Thomas Tuchel has explained why he took off Callum Hudson-Odoi after just 31 minutes on the pitch during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Southampton in the Premier League.
Hudson-Odoi was summoned at half time by Tuchel to replace Tammy Abraham, who also struggled to have an impact on the game having been named as a surprise starter following his ankle injury sustained in the win over Newcastle.
But just over half an hour into Hudson-Odoi’s latest outing, Tuchel was not impressed and hauled off the England international, replacing him with Hakim Ziyech for the final quarter of an hour.
Hudson-Odoi wasn’t injured and trudged up the stairs at St Mary’s to sit with his teammates to watch the Blues huff and puff for the final 15 minutes but struggle to break down the Saints.
The winger has been one of the more impressive players for Tuchel since he replaced Frank Lampard in charge of the club last month. Hudson-Odoi has featured at right wing-back and also in a more advanced role for Tuchel.
The German was asked post-match about his decision to take off Hudson-Odoi as he had the tag that no footballer wants to have – a substitute being substituted.
Tuchel said after the game: “In a game that it is hard to create chances you need to rely on coutner pressing to maybe force erros and get an easy chance. For that you need to be totally on and sharp.
“I didn’t feel this from Callum today. He missed chances to counter press, missed easy balls. I didn’t think he felt the game. Maybe it was unfair but I didn’t get the feeling today that I normally get from him.
“It was a hard decision but nothing that will stick for long. Tomorrow it will be forgotten and we will prepare for Atletico.”