intentionally to create this kind of noise in front of a big game and the second one, it was the very first time that he even behaved… even before when he seemed in his opinion he was ready to play, for example after his injury, from the start. And we thought he needs to re-adapt to the intensity a little bit more.

“There was never the slightest behaviour against the team so it was the very, very first time we felt it in this way and these are very important points to stay calm and to understand that’s it’s not as big as maybe people want it to be. It is not small but it is small enough to stay calm, to accept an apology and to move on forward.

“Do I have to tell a 28-year-old that it would be better to come to me? That would assume that he has a problem. Even if I read the interview a hundred times I don’t see the problem. I don’t feel personally attacked. I don’t feel personally angry, not at all. I thought it was more an issue towards the club and towards our supporters.

“And by that, all the players and everybody in the building who gives everything for the club. I can understand that people are offended. I was personally as a coach not so much. That is why I don’t see such a big change in our relationship.”

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