Thomas Tuchel knocked the planet off its kilter on Saturday by substituting a substitute in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Southampton. Beyond the fact that move didn’t really work, Tuchel’s man-management was drawn into question.
He may not have thought it was a big deal to take Callum Hudson-Odoi off just 30 minutes after putting him on as a half-time substitute, but the football world looks upon this sort of move as a public humiliation — and that in turn has a chance to make Hudson-Odoi feel humiliated as well even if that wasn’t Tuchel’s intention.
To make sure that didn’t happen and to put any lingering doubts to rest, Tuchel decided to clear the air with the 20-year-old in front of the whole team. It’s important to communicate clearly in any relationship, professional or personal.
“We decided to speak to him in front of the whole group, I had my reasons to do it. Was it the right decision? I don’t know but it was my decision at this moment. For us, we spoke as a whole group to not make it bigger than it is because for us it was not a big thing.
“I know that it could be and sometimes you reflect on why you do it and whether you should do it because sometimes maybe the media and family make it bigger than it was meant. So I did it and we had the only reaction that we wanted.”
Thankfully, that reaction has been a good reaction — or at least Tuchel claims it was a good reaction. Though given his usual level of honesty in speaking to the media, he might actually do something silly like reveal the truth even if Hudson-Odoi hadn’t reacted well.
In any case, we have no reason (as yet) to take Tuchel at anything other than face value, and hopefully that doesn’t change in the future.
“He went back to a normal mood, to a good mood, to a smile, and to training and the next day. He was very, very good in training and today. And that’s it. I already said after the game this was the decision for today, this was the lesson to learn from today for him and for me also. We go on and it is forgotten.
“That is absolutely the way so in here at Cobham, between us, between us two, between me and the team business as usual and no big thing.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Hudson-Odoi is part of the 23-man traveling squad, and has every chance of starting tomorrow night against Atlético. We could certainly use a big performance from him and a few of his teammates...