Lukaku scores for Belgium

, 12 November, 44comments  |  Jump to most recent
Romelu Lukaku was named among the substitutes for Belgium's friendly with Iceland this evening but came off the bench to score.

The 21 year-old was rested to allow the returning Christian Benteke to stake his claim for a starting berth ahead of Sunday's Euro2016 qualifier against Wales after missing the last nine months with an Achilles injury.

Lukaku replaced Eden Hazard at half time and was in the right place to collect a square pass behind the Icelandic defence to fire into the empty net and make it 3-1.  

Reader Comments (44)

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Sam Hoare
1 Posted 12/11/2014 at 20:18:09
Strange to think our record £28M signing is probably Belgium's 3rd choice striker at the moment.
Craig Fletcher
2 Posted 12/11/2014 at 20:32:19
No complaints from me. Lukaku has been involved a lot for us in the past week v Lille and Sunderland, and anyways if he has any feelings of frustration at sitting on the bench for Belgium, he can vent against West Ham next weekend and show his national selectors his worth.

Sam (1), probably indicative of the strength of Belgium and their "golden generation".

Paul Caine
3 Posted 12/11/2014 at 20:53:41
Hello fellow Blues,

I’m a newbie and will probably offend a few by asking did we (Roberto) make a mistake spending £28M on Lukaku, when that money could have been spent strengthening the squad elsewhere?

I appreciate Lukaku has potential (although I’m not seeing much at the moment).

We’re beginning to see season destroying injury lists, I think most of us wanted a centre back and more mid field options? It’s easy to be wise "after the fact" and I admit I am being to some degree, but the phrase "Eggs in one basket" keeps coming to mind when I see Lukaku play.

Colin Williams
4 Posted 12/11/2014 at 20:55:45
Why is that strange? The guy is nowhere near good enough to play. Lukaku is not even good enough to start for us. He may have potential for the future but now! No chance for Belgium or Everton.

He may have scored goals during the last two seasons but this season he looks out of his depth in the Premier League. Just hope he turns it around for his and our sake.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 12/11/2014 at 21:19:17
Strange but probably justified Sam.

Benteke can’t really claim to be in form after being out so long but you can possibly understand that Belgium wish to try something different after Lukaku’s unimpressive last few months, I also think they won’t have been overly impressed with Lukaku’s disappointing World Cup performance.

I hope it hits home with Rom soon that although he’s young, a footballers career is relatively short and you can easily be bypassed if your attitude is all wrong or you haven’t got the necessary hunger that other equals have.

The World Cup in Brazil was meant to be one he was going to take by storm but he barely got going and was then replaced by rookie Origi.

Steven Astley
6 Posted 12/11/2014 at 21:58:34
Hold up... Now he’s scored for Belgium, what’s the betting that the lad will be popping up as doing an interview with some ’Dutch newspaper’ in the coming weeks; saying how he’d love a move to a "big" club like Real Madrid or Bayern Munich!
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 12/11/2014 at 22:26:28
Yes you're all right, he's absolute rubbish!!! I mean, at his age he should be banging them in left, right and centre. How dare he play for Everton.
Paul Dark
8 Posted 12/11/2014 at 22:32:25
Rom is a class act. True, he has lots of areas too improve in - but I'm delighted he's a Blue!
Craig Fletcher
9 Posted 12/11/2014 at 22:39:25
After all that, looks like Rom got 45 minutes and a goal. Nice one Rom - I know he’s a confident lad already, but I’m sure scoring that goal today will do him the world of good.
Kase Chow
10 Posted 12/11/2014 at 22:51:36
IF Rom's been injured then all this criticism is very unfair
Trevor Lynes
11 Posted 12/11/2014 at 22:58:16
The legend big Dunc scored one goal in 27 games during one season for us and was sent off a record nine times during his time with us.

He scored some great goals and they are all that are remembered.He is obviously excused all the times he let the team and fans down!

Lukaku will come good and be worth double his signing on fee that we paid even though that is in instalments.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 12/11/2014 at 22:59:49
Don't say that too loudly, Paul, you might upset some on here.
Eric Holland
13 Posted 12/11/2014 at 23:09:29
But Colin at that price he should be scoring two goals every game! Don't you think?

And setting up another 3 every game!!

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 12/11/2014 at 23:13:43
At least Eric, at least.
Sam Hoare
15 Posted 12/11/2014 at 23:46:13
Colin, 6. Where did anyone say he was absolute rubbish? You're incredibly defensive about any perceived criticism... even when its hardly there.

Darryl Ritchie
16 Posted 12/11/2014 at 23:52:28
Sam, check out Colin@ 3. Not the best critique I’ve ever read.
Sam Hoare
17 Posted 13/11/2014 at 00:14:18
Maybe not. Though it's fair to say that this season he has not looked good enough on quite a few occasions. Luckily he has youth and a history of scoring on his side because I think, if he was a youngster who had come up from the academy this year, then a lot of people would be saying he's not up to it yet and maybe get him out of the firing line for a while... though admittedly there aren't exactly a plethora of options.
Mike Childs
18 Posted 13/11/2014 at 02:20:50
He hasn't quit on the team or himself like a lot of prima donnas would do if they had his scoring stats.. Ken Buckley said it best in one of his columns about him having too many teachers.
Harold Matthews
19 Posted 13/11/2014 at 02:01:28
Martinez has really messed me up with this one. I fully support his long-term plan but didn't fancy Lukaku even though he made a difference last season. The lad is painfully difficult to watch.

Nevertheless, he is now our permanent record priced main goal scorer and I have to go along with Roberto's judgement and superior knowledge. He seems convinced that Lukaku will go on to great things and I have to hope he is right.

Harold Matthews
20 Posted 13/11/2014 at 03:59:00
Mike. Yes, Ken is right with his "too many teachers" point. The big fella looked totally confused the other day. Reminded me of Sandy Lyle and Padraig Harrington. Two great natural golfers till they hired coaches to help improve their game.
Justin McCallum
21 Posted 13/11/2014 at 05:04:50
I blame Martinez for our confusion in our attack... Lukaku for me is an out and out old fashion English centre forward who chases down balls, runs at defences, gets on the end of crosses... which he did brilliantly at West Brom and last season. Trying to turn him into something he is not is daft...

Naismith, Eto'o and Barclay... what's the game plan there? There doesn't seem to be one – it changes every week. With these players, we should be hammering teams like Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Liverpool... but our lack of a cohesive attack is letting us down and unfortunately making Everton and Lukaku look soft.

Paul Andrews
22 Posted 13/11/2014 at 06:30:43
The clue is in "received a square pass behind the defence". He is not a centre-forward who is comfortable playing with his back to goal.

Give him the correct service, with the ball played in front of him, and he will score even more than his current almost 1 in 2 over the relatively short career to date.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 13/11/2014 at 07:42:49
That really is the problem Harold, and I must say, either the coaching staff are not good enough or is it Lukaku himself? Nothing wrong with trying to add other parts to a players game, but at times the KID has looked lost.

The reason is so obvious it's fairly embarrassing. Why pay £28 Million pounds for a footballer and then decide not to play to his strengths now and again? Baffled by science, or simply not getting taught well enough?

He has some great attributes that should be nurtured along, because if you don't play to his strengths, he might just forget what he is good at. I've seen it happen to many times!

Mick Wrende
24 Posted 13/11/2014 at 08:39:45
Please don't anyone (that is you Trevor Lynes) ever compare lazy Lukaku to Big Dunc. It is not purely goal scoring it is the amount of effort you put into the game and Ferguson's was at least 100 times that of our current sloth.
Jim Bennings
25 Posted 13/11/2014 at 08:38:49
It's not out of the ordinary for the paying fans, yes the people who pay their good money to watch there team, to expect some kind of performance levels from big players.

Any set of fans would be critical if they felt they weren't quite getting enough from a player who they know their manager to all of his trust in to pay a whopping 28 million.

28 million is a lot of money for Everton Football Club and we are not likely to spend that fee again anytime soon.

So far we haven't seen performance levels befitting from the man in question befitting anywhere near that price tag.

Now we all know it's not Lukaku who put the fee on his head of course not but like with anything, it's a pressure he needs to live up to now that he is here.
Some players thrive on pressure and thrive on wanting to be the best.

We can't keep making the "youth" excuse, for a young man he doesn't run around chasing defenders down or giving defenders a hard enough time for me, Rooney at 16 was a constant bull in a China shop and even to a lesser extent James Vaughan.

Everton fans are intelligent enough to know their football.

We know Lukaku can finish chances very well in general , he's got a decent goal record but what we want to see is more centre forwards play where he looks handful.
The fact he doesn't utilise his physique and he doesn't jump enough for headers, Naismith puts him to shame on that front, they are the little details that don't involve ability just a little bit of heart and passion from time to time.

Liam Reilly
26 Posted 13/11/2014 at 11:06:04
I'm in the minority but I think he's doing well.

I remember being behind the goal in the first round of the old Cup Winners Cup against UCD in Dublin and listening to the bile that Sharpy was subjected to and thinking; this is a confidence game so shouldn't we be encouraging these players?

Of course Lukaku is a marked man; he's a regular scorer in the PL for the past two seasons and I'd be surprised if he doesn't score 15+ goals in all competitions this season even with the added attention.

Mike Barrett
27 Posted 13/11/2014 at 11:30:02
It's happened to our strikers time and again over the years: Sharpy, Latchford etc "lazy, not good enough" etc etc (but not "the legend" that is Duncan Ferguson!! Let this great club down many times).

lay off Lukaku – he'll be fine.

Sean Kelly
28 Posted 13/11/2014 at 11:55:31
Lukaku has the potential to be a top top player. Roberto is trying to vary his game but has he got the skills set and intelligence to do it. Lukaku's main threat is playing on the shoulder of the last defender and running onto a through ball. The problem is we don't give it to him early enough. We are giving it to him in the main with his back to goal and we all know his first touch needs improving.
Give the lad a break let him develop the skills and see where it takes us. If he doesn't improve then have a pop at him but in the mean time get behind him and encourage him.
Andy Crooks
29 Posted 13/11/2014 at 12:16:24
Of course it's all about opinion but it seems to me that Lukaku is a decent player now with a fair enough scoring record.

If he stays free of Injury he will improve vastly over the next few years. To me, the method of payment, his age and his current ability with huge potential to come make it as good as it could be for Everton.

Comparing his transfer fee with that of more experienced strikers is pointless. Costa was not signing for us in a million years. We are moving forward in the only way presently possible.

Tom Bowers
31 Posted 13/11/2014 at 13:44:28
The lad has the talent and we all know that. The goals he scored in the Premier League last season and before that with the Baggies proved he is top-tier material.

I think, however, his foot injury has hampered his start to this season and also the injury to Mirallas who helps his game better than Naismith.

Whilst agreeing he still needs to improve his ball control and decision-making I am sure that he is still the one best suited to leading the line.

Scott Williams
32 Posted 13/11/2014 at 14:21:37
To be honest, everyone, Everton are a team for years who haven’t had an out-and-out striker that scores the majority of our goals. But we are a team that get more goals from around the pitch than other teams. I think Rom needs to be given a little time at least. He’s not one of the best in the league but he will be.

Our shite form especially at the beginning of the season was due to our defence being abysmal. And that’s when they were all fit. That’s the real issue at the moment. Going from one of the best defences in the league last season to being the worst in the first three games. That’s what needs sorting. The players need a little shake to get their act together.

Max Wilson
33 Posted 13/11/2014 at 15:10:47
We are all frustrated this season. Our hopes were raised last season and Lukaku did quite a good job let's not forget. This season, our performance in the final third has been awful again and again. We're far too slow and the service our strikers have been getting has been terrible. Injuries are one of the reasons but we seem to have some very average players that only manage to penetrate and supply decent passes occasionally.

Picking on Lukaku when his service is poor is unfair in my opinion. Mirallas is missed. An in-form, match-fit Barkley and using players with pace will all help. RM has dithered about with team selection too much in my opinion. No wonder we struggle in the final third. Lukaku and Eto'o – keep playing them together and give them faster service.

Jim Knightley
34 Posted 13/11/2014 at 15:30:56
Could we stop criticising Lukaku for a little bit? I don't know if anyone has noticed, but he is 21, and has been struggling with a foot injury. He might have a big fee etc etc, but 21-year-olds are very inconsistent, and cannot necessarily deal with a loss of confidence in the way that older players can.

Look what has happened to Ramsey this season (and the season before last), or Bale when the footballing world had him done as a cursed man, and Good Old tactically naive Harry considered shipping him out.

The ostensible major failings in Lukaku's game will look a lot better when he gets some confidence again. Can we not just give him a little bit of time to prove himself? Or do his constant critics think that less than 3 months of football is a better barometer of a player, than the last two Premier League seasons which generated something along the lines of 32 goals in 49 starts. Give him time and he will score a lot of goals for us.

Steavey Buckley
36 Posted 13/11/2014 at 16:00:29
Mirallas the other Belgian will be back soon:

Minik Hansen
37 Posted 13/11/2014 at 16:05:45
Let us remember if Lukaku took the World Cup in Brazil with storm, there was a slim chance he joined us and he might have cost even more. On that front, we are fortunate to have him. It was celebration when we bought him. When Mirallas gets back, let's see how that affects the strikers' area.
Anthony Hughes
38 Posted 13/11/2014 at 16:43:47
Should we be paying £28 million for him? No, but Chelsea knew how much Martinez really wanted the player and so had the underpants off him.

Are we playing to his strengths? At the moment, No, our build-up play is too slow and the early balls for Lukaku to run on to aren't there. The slow-passing possession game merely allows the opposition team to get set up behind the ball and close down any space Lukaku has to run into.

If Martinez wants this possession passing game with players who are mobile and pacey for pass-and-move football then maybe Lukaku was not the sort of striker he should have been looking at. It remains to be seen whether Lukaku adapts to Martinez's style of play or we develop a system where we can bring out the best of our record signing. In the right setup, Lukaku has goals in him; I'm just not sure we are setting up correctly as a unit yet.

Patrick Murphy
39 Posted 13/11/2014 at 17:32:26

I think you have hit upon the reason why there is a difference of opinion between Roberto's style and perhaps what some Evertonians want to see from their striker / team. Roberto doesn't want to have a team that is totally reliant on one person to provide the goals and the fans want a Shearer / Latchford / Lineker type striker who scores the bulk of the side's goals.

So far as supporters we can't complain about the number of goals we have scored in the last 15 months or so but obviously the last couple of weeks / months have left us a little short of goals and hence the more negative reaction by some towards Lukaku. But RM will see it as his team's failure rather than an individual failure and I'm sure he will address the problem in the weeks and months ahead, just like he addressed the defensive issues that hampered his team earlier in the campaign.

Andrew Ellams
41 Posted 13/11/2014 at 20:37:03
Do people rate Origi as a better player than Lukaku? For me, our man is miles ahead...
Andy Meighan
42 Posted 13/11/2014 at 21:20:02
Sorry Mick @24, but I’m afraid Trevor has a good point as regards Ferguson. He played when he felt like and his good games were few and far between. Sad really... as he was a talented lad. As for his disciplinary record... well, let’s not go there.

With Lukaku this season, it appears the lad has gone backwards. Last season, at times he seemed unplayable but, as someone earlier pointed out, we haven’t exactly played to his strengths and chopping and changing the side all the time hasn’t helped that... and the infamous toe injury.

For me, he’s been a huge disappointment... but give him the correct service and he will score goals. That said, his touch is atrocious at times – look at the chance from the backpass at Sunderland last week...

It’s a dilemma alright and one that’s going to have to be solved sooner rather than later. Oh, and by the way, I don’t care what he does for Belgium.

Sam Hoare
43 Posted 14/11/2014 at 13:59:45
As said above It just seems strange that Martinez who favours a passing/posession game above all spends all our kitty on a striker with a mediocre touch and less than excellent passing ability.

Lukaku would be much better suited to a direct team who break fast and give him through balls to run onto and plenty of one-on-one situations. That's not the way we play currently and so it's looking like a poor match. Something has to change, either we alter our game style or Romelu becomes better at holding the ball and linking play (which he showed signs of vs Lille).

Ross Edwards
44 Posted 14/11/2014 at 14:19:16
Lukaku's first touch is woeful, so asking him to hold the ball up is immediately out, Sam. As for changing the playing style, we have tried to much to walk the ball in. Put a few crosses in.

Particularly McGeady. Put the ball in that box instead of falling around trying to be Messi when he blatantly isn't.

Paul Ellam
45 Posted 14/11/2014 at 20:26:05
I like Lukaku. I am glad he plays for Everton. The end.
Dave Cooney
46 Posted 15/11/2014 at 09:43:44
The facts speak for themselves re his goalscoring in the Prem. A lack of confidence is the problem at the moment which we have even seen affect Wayne Rooney through his career.

He will come through it and then the glass half empty brigade will move onto someone else to impart their opinions on.

Geoff Evans
47 Posted 15/11/2014 at 11:48:43
Ferguson was a one-trick pony whose bloated reputation was built in one season in a second-rate Scottish league. One of the best pieces of business Everton ever did was to sell him to Newcastle only to get him back. You can have three off-the-ball elbow-using Fergusons and I'll have one hard working, honest Rom.
ps: I'm old enough to have seen a young Welsh centre-forward who was chastised in the same way as Romelu Lukaku – his name was Ron Davies.

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