'What's the point?': Alan Shearer worries Chelsea player might just give up trying soon
Alan Shearer feared that Romelu Lukaku will stop making movements off the ball if his Chelsea teammates continue to miss him out.
Speaking on Premier League Productions after another exasperating evening for Thomas Tuchel’s team, Shearer suggested that the Belgian striker might refuse to run anymore if things continue in the same vein.
Lukaku a lonely man
Lukaku cut a frustrated figure against Brighton & Hove Albion last night, not the first time he has looked forlorn in the past few matches.
The 28-year-old received virtually no service from those playing behind or next to him, despite him constantly trying to shift into space down the side of Brighton’s defence.
Just like the defeat to Manchester City last weekend, Chelsea’s club-record signing looked cut adrift from the rest of the group.
According to WhoScored.com, he managed just 18 touches all evening; only the three substitutes had fewer for the Blues.
This is actually a downgrade on the 20 touches Lukaku achieved during the loss at the Etihad.
Whether they are intending to or not, Tuchel’s men seem to be ignoring the number nine, which is reflecting pretty badly on the player himself.
It’s also clearly not helping their results, as they have picked up just one win in seven league games following that 1-1 draw at the AMEX.
Is this the end of Romelu’s running?
Shearer identified the problem staring Lukaku in the face, one that could get worse if he decides to give up on running in behind.
“We highlighted before the game didn’t we about the lack of forward pass from the midfielders into Lukaku or whoever that may be,” said the Newcastle United hero.
“That certainly happened on a few occasions in this game.
“So, what happens is when you don’t get a pass and you don’t get the next pass, you stop running. You just think ‘what’s the point? I’m actually not going to get the ball, so what is the point of actually making runs?’.
“That ball should be fizzed in to Lukaku’s feet. What’s his strength? The strength is getting the ball into his feet.
“So, if it’s not coming, you just say ‘what’s the point in running anymore, because you are not feeding me. You’re not giving me the ammunition’.”
How can Chelsea solve this saga?
Does Lukaku need to change his game to suit Chelsea, or is it vice versa?
This is the burning question that has been put to Tuchel on numerous occasions throughout the campaign.
It will continue to be thrown in his direction until the issue is resolved.
That could involve buying a new frontman that fits the manager’s system, or completely alternating the system to fit the current frontman.
As Tuchel has said before he will not sway from his methods to suit Lukaku, so will the other option be put into place?
January would be the perfect time to do so…