Joe Cole delivers surprising Thomas Tuchel verdict as Fikayo Tomori makes Chelsea admission


Here is your Chelsea morning digest on Sunday, February 21.

Atletico suffer big injury blow

Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez limped off in the side’s surprising defeat to Levante on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea take on Atleti on Tuesday evening in the round of 16 in the Champions League and the defender could now be missing for the clash.

Gimenez is one of Diego Simeone’s key defensive players and he is now expected to miss the tie against Chelsea.

Atletico’s preparations for the tie couldn’t have been much worse as Levante scored either side of half-time to inflict their first home defeat of the season in La Liga.

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Cole’s Tuchel verdict

Chelsea hero Joe Cole believes Thomas Tuchel’s decision to substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi after bringing him on against Southampton was “brave” and “bold”.

The young winger was introduced at half-time at St. Mary’s when the Saints were 1-0 up and he found Mason Mount in the area – who was then fouled to earn his side a penalty.

However, with just 15 minutes remaining, Hudson-Odoi was taken off for Hakim Ziyech, with Tuchel explaining after the game that he was not happy with the winger’s attitude.

Speaking on BT Sport, Cole said: “It’s a very strong way to go, and it’s his first spiky moment.

“We knew from his reputation, he is strong, he will make decisions. And that is bold.

“Because Callum [Hudson-Odoi], when he came on wasn’t having a great game when he came on, but you’re a moments player in that position. Sometimes, we watch [Lionel] Messi in the week – and of course I’m not comparing Callum to Messi, but he was strolling around and then he’ll give you a moment of magic. Callum can give you a moment of magic, you know that.

“But for him to say that he wasn’t happy with his energy, that’s a bold move from Tuchel and it’s a gamble because notoriously the Chelsea dressing room can be fragmented over the last 10 years, and I just question whether it was unnecessary at the time to upset a player who is maybe going to play for you on Tuesday night.

“Maybe it’s managerial genius. Maybe Callum starts on Tuesday night and gives us the performance of his life. But he’s a fantastic young player who will be fuming with that today. You look at him walking off the pitch and he was fuming. Tuchel has taken that decision and I do think it might be a message to his team, and it’s brave because Callum is not going to be happy with that.”

Read the full story here.

Tomori makes Chelsea admission

Fikayo Tomori has revealed that “nothing was explained” to him as he fell down the pecking order of the Chelsea first-team.

Tomori – who is now on loan at Italian side AC Milan – played on a regular basis for Frank Lampard last season but was then restricted to just two Premier League appearances this term.

Now, the centre-back has insisted that there was not clear dialogue from the club as he was exiled from the starting line-up.

“I was suddenly out of the squad and I don’t really know why,” Tomori told The Telegraph. “I just thought I needed to work hard.

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“Then I went to speak to the manager and he said you’ve just got to train harder, so I took that on the chin and thought that’s what I had to do.

“Mentally, it was difficult because you just want to be playing and on the pitch, and feel part of the team. And it was difficult for me because I wasn’t really feeling part of the team and I was wondering what had happened.

“I was trying to do extra and push myself more but, at that time, nothing seemed to work and nothing was explained to me. ‘It was so frustrating. 2020, football-wise, was very, very difficult, especially after the way 2019 had gone for me playing games. From being at 100 to literally going down to zero and then not knowing the reason why it had gone to zero, it was very challenging.”





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