20-year-old Chelsea talent initially left ‘confused’ by Tuchel tactical change

Callum Hudson-Odoi admitted to beinSport that he was bemused at first when Thomas Tuchel asked him to play wing-back for Chelsea.

The 20-year-old started in his new role for Tuchel’s opening games in charge of Chelsea having played the majority of his career as a traditional winger.

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 “We tried it in training the day before and then obviously I didn’t know if I was going to start the game or not,” Hudson-Odoi confessed when asked about being selected at RWB.

“When it happened, I was like, ‘I’m playing here…’? I was confused. The next day he told me and I was like ‘oh, I’ve never played there before’. It was a big shock to me.

“I’ve never played this position before. I’ll try my best. He showed me some clips before the game and showed me how to play and what positions to be in when the team had the ball.

“From then I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s not that bad of a position to play.”

Despite having never previously been deployed there before, Hudson-Odoi excelled at his task and was arguably Chelsea’s best player across the two matches.

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He was pushed further forward in the 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspurs, with Reece James replacing him at wing-back.

This has not been the only tactical tweak Tuchel has induced since his arrival in England. He reverted Chelsea’s formation back to a 3-4-2-1, which worked so efficiently during their title winning season of 2016/17.

Tuchel reinstated Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger to the back-line, as well as returning Jorginho to Chelsea’s midfield.

Photo by Oli Scarff – Pool/Getty Images

They have now gone four games unbeaten in the Premier League thanks to Tuchel’s transformation.

Chelsea also moved up from ninth to sixth in that time and can now seriously put themselves in contention for the top four.

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I’ve loved seeing Hudson-Odoi given so much freedom but also responsibility down that right flank. He looks to enjoying his football again, as do many of the other Chelsea contingent.

Maybe Gareth Southgate is even keeping note?

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.