CHELSEA hero Joe Cole has described Thomas Tuchel’s decision to substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi after bringing him on as a big ‘gamble’.
The 20-year-old was introduced at half-time of Saturday’s trip to Southampton with the Blues a goal down, replacing Tammy Abraham.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was hooked by Thomas Tuchel 30 minutes into his performance against SouthamptonCredit: AFP
But Hudson-Odoi’s day lasted just 30 minutes as Tuchel took him off for Hakim Ziyech in their bid for a winner, Mason Mount having levelled from the penalty spot.
Cole told BT Sport: “It’s a very strong way to go and it’s his first spiky moment.
“We knew from [Tuchel’s] reputation that he is strong and he will make decisions and that is bold.
“Callum wasn’t having a great game, but you’re a moments player in that position.
“We watch [Lionel] Messi and he can be strolling around then give you a moment of magic. I’m not comparing him to Messi but Callum can give you a moment of magic.
“For him to say he wasn’t happy with his energy is a bold move from Tuchel and it’s a gamble. The Chelsea dressing room can be fragmented.
“I just question whether it was unnecessary to upset a player who could start on Tuesday night against Atletico. Maybe he gives the performance of his life and it’s managerial genius.
“But he’s a fantastic young player that will be fuming today. He was fuming walking off the pitch.
“Tuchel’s made the decision, It might be a message to his team but it’s brave because Callum is not going to be happy with that.
“It’s bold and I’ve not seen many managers do it this early on. He wants to stamp his authority and I’m not sure it’s the right thing.
“I thought Callum could have changed the game with that one moment.”
Hudson-Odoi had been an impressive part of Chelsea’s revival under Tuchel, adding three assists and a goal under the German.
Speaking afterwards, the coach criticised the youngster’s ‘attitude’ but insisted that the episode will not hamper his chances of starting against Atletico Madrid in midweek.
Tuchel said: “We brought in Hudson but I was not happy with the energy and with the attitude in counter-pressing.
Joe Cole, who spent seven years at Chelsea as a player, questioned the decisionCredit: PA:Empics Sport
“So we decided to take him off again because we demand a lot and 100 per cent and he was not right in this shape. It’s a hard decision today, tomorrow it’s forgotten and he has possibilities to start against Atletico.”
He added: “It was hard to create chances and we needed counter-pressing to force errors for the second ball and get an easy chance.
“We had to be sharp with counter-pressing and I didn’t feel this from Callum today. I did not feel it, but I trust him.
“I sometimes take these decisions to win games. Mistakes are not a problem but we cannot lack energy.”
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