Lukaku Loan: Just Common Sense

With the haul from our strikers as scant this season as a Mylie Cyrus hemline, it’s not all that surprising Jose Mourinho has had the loan of Romelu Lukaku thrown at him on an almost weekly basis – or is it?
Whilst Chelsea have had to rely on goals from anywhere but our frontmen, Lukaku is on 9 for Everton before we even move into 2014, so naturally questions will be asked – but isn’t the answer really just common sense (aka sound management)? For me, it is.
Jose Mourinho knows football and more importantly, he knows Chelsea. He knows what an impatient lot we’re prone to be and he’ll know we’re as likely to wait quietly for the results to come, as we are at the Tesco’s checkout when the pensioner in front has forgotten how chip and pin works. We’ll make a fuss – and it’s uncomfortable.
I think a point that’s often overlooked is that we were extremely fortunate to have a player like Didier Drogba at the club for such a long period of time, a player we came to rely on when it came to winning. We don’t have a match winner right now, there isn’t a prolific frontman to fall back on when we’re struggling to break teams down but Lukaku is scoring at Everton, so why can’t he just be our Didier Drogba?
Well, seeing as we’re taking a trip down memory lane, let’s go back to 2004-05 because I seem to recall Didier Drogba getting a rough ride at Chelsea. Whilst I remember being impressed by his work-rate and less impressed by his balance affliction, I also remember plenty around me slating him for a lack of goals and apparent ambivalence.
Of course, it was never going to be easy to come into a side and follow the partnership of Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink that had brought us such pleasure, so failing to provide in excess of 10 Premier League goals in his first season was never going to cut it. In fact, it took Drogba longer than that to settle – a fact often forgotten in the romanticising about him – during which, he was clearly a very unhappy and unsettled player.
Still, Didier Drogba did come good, he became so good in fact, he’s an almost impossible act to follow because you simply don’t replace the irreplaceable. So that being the case, do you put a 20 year old under the sort of pressure that would undoubtedly come with that? You’d either be mad or sadistic.
Yes, Romelu Lukaku did well on loan at West Brom. He had an equally good start on loan at Everton, but just five games without a goal and before yesterday’s winner against Southampton, he was being referred to as “a centre-forward who had patently lost the sharpness and anticipation that had driven Everton forward during the early months of the season.” In fact, even with that goal, I was reading that “for four-fifths of the game he did almost nothing at all and he had not found the net since a 4-0 win over Stoke City in November.” Now imagine that at Chelsea.
Romelu Lukaku is not the finished article, he’s a 20 year old still in development, so to give him the task of following Didier Drogba would, almost certainly have been setting him up to fail. Even Everton manager Roberto Martinez says “I think from the outside looking in you are going to judge a striker on their goalscoring ability and the numbers. But Romelu, when he arrived here, he was a young player and he couldn’t play 60 to 65 minutes. For me if he scores goals, yes it’s magnificent, but for me I judge him by all the different aspects of his game.” And Lukaku would have had harsher critics at Chelsea but as Martinez explains “We’ve been working on other aspects of Romelu’s game and were never in a position to worry about his goals. He attracts two or three players. Now he plays 90 minutes and takes responsibility for the link-up play. I judge him by all the other aspects. He was magnificent against Swansea without scoring the other day. He is developing into an all-round footballer.”
So, rather than throw Lukaku to the wolves still pining for Drogba, Jose has the more experienced and less impressionable Eto’o – happy to collect his pay for 12 months whilst the shadow of Didier Drogba fades – so when Lukaku comes back in the summer, he won’t have to live in it.
Common sense.


4 Responses to “Lukaku Loan: Just Common Sense”

  1. Lost me at “You see”. Stick to the day job.

  2. This, wihout the illustrative Drogba references, is what us Evertonians have been saying since about the 5th game Lukaku played for us. Even now he’s so much more of a player than where he was at the close of the summer window.

    Just think how much more refined he’d be if he stayed a second season with us as well….we think you lads should definitely get on to Mourinho and let him know you dont want to see Lukaku back until he can shade Drogba’s legend! 😉

  3. Yes,its common sense. But there is a saying,”common sense is not common” u agree? Love the article by d way.

  4. On your bike 🙂