Romelu Lukaku, liberator or idiot?
On the 30th of December 2021 after a turbulent month at Chelsea football club SkySport broke the internet at the worst time possible releasing the 1st part of an interview with Chelsea's recent record signing Romelu Lukaku. The interview which took place 3 weeks prior to its release contained damaging words from Lukaku about his situation at the football club explaining that "I'm not happy with the situation at Chelsea" and confessing his possible regret of leaving Inter Milan over the Summer "I think everything that happened last summer was not supposed to happen like this". Understandably, Lukaku's words caused complete disarray among the Chelsea fans on social media who became outraged with what he said about the club believing that Lukaku has disrespected the club, the players and most importantly, the fans.
However, this event has sparked debate between fans and journalists/media on what players should and and shouldn't be able to say. Some people believe that Lukaku is way over the line and undertaking this interview completely undermined his manager by publicly speaking about his frustrations, while journalists such as Oliver Holt of the Daily Mail argued that Lukaku was in his right to speak on his frustrations and player's that are as honest as him are refreshing compared to the PR robots of today.
Lukaku has had a reputation of being an honest and open player which is a good quality and a rare quality in football nowadays because Sky and other broadcasters cannot afford to have players that will speak openly about their performance instead of the same old 'we played well but chances didn't go our way" that would have been indoctrinated into all footballer's minds by PR teams. Lukaku in the past has angered fans by having this character most notably Manchester United fans when he released private scores of training sessions to show that he isn't overweight and talking on podcasts about his problems he had while he was at Man Utd. I would agree that we do need players that can be honest like Lukaku to make the game more entertaining by the stakes created by controversial stuff players say off the pitch.
On the other hand, there is a difference between honesty and delusionary. Lukaku set up an interview by himself with Italian media on behalf of the club and his own agency knowing that they would ask him questions about his move away from Inter Milan as well as the feelings he still had for the club. Lukaku wanted to use the interview to apologise to the inter Milan fans for his sudden departure but because he had not gone for support on dealing with the situation he ended up sending too much love to Inter Milan, resulting in the interview looking like a desperate attempt to get Inter Milan to sign him back. By doing this interview during a time of crisis at Chelsea was not only foolish from Lukaku but also selfish as he put his own intentions, malicious or not, ahead of the club which is disrespectful to the manager, the players and the fans.
Overall, Lukaku is not a liberator of truth and honesty among PR robots but an idiot who has now put himself in a situation of uncertainty because of off the pitch problems instead of form on the pitch. The only victor in this situation is Thomas Tuchel who has confirmed the support of everyone at the club in the way that he has been backed over Lukaku unlike previous managers who would have been thrown under the bus.