Thomas Tuchel reacts to Romelu Lukaku interview
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Chelsea players were wrong to go against Romelu Lukaku and back his omission against Liverpool on Sunday, claims former Blues midfielder Craig Burley. Lukaku was left out of the Chelsea squad for the visit of Liverpool in what was a must-win match for both sides. The game ended 2-2 in the Belgian’s absence which has led to criticism of head coach Thomas Tuchel.
Tuchel decided to leave Lukaku out following an interview the striker did last month where he stated he was unhappy with his situation at Stamford Bridge and flirted with a return to Inter Milan.
Tuchel has revealed he consulted senior players at Chelsea and they helped in his decision to omit the Belgian from the match-day squad.
But Burley says that was the wrong approach for the players to take.
The former Celtic star explained how that would not have been the case during his playing days.
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Speaking on ESPN FC, Burley said: “I heard the other nonsense, and it could be true and could just be a consequence of the modern-day game, that Tuchel canvassed the senior players about the decision and they were okay with it.
“Well, when we’re playing, particularly in the big games, do you think I wanted to go into an Old Firm game v Rangers without Henrik Larsson? Because Henrik might have said he wanted to go somewhere else?
“Do you think if he went to all the senior players at Celtic and said ‘I’m thinking of leaving Henrik out, what do you think?’ – we’d have gone: ‘Are you nuts? We want to win the game’.
“‘I want to put some pressure on Man City, we’re at home. I know there’s a problem, let’s solve it. Let’s get out on the field and do the talking on the field’.
“This hard and fast nonsense, ‘oh there’s rules’, players always break rules – it’s how the manager figures it out when they do it.”
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Following Sunday’s match, Tuchel explained he always takes the opinions of senior players when making decisions such as leaving out your record signing.
He said: “I take decisions for the team. I have players to listen to them and hear their opinion and what they think.
“I make my decisions once I hear them out. It’s their club, it’s their team, and it’s not personal for me to decide only because of my beliefs.
“We have to protect the strong beliefs and values of the squad. Regularly we speak to five or six players to get the inside view, to have a clearer evaluation of the situation.”
Lukaku and Tuchel are said to have held ‘positive’ clear-the-air talks since, with the striker in line to return to the team against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
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