'Scratching my head': Hoddle couldn't believe what he saw Tuchel do against Southampton

Glenn Hoddle was left bemused by Thomas Tuchel’s decision to replace Callum Hudson-Odoi for Chelsea against Southampton on Saturday, speaking on the Glenn Hoddle Footy Show podcast.

All the talk after the Blues 1-1 draw at Saint Mary’s was about Tuchel’s action towards his young forward.

Hudson-Odoi was brought on at half time and looked lively for half an hour.

But the manager hauled him off again with 15 minutes of the game remaining.

Tuchel then went on to condemn the 20-year-old in his post-match interview, saying: “We were not happy with his attitude, energy and counter-pressing” (Sky Sports).

Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hoddle was covering the contest for BT Sport and he couldn’t fathom why Hudson-Odoi was treated so harshly.

“I was really scratching my head,” admitted the former Chelsea boss.

“I saw him kick a bottle up the stairs when he went into the stands. Was he upset because he’s injured or was he upset because he’s been yanked off?

“I couldn’t see the justification. Obviously, the manager knows what attitude he wants from his players or certain young players.

“I certainly didn’t see a poor attitude. I saw a player that came on and made a difference for Chelsea.

“He made some lovely blind-sided runs, getting to the bye line, creating stuff for the team. Looked really sharped.

“I’m only guessing he might not have done a couple of defensive duties that the manager wanted him to do.

“Certainly, the way he played I don’t think it was justified taking him. I want to see how he responds now, that’s an interesting one.”

This was not the only tough decision made by the Blues boss

Tammy Abraham was removed at the break, which Tuchel divulged had nothing to do with the ankle injury he picked up last week versus Newcastle United.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

These may be bad omens for the English duo, with Chelsea’s Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid rapidly approaching.

Tuchel has not been afraid to rotate and reshuffle on demand.

Dropping Mason Mount for his first fixture in charge was an early signal that the German coach was willing to ruffle some feathers.

The Chelsea Chronicle View

I don’t think we should get too hung up on this.

We’ve seen players being subbed after they’ve been subbed on before. It’s nothing new.

The most surprising aspect is because it came so early in Tuchel’s reign, but it shouldn’t ruin the positive energy omitting from the club.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.