With Manchester United 3-0 up against LA Galaxy at half-time and cruising, Jose Mourinho made a complete switch of his team and Romelu Lukaku came on to make his debut.
Lukaku was then presented with a glorious chance by Paul Pogba after a mistake from LA Galaxy’s goalkeeper but he recovered from his error to save Lukaku’s effort with a smart stop. It was a good chance but he failed to take it and almost immediately, I predicted the inevitable by saying the result would be irrelevant to some parts of the press who’d prefer to pinpoint Lukaku rather than concentrate on the team’s performance.
Step up The Independent who did precisely that with their article on the game which focuses on Lukaku’ shortfalls in his first 45 minutes as a United player:
This sort of treatment is exactly what happened to Pogba following his move from Juventus for a world record transfer fee. Some scrutinised his every move, questioned why he wasn’t getting at least one goal and an assist in every match – Lukaku is set for the same treatment.
Fortunately, Lukaku also has Pogba as a team-mate. There won’t be anybody who can guide him through the situation than Pogba who was on the receiving end of it all last season and probably will be this year when he has a muted performance.
It comes with the territory somewhat but when it comes to United there is always that little bit extra added into the mix for the press. Lukaku isn’t an Everton player, he’s a United player and that added responsibility means the scrutiny is going to be more intense. He’s going to have to learn how to cope with that.
But from United fans Lukaku will have nothing but support the whole way through. We won’t get on his case, we’ll make sure he knows we’ve got his back and I have every confidence that once he scores one the floodgates will open, meaning all the press can write about it how good a signing he’s been.