‘If I’m Lukaku I’m going nuts’: Rio Ferdinand defends under fire Chelsea striker by insisting he isn’t getting enough service after recording just seven touches in Crystal Palace win… and insists Blues boss Thomas Tuchel ‘doesn’ don’t know his best team’!
- Romelu Lukaku was widely criticized for his anonymous display for Chelsea
- It comes with him having scored two Premier League goals since September
- But Rio Ferdinand has insisted the striker is in a no-win situation on the pitch
- Ferdinand also insisted manager Thomas Tuchel is not playing to his strength
Rio Ferdinand has come to the defense of Romelu Lukaku after the Chelsea striker recorded just seven touches of the ball in his side’s most recent win over Crystal Palace.
Lukaku’s display has been criticized by fans and pundits and comes in a Premier League campaign where he has scored just twice since September following his £98million arrival from Inter Milan last summer.
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has been among those who have defended the Belgian’s display at Selhurst Park.
Romelu Lukaku took just seven touches during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace
Lineker had insisted that it was up to Lukaku’s team-mates to bring him into the game, saying: ‘When I played, if I wasn’t getting much of the ball, if I wasn’t getting service, I would be hammering people .’
Ferdinand agreed with the former England striker in that the former Manchester United and Everton striker would be incredibly frustrated at his lack of service.
‘I agree with Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer by the way, if anyone saw their comments, if I’m Lukaku I’m going nuts,’ Ferdinand said on Vibe with Five.
Rio Ferdinand says Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel (above) is not playing to Lukaku’s strengths
‘[I would be saying] get me that ball, get wide and cross me the ball, play the ball in behind when you get the opportunity, play to my strengths.
Ferdinand has defended Lukaku following his performance against Crystal Palace
Ferdinand also criticized Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel for still not knowing his best side and how to get the best out of his summer purchase.
The former Manchester United defender believes Tuchel is not playing to his side or Lukaku’s strengths
‘I think that’s probably the biggest issue you’ve got with Chelsea at the moment – what’s their best team?’, Ferdinand added. ‘I don’t think [Thomas] Tuchel knows his best team at the moment.
‘He wants to get a £100 million player in, which is understandable, in Lukaku and he’s hit a bit of a bad run in terms of goals.
‘They’ve got to find a way of playing to his strengths. Lukaku’s strengths… what are they? He’s a fox in the box. You get that ball in the box and if it drops to him invariably he’ll put it away. He’s shown that everywhere he’s been all throughout his career. You cross the ball he can finish, he loves the ball played in behind to run on things, to bulldoze his way past people.
‘I just don’t feel at the moment they’ve been playing to those strengths which have enabled him to be a £100m player.
Ferdinand believes the Chelsea striker is being let down by his team-mates at the Blues
Ferdinand also had sympathy for Lukaku’s role on the pitch insisting that he is in a n-win situation in that he is either criticized for not getting involved in the game enough, or faces the wrath of his manager for disturbing a gameplan.
‘If it was you in that situation [where you’re not getting the ball] you’d be going, “I’ve got to find the ball, I’ve got to get a touch”. But sometimes for the betterment of the team and what the manager wants to be that focal point and keeping two defenders occupied by staying up the pitch. The moment you start coming back and bringing more players in that midfield area the manager will go, “you’re messing up what we’re trying to do”.
‘You’ve got to sacrifice your own game. I feel that’s what he’s doing at times, he’s sacrificing his own goal for the betterment of the team which is affecting his stats which he gets judged on.’