The Blues boss claims to have cleared the air with the player that he introduced then replaced during the Premier League draw at Southampton
Thomas Tuchel has held talks with Callum Hudson-Odoi after his controversial decision to sub the player on and off in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw away at Southampton.
The highly-rated Stamford Bridge academy graduate was asked to provide inspiration when introduced in place of Tammy Abraham at the interval.
He was withdrawn just half-an-hour later, with Tuchel questioning the 20-year-old’s attitude when explaining his decision.
What has been said?
The Chelsea boss now claims to have cleared the air with Hudson-Odoi, telling the Blues’ official website: “It is not a big thing at all for me. I have spoken to Callum, and I’ve spoken to the whole group. Sometimes, these things happen in football and it was just my decision.
“Maybe I was being harsh on him because he was on my side of the pitch and I was up close to him, but I did not feel that he was really into the game.
“I didn’t think he was totally sharp and that is why I took a hard decision on him, but that decision was in the moment and for that day only. For me, this is absolutely not a big thing and only becomes one if people want to talk about it.”
Tuchel added: “Callum has been fantastic for me so far and it’s on him to show me that every game and every day in training. I want him to show me that he is a reliable guy for the team when he comes on from the bench like he is when he starts.
“He has started a lot of games for me and in this instance, he has taken a hard decision. Now he must swallow it and come into training ready to work ahead of Atletico, a game which he has every chance of starting.”
What did Tuchel say at the time?
The German tactician revealed after the draw at St Mary’s that his decision to replace Abraham and Hudson-Odoi was driven by disappointment at their respective showings, rather than any injury concerns.
He told BT Sport: “I am not concerned about Tammy Abraham, it was not about the injury, it was hard for him to show his quality. He could not put his stamp in this game so we changed the formation.
“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 per cent, I feel he is not in the right shape to help us.”
The bigger picture
Hudson-Odoi has impressed for Tuchel in a wing-back role, with a positional tweak for the England international allowing him to see regular game time once more.
It appears that he now has to prove himself all over again to a demanding manager, with the first leg of their heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter with Atletico Madrid next on the agenda for Chelsea as they prepare to face the Liga giants in Bucharest on Tuesday.