Callum Hudson-Odoi embraced Thomas Tuchel’s firm love approach in his move and showed against Atletico that Saturday’s drama swap was forgotten
- Callum Hudson-Odoi was substituted 30 minutes after entering Saturday
- Thomas Tuchel, however, decided to run him in his biggest game as head of the Blues
- He showed against Atletico that he listened to the lessons Tuchel was trying to give
- For now, there seems to be no wrong feelings between the wing and its boss
If Thomas Tuchel tries to guess Callum Hudson-Odoi, in the end he does a good job.
Three days after suffering the embarrassment of a substitution just 30 minutes after entering half-time, the 20-year-old is back in the starting XI, for probably his manager’s biggest match since arriving at Chelsea four weeks ago.
You would forgive Hudson-Odoi for being a little confused.
Callum Hudson-Odoi got a start just a few days after being embarrassed by the substitution
Tuchel’s attitude toward the young man and his subsequent public critique of the wing divided opinions.
Some believe Hudson-Odoi was unnecessarily exposed to public humiliation, while others believe it was a mere case that Tuchel delivered a dose of heavy love.
Speaking on the eve of the start Tuchel explained: ‘I can trust him completely because he has always delivered.
‘He had a few problems with the same effect when he got off the bench, but that’s not a problem – just a small lesson to be learned from.
‘After the match it was forgotten an hour later, and this is how we behave and the way we can trust each other.
Thomas Tuchel clearly trusts the winger, starting with him several times since he took over
‘It doesn’t need to be increased than it was, it was my decision at the time.
‘We can discuss whether that was the right decision. It was a difficult decision. I had my reasons, but from here we go forward. There’s no reason not to trust Callum. ‘
In fact, Tuchel’s decision to launch Hudson-Odoi on Tuesday night was an obvious indicator of respect for the young man.
The Blues manager’s faith in his abilities is not in question; the fact that the academy graduate started in six of Tuchel’s eight major games speaks volumes about that faith.
But Saturday’s embarrassment should also act as a timely reminder of the standards Tuchel expects.
As hard as it may be, it would be counterproductive for Hudson-Odoi to take last weekend’s circumstances to heart. Instead, he should take what happened in Southampton as motivation.
Hudson-Odoi showed signs against Atletico Madrid that he has no hard feelings with Tuchel
Apparently Tuchel’s controversial move had the desired effect.
The Hudson-Odoi reaction was positive; he didn’t sulk or moped – he just kept working, probably with an extra spring in step.
Indeed, there were clear signs in Bucharest on Tuesday night that Saturday’s humiliation had been forgotten.
Hudson-Odoi’s ungrateful dash in following Thomas Lemar helped prevent Atletico from opening in the 15th minute to apparently nod to Tuchel that any lesson he was trying to teach had been followed.
His influence in the attacking third also increased. His precise addition to Mason Mount momentarily unlocked Atletico’s impenetrable defense, and an understanding with his academy colleague is a feature of Chelsea’s offensive plan.
So, at least for now, there doesn’t seem to be any heavy feelings.
Olivier Giroud scored the only goal in Bucharest that gave Chelsea the advantage in the last 16 games