'Terrific' Chelsea star must improve soon if he is to confirm pundit's early-season predictions - TCC View
Pundits and predictions go better together than wine and cheese.
Before every campaign kicks off, those with the mic in their hand cast an eye over a crystal ball and forecast the outcomes of the next eight months or so.
In August, the BBC asked their selection of former players and journalists to pick who would win the Premier League.
Seven, including Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton and Rob Green, chose Chelsea as the eventual winners of the top flight.
“If Harry Kane goes to Manchester City, then he is the perfect fit for them and I would fancy them. If he doesn’t, I think Chelsea will nick it, because they are getting Romelu Lukaku,” were the wise words of Sutton.
Ronaldo versus Romelu
The Blues did get the Belgian, causing another wave of prophecies from the people who tend to stand pitch-side.
Lukaku’s return to Stamford Bridge coincided with the homecoming of another Serie A ex-pat to his former stomping ground.
Two and a half weeks after the striker signed for Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo re-joined Manchester United.
Two of the continent’s big hitters in the same backyard, what a treat we had in store.
Of course, when a pair of obsessive scorers come to town, there really is only one question to ask: who is going to get the most goals?
Well, some within the pundit’s realm had an answer to that.
“I’m going to say Lukaku. I look at Chelsea and the goals that they get, a lot of those are going to come through Lukaku,” said Darren Bent at the beginning of September.
“It will also be interesting to see who scores more goals, although I put my money on Lukaku,” wrote Garth Crooks just six days later, after Ronaldo and Lukaku had scored on the same weekend earlier in the term.
So, how have Crooks and Bent’s calculations got on?
Not very well, we hate to admit.
Ronaldo leading the race
Following a fine start to the season, Lukaku has dropped from his mighty perch pretty hard.
Four goals in his opening four matches seem like a distant memory now.
The ten goalless games for the 28-year-old is a lot fresher in the mind.
It should be a matter of when, not if, the net begins to ripple again.
“Obviously, he’s a terrific footballer, he scores goals pretty much wherever he’s been,” said Michael Carrick ahead of Chelsea’s showdown with the Red Devils.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo simply hasn’t slowed down.
United’s number seven has already smashed 13 goals in 19 appearances, six of those in the Champions League.
If Lukaku doesn’t get back up to speed soon, then the Portugal international will tear away into the distance.
Which would make Crooks and Bent look rather foolish.
We can’t be having that now, can we Rom.