One thing we are beginning to learn about Thomas Tuchel is that he is very direct.
An intelligent and articulate man, even in what is not his native language, he pulls no punches in his post-match press conferences. No doubt Callum Hudson-Odoi has also learnt this somewhat quickly.
It is widely understood that the ultimate humiliation for a professional footballer is to be substituted not long after coming on as a substitute themselves.
I remember with horror witnessing this happening to one of my all-time favourite players, Joe Cole when Jose Mourinho was manager. It seemed then, as it does now with Callum, that Cole was being singled out unfairly.
Yes, Cole, like Callum could be ill-disciplined. too keen to beat a man, try a flick or a Hollywood pass but equally he could win you a match with exactly that kind of flair. It was interesting to hear Cole, now an excellent pundit for BT Sport, saying as much after the match.
Cole noted that Tuchel was taking a huge gamble by singling Hudson-Odoi out with accusations of a lack of energy, counter-pressing and a poor attitude. The gamble being that the 20-year-old will have enough mental strength to come back better rather than take it personally and shrink into introspective disappointment.
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Cole certainly had that mental strength and ‘showed’ Mourinho exactly what he could do, before injuries stalled his career at Chelsea. However, many supporters believed that in doing so Mourinho squashed the innate creative flair and immense natural talent that Cole, like few others, possessed.
Time will obviously tell with Callum, but the cynic in me wonders whether Tuchel would have dug out one of the other more experienced or expensive underperforming players in such a manner. Ultimately, Tuchel is the boss and that’s why he’s paid the big bucks to make such calls and as ever, we do not…