Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Romelu Lukaku, Reece James and Chelsea vs Liverpool – Football.London

Your thoughts on the Romelu Lukaku interview in Italy and what he had to say?

We don’t like it, of course, because it brings noise that we don’t need and is not helpful. But on the other side, we don’t want to make more out of it than it actually is.

You know very well how it is, it’s very easy to take lines out of context, to shorten lines to make headlines, then realise later it’s not so bad or what he meant.

But let’s be honest, we don’t like it, because it’s noise we don’t need, we need a calm environment and focus and it does not help.

Did he sit down with you to talk about it?

Not at all, I don’t feel him unhappy. I feel the exact opposite. If you ask me yesterday morning, I would say I feel the exact opposite. That’s why I would say it’s a surprise but I am the wrong person to ask.

Will you discuss it with him?

If there is something to discuss it’s behind closed doors, for sure.

What about him saying he wants to go back to Inter?

Like I said, this is what you read into it, what everybody reads into it, I did not read it completely.

It’s very easy in general to take lines out of context and take lines and make headlines to get the focus and to get the best out of these interviews for several days.

If it’s an interview from a person of that kind of interest, an important player, I totally understand the process and that’s why it’s a lot of extra noise, but still we are not here to just read the headlines.

Maybe we here can take the time to try to understand what’s going on because it does not reflect his daily work, it does not reflect his daily attitude, it does not reflect the daily behaviour which Romelu shows here at Cobham.

But you need to ask him not me, I cannot help you further with this, because I was surprised.

Is this the kind of thing that should remain behind closed doors?

We will, we will and we will do it behind closed doors. We will speak openly like I think the relationship is and always has been.

So, no further comments on that.

Players unavailable for the Liverpool game? The wing-back situation is pretty bad for you at the moment

Chilly of course has had his surgery and has our best wishes and all our energy to come back as soon as possible but it seems like the season is over for him.

With Reecey, still it is a hamstring injury, a muscle injury. Like always with muscle injuries, the examination is a bit later because the images are better if you wait a bit. Those images will be later today I guess and then we will know more about it.

In terms of Lukaku, you answered eloquently there, but is the noise around him louder because results have not been what you want?

Maybe it feels louder but I think it would have been loud anyway with these type of headlines. You cannot win enough to not talk about them in the media, this is today’s world and everything you say is out there in public if you are such a big player like Romelu.

He is an experienced player and he should know what kind of value it has when he speaks out with messages like this.

Maybe it is a bit easier to deal with, of course, like everything by the way, training is easier, press conferences are easier when you win but this has nothing to do with that.

Would it have been easier to deal with the noise? Yes. But it is still the same noise.

Safe standing back at matches for some fans this weekend, something that has been part of the Bundesliga for a while, a big thing for English football…

I was not aware of that but I am happy for the fans, they like it and they want certain areas to watch a game standing and be a bit more emotional.

But, safety is first, we can all agree on that. We are used to it in Germany where there are big sections where fans stand and are responsible to watch the game, it is a traditional thing and safe at the same time.

Hopefully it will give the extra boost to our supporter because we absolutely need them on their best level at this moment and for the first game of the new year against Liverpool.

Have Man City killed the title race?

I don’t know. I would say we never give up nothing. Why should we stop a race in the middle of a race? That’s my first thought about this question.

The other thought is that we don’t think about this stuff because it is about what we tell the team today and how we approach the team.

I know that you think a lot about this but I never think about stuff like this. That’s why I am confronted about questions like this in a press conference. I am trying to look as smart as possible even though I am clearly not and find good answers in this case.

Billy Gilmour was booed by Norwich fans – are you considering recalling him?

To be very, very honest. I have not thought about it yet. It is not a subject between these matches now. We have not had a whole week to discuss these things so maybe we need to do it right after Liverpool. I haven’t discussed it yet and I don’t honestly have a clear opinion on it right now.

Back to Lukaku, do you need to sort out this problem for club harmony?

It is a question of both. In the dressing room is not necessary that it is always in harmony to be successful. You don’t have to tell each other you love each other every single day.

Sometimes it is good to be on the edge. Sometimes there can be disharmony between certain boundaries. With Romelu, I don’t think anyone in this building is aware that he is unhappy.

It makes us very surprised about these statements. First of all, we need to check because I see no reason it can be like this. This is all I can say and we will see how Romelu deals with it.

How is the team spirit, especially after the late draw against Brighton?

We are a very disappointed team in the dressing room, angry. Myself also upset, angry about the situation and the results, the referee decisions. We have the feeling we invest a lot.

We have the feeling that we squeeze the lemon and squeeze the lemon but it’s like squeezing the same lemon over and over again and we expect to always get fresh juice out of it and it’s hard.

We are so ambitious because it’s hard for the team to take these results and stay positive because we know what we can deliver and we know we can play better. Everybody is fully aware but everybody is trying hard. It is not a matter of one click, obviously.

And it’s tough. We have now three games at home where we conceded late equalisers, where we dominate all statistics, where we have clearly better chances and where we are purely unlucky.

It’s a matter of six points you lose because you have three draws instead of three wins. It hurts because with six points more we would have a completely different feeling around New Year’s Eve.

It’s not the first time in my career and maybe not the first time in the players’ careers to have days like this when things feel a bit more heavy than on other days.

It’s sometimes good to make the focus wider, look at the bigger picture, look at what we did in 2021 and accept we are still in the right direction and still in development. We have to learn to improve quickly but this seems to be a bump in a development still going in the right direction.

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