Before Saturday’s game, Thomas Tuchel was asked if a good performance from Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was expected to start in the wake of injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, would prove to be a “turning point” in his Chelsea career — propelling him from a rotational option to a key first-team player.
Tuchel gave a reasonable answer in pointing out that we can only truly assess turning points in hindsight — though perhaps a bit sooner than 250 games later — and that the main thing he asks from Hudson-Odoi is to apply himself more often and with greater consistency and reliability when given opportunities. And that, by definition, cannot be proven via just one appearance.
“The only person who can decide this and answer this question is Callum. It’s as easy as that. Is there a turning point? OK, he needs to prove it. He needs to play the next 250 games on the highest level and then that was the turning point. But is it a turning point if he does a brilliant match tomorrow? No.
“It’s only a turning point if he makes it a turning point — and only if he does not only do one good match, one good half, 60 good minutes, but if he does it consistently. It’s as easy as that with every player.”
“Once you do this you will have more minutes. Once you have more minutes you will maybe look back and say: ‘That was a turning point.’ You need to fight for it. You need to deserve it. It must be a perfect fit in a perfect moment. Sometimes you need a bit of luck. But in the end the only person who can answer that question is Callum. And we will support him.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Goal
While the 250 number made for dramatic headlines, Tuchel isn’t being unreasonable. He doesn’t appear to be asking anything out of the ordinary of the 20-year-old, especially when keeping his still very young age in consideration.
So, how did Callum do in Saturday’s 7-0 demolishing of Norwich, where he scored once, while deployed as an actual wing-forward, even?
“Good, he had a good game. He played well against Malmö and had a good game today but there are still things to improve and to work on.
“Now it is on him. It is like I said before the game, he needs to show that he is able to produce performances like this consistently and now is the time to show. Next opportunity will be Tuesday.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Hudson-Odoi was indeed often irrepressible in the first-half, but seemed to tire or drift out of the fulcrum of our attack in the second half. He made way just past the hour-mark, with an eye perhaps on Tuesday’s game in the League Cup.
So, keep calm, and carry on. Step 1.