Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia’s roles in helping Thomas Tuchel resolve Romelu Lukaku problem

Thomas Tuchel has praised Chelsea’s leadership team in their ability to deal with the controversy following Romelu Lukaku’s interview.

The Belgian forward spoke out on his desire to return to Inter Milan and declared he was unhappy with his situation at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel was frustrated by the furore the interview created in preparation for the Premier League game against Liverpool, and decided to drop Lukaku for the match and have a meeting with the striker on Monday.

The Blues boss drew a line under the situation as Lukaku apologised and has been confirmed as returning to the squad ahead of Tottenham in the Carabao Cup.

Tuchel noted it was the first time he’d ‘felt noise’ in the Chelsea hotseat, but insisted he did not feel additional pressure due to how well the situation was handled by Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia.

He said: “Yeah, but not extra pressure because the way we dealt with it, Petr and Marina and me, very calm and very quick and very open, so easy to deal with it.

“We don’t like to deal with it because we prefer not to have the noise, and I don’t know, there’s all this pressure, this pressure is part of my daily business. I don’t feel it as pressure, or sometimes I feel it as pressure but in general it’s like something we enjoy.

“It gives us a certain edge. In moments like this, it’s necessary to take positions, and to trust your leadership and to do what you do, and believe in what you do, stay focused, stay calm, and show belief in the values that we implemented to work together.

“This is what we did, and that’s why, yeah, it was absolutely fine, I’m happy that we won a bit of time and calm things down, like in between the relationship between the player, and the possibility also to hear the player out and try to understand him better, and move on forward.”

Tuchel was reassured to work in unison with the club’s hierarchy and to feel support in how the situation was dealt with.

Chelsea have more than once been accused of submitting to player power, with the notion even being suggested during Frank Lampard’s time at the club.

The response from the players in a relentless game against Liverpool and communication with Cech and Granovskaia, could prove vital moving forward.

Tuchel said: “It is the most important thing. Because it is not about my opinion and the club’s opinion. If we count Petr Cech to the club, it is not like I push my opinions or the club pushes its opinions.

“We are adults and we reflect on the situation. The more the story went on I had a clear opinion and I was more than happy that it was ok for the club to go with it. I had the feeling it was really ok.

“Otherwise, as you understood, I spoke clearly to the players. It is not only about my feeling and my idea.

“This is our job and it was very nice to see that we have an open and very close relationship and that we can find very quick solutions without any political interference and without putting every disturbing factor aside.

“Just isolate it on the moment and what is best for the moment. From there we went. It was a very nice to be a part of it.”


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