Replacing substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi after just 30 minutes on the pitch in the 1-1 draw with Southampton was “bold” and a “gamble”, according to Chelsea legend Joe Cole.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel made the decision as the Blues chased a winner, explaining that he was not happy with the England winger’s “attitude, energy and counter-pressing”.
Hudson-Odoi has been one of the standout performers for the Blues since the German replaced Frank Lampard as boss, impressing at both wing-back and in a more advanced attacking role.
Cole, like Hudson-Odoi an England international, said: “It is a very strong way for Tuchel to go and is his first spiky moment. We knew from his reputation he is strong and will make decisions. But that is bold.
“Callum wasn’t having a great game when he came on but you are a moments player playing in that position. Callum can give you a moment of magic, we know that.
“For Tuchel to say he wasn’t happy with his energy is a bold move and a gamble. I just question if it was unnecessary to upset a player that is maybe going to play for you on Tuesday night.
Maybe it’s managerial genius. Maybe Callum starts on Tuesday and gives the performance of his life, but he is a fantastic young player that will be fuming. He was fuming as he walked off the pitch. It might be a message by Tuchel to his team, but it is brave.
“He wants to stamp his authority on the team. This is a spiky moment, so how will the players react?”