The speed at which footballers are judged by their actions these days will never not be surprising.
Social media pile-ons are becoming common place as the public seek to vent their anger at perceived slights that they don’t agree with.
The language used is often extreme, and there’s no doubt that Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku will have felt the full wrath of the Stamford Bridge faithful after his most recent interview.
The Belgian centre-forward has, apparently, been unhappy with his treatment under Thomas Tuchel, and even hinted at a move back to former club, Internazionale.
“Physically I am fine , even better than before. This condition is due to my two years in Italy in which I worked a lot with trainers and nutritionists,” he said as quoted by football.london.
“It is something that will remain for always with me. However, I cannot say that I am happy with the situation , this is normal. I think that Tuchel has chosen to play with another module and I just have to not give up, continue to work and be a professional
“[…] Now I think it is right to talk because I have always said that I have Inter in my heart and one day I sincerely hope to be able to play there again.
“I am in love with Italy. This is the time to let people know what really happened without speaking badly about people because I’m not like that.”
“I really hope with all my heart to be able to return to Inter one day and not at the end of my career. I would like to return when I am still at high levels to try to win even more with the Nerazzurri shirt.”
In an era when players are often castigated for toeing the party line, and not really saying anything of any real substance, Lukaku’s honesty comes across as refreshingly authentic.
It certainly shows a clarity of thought and a willingness to speak his mind without fear of repercussion.
Frankly, it’s about time football players felt that they could freely offload whatever thoughts they had on certain matters rather than being media trained and PR lead throughout interviews and interactions.
It’s believed that some are even calling for Lukaku to now apologise for what might be perceived to be disrespect towards his current employers, but isn’t that exactly what Chelsea are doing with him?
Why would you make a big song and dance about paying a record fee to bring someone to the club, only to then decide that he’s not really a best fit in certain games.
Either you want him or you don’t, and to sideline a record signing was always going to see a reaction.