Thomas Tuchel has revealed he is ‘not happy’ with Callum Hudson-Odoi after the Chelsea winger was brought on at half time at Southampton, then subbed off 30 minutes later.
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Chelsea drew 1-1 at Southampton, and the German coach wasn’t happy with the play for his team in the final third but felt they controlled the game. Throughout the game he was shouting at Reece James and wanted more from his right wing-back.
Hudson-Odoi has been playing at right wing-back recently, and has been playing well, but he was brought on as a forward against Southampton and struggled.
Asked specifically about subbing off Hudson-Odoi so soon after bringing him on, Tuchel didn’t mince his words to BT Sport.
“We brought in Callum Hudson-Odoi but I was not happy with his attitude, energy and counter-pressing. I took him off and we demand 100%, I feel he is not in the right shape to help us. It was a hard decision but tomorrow it is forgotten and he has all possibilities to start against Atletico Madrid,” Tuchel said.
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Tuchel was asked by reporters post-game about his comments on Hudson-Odoi and his decision to sub him off, and he didn’t back down.
“No it was not injury related. You need to be totally sharp and totally on for counter pressing. I did not feel this for Callum today. He missed some opportunities for counter pressing and lost some easy balls. I had the feeling he was never really into the game,” Tuchel said. “You know I trust him a lot because he plays every game for us. But today, I was close to him, maybe it was unfair but I did not get the feeling today than I normally get from him, that he can be decisive.
“There is no need to think in old fashioned terms that this is the worst thing that can happen. No. It happened today and tomorrow it is already over and maybe he starts again against Atletico if we need his qualities. But he needs to be trustful and reliable and this is the next step for him. He was when he started but he’s a bit in trouble when he comes off the bench. Was like this against Sheffield and again today. It is on him to improve.”
Chelsea focused on attacking improvement
Tuchel added that he does trust Hudson-Odoi and it is not a big deal, but this sends out a clear message that he will not tolerate players not playing how he wishes.
Was this too harsh on Hudson-Odoi? Perhaps, and Tuchel even admitted it may have been.
He was also asked if Chelsea deserved to win the game rather than draw.
“In the first 80 meters, clearly yes. In the last 20 meters, clearly no,” Tuchel said.
Chelsea are a lot better defensively under their new manager, but they are struggling for balance and never really looked liked ripping apart a fragile Southampton defense.
It feels like new combinations, formations and players in attack are coming up for Chelsea as their coach is clearly frustrated and they have huge games against Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United coming up.