It’s difficult to get a straight answer from most football managers. You know what we mean, they drop an out of form player and claim they’re giving them a rest, or they haul a player off during a game and claim they had a knock.
Thomas Tuchel hasn’t got time for such flowery language.
Having seen frontman Tammy Abraham struggle with a recurring ankle injury in the first half of Chelsea’s draw with Southampton on Saturday, the Blues boss introduced Callum Hudson-Odoi in place of the England striker at the interval.
Just 30 minutes later and the winger found himself sat next to the aforementioned Abraham in the St. Mary’s stands.
Tuchel hooked the youngster with 15 minutes to play, despite having only been introduced himself at half-time – crowd or no crowd, that’s pretty embarrassing for any Premier League footballer.
The Chelsea man attempted to hide his frustration at the decision as he slouched off the field, though Tuchel chose not to hide the reason for his decision in his post-match interview.
“We brought in Hudson, but with Hudson I was not happy with the energy and the attitude in the counter pressing so we decided to take him off again because we demand a lot, we demand 100% and I had the feeling he is not right in the shape where he can help us,” he told BT Sport (as reported by Goal).
“It’s a decision for today. I know it’s a hard decision for the players to come on and off but tomorrow it is forgotten and he has all possibilities to start against Atletico [Madrid].”
Since Tuchel’s arrival at Chelsea, the club’s season has taken a dramatic turn for the better. The Blues are unbeaten in the German boss’ seven games at the helm and they now look well placed to vie for a place in next season’s Champions League.
Squad moral also looks to be on the up, with a number of players such as Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga both back in the fold having seemed surplus to requirements under Frank Lampard.
However, could Tuchel’s decision to hook Hudson-Odoi be the beginning of the rainbow over Stamford Bridge being replaced by a raincloud?