Lukaku joins list of doubts for Saints game

by | 15/04/2016  50 Comments  [Jump to last]

Romelu Lukaku is being assessed today after picking up a knock and could miss tomorrow's match as Roberto Martinez keeps the FA Cup semi-final in mind.

According to his manager, the Belgian striker picked up "a little bit of a problem", a groin strain stretching for the ball, in the draw at Crystal Palace which makes him a doubt for the visit of Southampton. He was unable to train yesterday but Martinez was hopeful he would join the group today.

Ross Barkley, Aaron Lennon and Leighton Baines are also going to undergo fitness tests to determine their ability to play but in his pre-match press conference, Martinez intimated that he will be leveraging the depth of his squad this weekend given the likely absentees.

"We're going to assess [Romelu] today to see if he can make the squad with the knock," Martinez said. The Catalan admitted that if he is fit, Lukaku will play in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday even though there's a risk of him being injured just three days before the semi-final.

"We've got a few knocks, a few bruises, a few players that are going to be missing tomorrow," Martinez continued. "James McCarthy will be starting his suspension, so clearly it's a good opportunity for the rest of the squad and the young players to see how we cope with this.

"I don't think any of those is a long-term injury. I think they are mostly [as a result] of the big number of games we've played in this period and probably it's a question of hours rather than weeks."  


Reader Comments (50)

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Kim Vivian
3 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:48:18
He's got more than a "...little bit of a problem...".
He's got a big problem. It's called attitude.
Brian Porter
4 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:54:42
I really don't care who starts now. Whoever Martinez sends out will play it the Martinez way and we all know what that is. Can't wait for this season to end.

The only thing that would cheer me up would be to hear that Martinez and his failed coaching staff have gone.

Until then there's just no tingle of excitement or anticipation about an upcoming game at all.

Tony Hill
6 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:57:54
I hope Niasse gets a proper chance. He can't do worse than Lukaku recently and I think those who have written him off have been hasty.
Phil Walling
7 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:59:12
In other words, he's resting half a dozen players who he will want to play twice next week. At least he will have an genuine excuse if we loose tomorrow!
Colin Gee
8 Posted 15/04/2016 at 15:59:59
Well that's my Fantasy League team fucked then!

Double game week, so Barkley, Lennon and Lukaku are typically all injured....
Gary Edwards
9 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:09:36
I can see there being a few 'doubts' re: the supporters.
Paul Olsen
10 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:11:36
He´s been diagnosed with aenemia from lack of exercise. He didn´t move on Wednesday.
Mike Allen
12 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:12:23
If he's not fit, shut him in a room with big Dunc for a couple of hours, tell him a few home truths. Very overrated but thanks to Roberto there's no one else.

Even today, the manager has said Niasse is just getting over his wrist injury and needs time to be fit for pre season training; then we have Kone. However, he's itching to give Howard a run out. You just never know with Roberto.
Anthony Dwyer
13 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:24:49
Colin Gee....

Haha I feel your pain!

Jim Bailey
15 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:29:17
Yeah right... Get your excuses in early, Roberto.

Just do us all a favour and take you and your third-rate back up crew as far away from Goodison as is possible.

By the way, where are Kenwright and Moshiri in all this?

Bloody joke and an insult to the fans.

Dan Davies
16 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:29:23
Tony #2 it was worth reading this just for that comment. Cheered me up that!
Guy Hastings
18 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:36:20
Paul 10 - looked like early onset of rigor mortis to me, with signs of dementia among the others who appeared never to have met before.
Andrew Ellams
19 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:41:23
Phil Walling. Nail on head.
Antony Matthews
20 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:43:55
Martinez isn't feeling too good either. He has a bad side!
Andy Meighan
21 Posted 15/04/2016 at 16:52:22
He should have been dropped anyway – one lazy man who doesn't want to play for us. We should have recalled McAleny back from loan (if he can), and give him a go. Let's be fair, he couldn't do no worse.

One things for certain: it wont be the bench warmer, the lesser Niasse... it'll be Kone or Mirallas up top.

But, as Brian (#4) says, it doesn't matter who plays – it'll be the usual Martinez fayre... Llow boring pedestrian possession-based shite. Don't be expecting goals and thrills and spills because it's not going to happen.

As Carly Simon once said, "Why does your love hurt so much?"

Dennis Ng
22 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:00:05
Colin, you can't be doing well in your fantasy league depending on our underperforming team, just raise the white flag there LOL
Colin Williams
23 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:03:52
The only guy that really needs that rest from tomorrow's game is the manager and his useless assistant. Put big Dunc on the sideline with Unsy... Three points and a very passionate crowd behind them.
Dominic Tonge
24 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:12:48
I have a list of doubts too.

Firstly I doubt we will get a point against saints.

Secondly I doubt it will make a difference to Roberto's employment status.

Thirdly, I doubt Lukaku has been carrying Anything other than Martinez. Also I frankly doubt him being fit or not will matter.

I doubt we will get a result in the derby or in the semi final, so I doubt it really matters who plays.

I doubt that Niasse's injury is actually not just from making 'wanker' gestures every time Martinez turns his back on him, whilst Baines chuckles quietly in the corner.

I doubt I can muster up much enthusiasm to post much sense.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:24:02
Andrew Ellams. Nail on head of nail on head.
Guy Hastings
26 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:34:08
Yeah, I'd rest half the squad because there's nothing better than going into a derby followed by an FA Cup semi-final lying 16th after a crap home defeat against a mid-table side to boost your confidence for a big game.
Jay Woods
27 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:39:34
What happened, did he trip over his own sense of entitlement?
Jim Bennings
28 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:39:35
"The injuries due to the big number of games we have played in this period??"

We have only played three league games since March 18th you flamin' imbecile, Martinez!!

Add to the fact we have hardly bust a gut in any of them plus they had a warm weather break in March in Dubai..

Ged Simpson
29 Posted 15/04/2016 at 17:51:25
Jay.....brilliant
Kristian Boyce
30 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:04:29
At least Martinez is preparing us now for what's going to be like next season without Lukaku. Can't Martinez have a knock as well and not be available?
Michael Penley
31 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:05:13
Maybe he knows his value is plummeting with each "performance" like in recent weeks and he's pulled a sicky so he won't be sold to Stevenage for £50k.
Kim Vivian
32 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:18:11
Phil,#7 - What's he going to do if we actually win with all our so called big guns 'rested'?
Al Reddish
33 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:24:36
He and his attitude have been shit since he went away with Belgium. I'm sick of him not running and pointing at other players when the ball is more than 2 yards in front of him, then sulking if someone else has a shot and not put it on the 18-yard line when he should be attacking it at the posts. He has stopped even jumping for the ball now.

You'll see a different Rom at Wembley though when he is in the shop window, unless he doesn't want to upset the club he publicly said he'd like to play for (Man Utd).

It's another reason not using Niasse looks a poor decision as Rom knows he has no competition for his place. He will go down as another forward who scored goals but was never really taken too by the fans, like Yakubu, Lineker and Cottee.

Phil Walling
34 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:28:33
Kim, d'you know, I've thought the same! I've got a sneaky feeling 'the second string' might surprise us all and pull off a result.

Then they can ALL be dropped for the big games next week!

Kone for a hat-trick, anybody?

Dennis Ng
35 Posted 15/04/2016 at 18:30:33
Phil 34,
Niasse, Galloway and Mirallas will get one each, then we get Stones on and concede 4.
Martin Mason
37 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:17:35
It often happens that you find your best team by default when you have injuries and the stand ins gel better. It is the only way possible that Coco could select a good team.
Pete Ward
38 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:22:17
Like most on this site I've lost all faith in Martinez. I should be excited about the prospect of winning the FA cup but the potential for Martinez to keep his job on the back of it is really taking the shine of it for me.

The players are not playing for each other, as Bainsey correctly highlighted. Martinez knows this but his total obstinance over tactics is sickening.

Moving forward, we need to clear out the management, clear out the players whose heads are up their own arses (charging top whack) and with the proceeds and new leadership, start again.

James Carroll
39 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:24:29
FA Cup semi final teams... 1995:

Southall, Jackson, Watson, Unsworth, Ablett, Limpar, Horne, Parkinson, Hinchcliffe, Stuart, Rideout (sub. Amokachi )

2009:

Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Fellaini (Vaughan), Pienaar, Cahill, Saha (Rodwell).

Who do you keep – from either team – that would replace anyone in today's team? (Perhaps a new thread needed for this...?)

Jack Cross
40 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:31:28
Martin (#37).

Do you remember when Moyes used to rest players? That never seemed to work.

Did you hear Martinez on Merseyside? Sounds as if he is preparing Niasse, for next season. On about his wrist again. Bloody unbelievable.

Looks like Kone may be playing again as lone striker.

Martin Mason
41 Posted 15/04/2016 at 19:40:55
Has anybody thought that Rom isn't playing for away but is easing off now because he knows exactly where he's going after this season? The deal already done?
John Malone
43 Posted 15/04/2016 at 21:05:39
Right about this time you need your big 㾹.5 million January signing to come in and help the team!

But wait he's got a sore wrist!

What a complete joke!

See ya Roberto! And take your useless coaching staff and scouts with you!

Ian Riley
44 Posted 15/04/2016 at 21:06:00
Lukaku reflects the team as a whole. I want to be critical of his work ethic but the whole team have lacked any urgency all season. His goals have got us to 40 points.

The manager has never being critical of Rom's work rate. He goes in the summer with my blessing. I wouldn't play him again this season. Martinez must try and find a way of scoring goals without him.

Paul Conway
45 Posted 15/04/2016 at 21:28:32
Martin Mason @ 41, spot on! I already said on a previous thread that it was a done deal. That's why he wasn't obliged to apologise after the international outburst, that he wanted to play in Champions League.

What's the point of reprimanding a player who is already on his way out!?

What is he going to do if he doesn't apologise? Sit on the bench until the end of the season! The writing is on the wall, both for Lukaku and Martinez!

Tony Hill
46 Posted 15/04/2016 at 21:30:41
John (43), it is absurd if Niasse is not fit yet. The whole thing is a mystery. Chelsea were interested in him before us, he does okay for his country, there were decent reports from Russia. Yet he has played about one half of football for us so far.

I genuinely don't know how any of us can confidently say that he's shite when we just haven't seen enough of him.

What poison do they all inhale at Finch Farm? It really does beggar belief but we have form for this sort of thing of course with the likes of Traore. Once again we are fobbed off with mealy-mouthed half-truths and waffle.

If there's something wrong with Niasse at a cost of 㾹.5m then the fans have a right to know what it is.

Joe Foster
47 Posted 15/04/2016 at 22:20:59
He will just be replaced with one of our other players that can give us goals. Ha ha ha ha it's just crazy talk I know but ...it's just bollocks.
Colin Glassar
48 Posted 15/04/2016 at 22:48:28
Everyone knows Lukaku, Ross, Lennon and Bainsey will be rested for this game so why do they come out with this stuff? Do they think we are stupid? Knock my arse!!
Phil Walling
49 Posted 15/04/2016 at 23:12:15
James @39: Both the teams you mention had two attributes lacking in the present squad. Bottle and a half-decent manager!
Mark Andersson
50 Posted 16/04/2016 at 03:12:14
Phil 49 I agree. Gareth Barry at 35 is our player of the season, looks fitter than any of the younger players... why is that?? Most likely he dosen't have a PlayStation. He must also do extra training as he is old school.

Big Rom is off for pastures new then, is that a fact or more whispers? Southampton won't have to break sweat today to get a result.

Tom Plant
51 Posted 16/04/2016 at 09:24:31
Can't wait to see the back of Lukaku – lazy overrated waste of space. We are lucky he's got that tosser of an agent who will be able to negotiate a huge transfer fee despite his shocking performances in recent weeks.

A new direction is needed and a new team needs to be built around hungry young talent with a British core. I'd like to see Callum Wilson alongside the Dutch lad Jansen next season and a return to 4-4-2.

Saw Koeman's press conference yesterday – non-commital about staying at Southampton – get him in, please, and he can bring Forster and Ward-Prowse with him...

Gary Ashworth
52 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:13:26
To be honest, he should be rested anyway (and rested is a polite way of saying dropped) for the game. His performances haven't been good enough, he seems to have lost form.

Today is a perfect opportunity to start Niasse and let's see what he can do. Martinez might feel he's still not fit enough, but he was fit enough to play for Senegal in the last international break and score for his country. How will we ever know if he's got what it takes if he never gets played??

Anyone who is a doubt should be rested, we need to ensure players are fit for the derby and the FA Cup tie.

Gary Ashworth
53 Posted 16/04/2016 at 10:30:41
In response to comments re: Lukaku saying he wants to play CL footie. There's managers past and present that would take any such comments as a mark of disrespect to the club. A manager like Alex Ferguson would have dropped that player without hesitation, no matter who it was. Martinez is too nice – if he had a problem with Baines's comments, then he should have dropped him too.

I'm not saying Baines deserved to be dropped, but the point being, Martinez is the boss and he has to stamp his authority. If Lukaku or his agent are publicly stating his desires to leave EFC, then he's not committed and not focused – surely everyone at EFC only wants committed players on the pitch.

Look at how Pulis dealt with Berahino – he kicked off because a move to Spurs fell through, so Pulis said he wasn't in the right mind and he was dropped. Lukaku could turn up to training in a Man Utd shirt and still get played. Yes, he has scored a lot of goals, but look at how he's performed ever since he made that comment.

Alan J Thompson
54 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:35:19
Probably too late now but if Lukaku is not fit then play a couple of nippy little strikers and see if we can play a better tippy tappy at the opponents end of the ground. So, who would be the two quickest strikers on the books?
Paul Olsen
55 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:39:58
We have nippy strikers? You talking bout Konè right?
Paul Olsen
56 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:45:53
# 39 James

I would go for this lot 11


Southall, Coleman, Lescott, Jags, Baines - Parkinson, Fellaini, Cahill - Pienaar, Deulofeu - Rom

Subs: Hinchcliffe, Osman, Saha, Stones, Barkley, Barry, Howard

Alan J Thompson
57 Posted 16/04/2016 at 11:51:10
Paul (#55); Deulofeu possibly as he seems to score a lot for Spain's U-21's although he did not immediately come to mind. Kone most certainly not but then that was the question, who?
Peter Roberts
58 Posted 17/04/2016 at 21:41:45
Chickens coming home to roost. All Roms fan boys are a bit quiet... need to get a different name on thd back of their shirt and new lunch box and mouse mat.

Completely over rated, overindulged, technically poor, athletically gifted yet lazy player. Was funny seeing him on the same pitch as adebuyor, all we needed was Kenwyn Jones and Berbatov and we would have had a collection of the laziest bastards to earn money from football.

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