It was another fine day out yesterday for the Academy boys, who were directly involved in two of the three goals against Burnley (as well as in several other chances) that helped maintain Chelsea’s firm grip on 4th place in the Premier League table.
While most of the Academy boys have been consistently good all season, one them had been in urgent need of a confidence boost after a series of unimpressive displays, to put it mildly. Callum Hudson-Odoi did exactly that, and is once again starting to answer questions the right way, with a goal and an assist against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend, and the goal against Burnley — a clever finish at the back post — that put the game to bed.
Naturally, Callum is delighted by the whole affair, especially seeing as how it was his first ever Premier League goal.
“I’m delighted that I’ve finally got it and I’m delighted with the way the game went today. The boys put in a massive effort and you could tell that by the way we were playing. We all had the enthusiasm, work-rate and mentality — we wanted to score goals, we wanted to keep a clean sheet, we wanted to work really hard and I’m delighted we got the win.
“We never want to lose games, no matter what the game is, so when we do lose at home it’s a sad moment for us. We don’t like losing because we’re a team that wants to win everything and win every game.
“We wanted to start the home form again and make sure we’re winning games at home. The crowd are with us so we just have to keep winning and we’ll try to take that into the next game.”
As Lampard pointed out in his post match presser, the most important part of Callum’s goal was the movement off the ball, the anticipation to get to the ball and make the back post run to finish the cross.
It shows the improvement in Callum’s game especially after a major injury setback. It also underlines the budding superstar’s importance, especially against teams like Burnley who won’t ever make things easy, especially when Chelsea themselves are struggling a bit in certain aspects. This result could mark a turnaround in that regard, e
“I was a bit wary about the offside but I thought to myself that if nobody touched it then it would definitely be a goal because I came from behind and I knew that. When I saw the VAR check, I was like ‘oh no’ but I’m just delighted it went my way and I got the goal.
“Burnley were playing really deep and compact so it was hard for us in the first 25 minutes to get on the ball and create stuff. In the second half, we knew it would open up a bit more and we’d get more space so we started moving into pockets and we got the ball a lot.
“We have to be more clinical, take our chances and score more goals. We could have scored more because we had so many chances but at the same time we are putting them away.”
In the last couple games, Callum has struck up an excellent partnership with right back Reece James, who’s blessed with a peach of a right foot in addition to strong play at both ends of the pitch. James and Hudson-Odoi have been a treat to watch on the right flank, together dominating and owning that side of the pitch.
“I’ve always said Reece James is a great player and I like to play with him. We have great link-up. He likes to find you early, loves overlapping and getting crosses in so when we play with each other we always know what each other wants.
“We try to push each other and get the best out of each other. He has great enthusiasm, a great mentality and he will go far definitely.”
- Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: Chelsea FC
The right side feels right again! Long may that chemistry continue in our favor.