Peter Crouch said Thomas Tuchel has sent a message through Callum Hudson-Odoi’s “humiliating” substitution in Southampton draw on Saturday.
Tuchel himself admitted that he was maybe “being harsh” on the 20-year-old winger but also insisted it was not “a big thing” (via Chelsea’s official website).
Such a bold decision, however, understandably invited a lot of negative attention.
Fellow former Blue Glenn Hoddle even said that Hudson-Odoi looked “really sharp” and actually made the difference when he was on the pitch.
And now Crouch has had his say about the issue from a former player’s perspective.
“Listen, it’s awful for the player involved,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I can imagine, from what I know of the game, that Hudson-Odoi will have people in his camp telling him that Tuchel was a disgrace and disrespectful.
“It is the ultimate humiliation for a player, it’s very degrading.
“I can look at it another way, however, and it is striking that Tuchel has shown he is not to be messed around with; he is not afraid to make big decisions.
“Jose Mourinho used to do it and Tuchel wants to show who is boss.”
Crouch’s argument about Tuchel’s making a point about “who is boss” is clearly interesting, because there are many who came up with a similar reasoning.
But was it really worth the risk of damaging a young talent’s confidence?