New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel sparked fury in the 75th minute of this afternoon’s draw against Southampton in the Premier League, as the German substituted substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Hudson-Odoi entered the field when the second-half started, replacing Tammy Abraham who struggled in the opening 45 minutes, leading to criticism from some fans.
Hudson-Odoi looked quite lively for the Blues after coming on, with the ace actually showcasing some ‘fabulous skill’ and firing in a threatening cross moments before he was substituted, as one of the BT Sport commentators noticed.
The BT Sport observer then discovered something that was very interesting, Hudson-Odoi ‘kicked’ something away as he left the St Mary’s Pitch and walked up the stairs.
At the time viewers and pundits alike couldn’t determine whether the replacement of a substitute after 30 minutes was a tactical decision or one spurred by an injury to the starlet, Tuchel later clarified.
Tuchel told BT Sport in his post-match interview that Hudson-Odoi was humiliatingly hauled off as the boss was ‘not happy’ with the 20-year-old’s ‘energy’ and ‘attitude’.
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“Well that is a strange one, he just plucked a ball out the sky a second ago. I thought what a fabulous bit of skill it was, I’m interested to see…”
“He’s just kicked something over there as he goes up the stairs, I’m not so sure, unless he’s frustrated he’s got an injury.”
Pictures from BT Sport.
Tuchel confirmed in his post-match interview that Hudson-Odoi’s withdrawal was not due to injury and shockingly blasted the ace for his ‘energy’ and ‘attitude’ after coming on:
Thomas Tuchel: “It’s a hard decision I know for the players to come on and off. But, tomorrow all is forgotten and he has all possibilities to start the game against Atlético.”
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 20, 2021
The England international was brought off for Hakim Ziyech in a double substitution that also saw Jorginho replace Mateo Kovacic.
Hudson-Odoi was by no means setting the pitch alight after his introduction, but he also certainly wasn’t poor enough to warrant being embarrassed in this manner.
It will be interesting to see how the talented winger reacts to this ordeal, it’s especially intriguing as Hudson-Odoi has been one of the best performers under Tuchel, starring all over including some solid displays at right wing-back.