'Another problem': Ally McCoist thinks one Chelsea player lacks pace and isn't quick enough

Ally McCoist believes Romelu Lukaku lacks the speed required to keep up with the standard demanded by Chelsea.

Speaking on talkSPORT, McCoist voiced his concerns over Lukaku’s apparent lack of pace.

Romelu isn’t full of running

The Belgian has never been blessed with lightning-quick feet.

He’s possibly lost a yard or two since his days as a young, raw striker who had energy to burn.

His game is more about holding off opponents, rather than running past them.

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Which perhaps partly answers why the 28-year-old has struggled so much since returning to Stamford Bridge.

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Thomas Tuchel’s tactics generally don’t adhere to Lukaku’s skill sets.

Chelsea’s manager likes his players to play in between the lines, with his forwards and wing-backs stretching the pitch.

Going direct into a centre-forward isn’t top of the priority list.

Hence why Lukaku has often been a spectator whilst still on the pitch, as he was during the FA Cup final on Saturday.

After hitting some form ahead of the game against Liverpool, many anticipated a decent showing at Wembley from Chelsea’s number nine.

However, the mini-purple patch ended rather abruptly.

According to WhoScored.com, Lukaku only touched the ball 15 times in 84 minutes and didn’t manage a single shot on target.

His no-show prevented the Blues from winning in normal time, eventually losing the final on penalties.

Lukaku lacks pace whilst Chelsea lack precision

The attacker’s sub-standard season pretty accurately summarised his side’s struggles in the second half of the term.

“A disappointing one, not winning anything, that’s absolutely for sure,” said McCoist on Chelsea’s overall campaign.

“They’ve got to finish third to get the Champions League, that goes without saying.

“I think losing two cup finals, the manner of the defeat in Madrid, to a lot of clubs, it would be a very successful season, but from Chelsea’s point of view, I’d put it down as a disappointing season.

“I think he’s (Tuchel) got bigger problems at the other end. (His defence has been) absolutely decimated. (Antonio) Rudiger and (Andreas) Christensen away.

“So, I’m not going to say it’s a rebuilding job, but he’s going to have to restructure his defence totally.

“Lukaku’s obviously another problem in that area of the park. He looks as those he’s slightly off it, pace-wise.

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“At that level you can’t afford to be because you’ll get caught out.”

Unfortunately for Lukaku, speed is not something that can be improved overnight.

It’s quite often a natural skill acquired from an early age.

What he can work on is his first touch, which often lets him down, his movement and finishing.

Master these techniques and he could be a changed player by the beginning of next year.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.