‘He’s chopped off his nose to spite his face’: Thomas Tuchel was WRONG to drop Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea’s ‘biggest game of the season’ against Liverpool, insists Paul Merson, as he insists Belgium striker has had it ‘far too easy’ after Italy interview
- Romelu Lukaku was fined and dropped by Chelsea after an interview in Italy
- The Belgium striker has apologised for the footage, which upset Blues fans
- He did not play against Liverpool, but Paul Merson says that was the wrong call
Thomas Tuchel was wrong to drop Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea’s clash against Liverpool, despite his bombshell interview with Sky Sports Italia.
Lukaku gave an interview at the beginning of December – which only aired on Thursday – in which he claimed he was unhappy at Chelsea and spoke of his desire to return to Inter Milan.
The fallout saw the Belgium striker dropped entirely from the Blues squad for their 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, while he also issued an apology through the club’s website.
Thomas Tuchel was wrong to drop Romelu Lukaku from his Chelsea side, says Paul Merson
The Sky Sports pundit believes the Belgium international has had it easy after his interview
However, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson insists that this was the wrong course of action, and that it would have had more of an impact to force the No 9 to play in front of baying fans in their most important game of the campaign to date.
‘Chelsea had to beat Liverpool to have any chance of winning the Premier League. They had to beat Liverpool and then Manchester City in their next game to have any chance, but for me, he’s chopped his nose off to spite his face,’ Merson said of Tuchel’s decision in his Sky Sports column.
‘You are better off throwing him to the wolves and playing him, in my opinion. If he then doesn’t play well, the Chelsea fans will soon let him know. I’d have gone that way, personally.
Lukaku issued an apology via the club’s website after he told Sky Sports Italy he was unhappy
‘It’s been far too easy for Lukaku. He’s said what he wanted to say, he’s been dropped, will come back for a lesser game than Liverpool and everything will be alright.
‘Tuchel should have played him against Liverpool. It was the biggest game of the season for Chelsea.’
Chelsea were forced to come from behind without Lukaku, with Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic rescuing a point for Tuchel’s side.
And Merson insists that the turnaround saved the German technician from even greater scrutiny over his decision.
‘They’ve dropped him for a game they had to win to have any chance of winning the title,’ he added.
The Chelsea No 9 sat out Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool, a result that helped neither team
‘It’s only the fact Chelsea came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 that there is not absolute mayhem. The result, in the end, papered over the decision to leave Lukaku out.’
Chelsea are currently 10 points behind league leaders Manchester City after their draw with Liverpool.
Their next match is a Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham and former boss Antonio Conte. Their next league outing is against City on January 15.
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