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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Thomas Tuchel’s new shape brings out the best in his struggling wingers – Talk Chelsea

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Both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech have had plenty of game time recent months, but neither has really grasped their opportunity, and both have had their fair share of complaints from the fans as the bad results stacked up.

Yesterday saw both back to their best, and that was in large part down to Thomas Tuchel’s tactical switch.

The move to a back 4 meant they were starting a little deeper, playing more as wide midfielder than they would have done as a winger in front 3. They both did their part covering the defence, and also enjoyed picked up the ball slightly deeper. In Hudson-Odoi’s case this allowed him to pick up speed running with the ball, and he created a lot of trouble for Tottenham dribbling down the left.

In Ziyech’s case, it seemed to give him more space and better angles to operate in, and he picked out ball after ball from the right hand side that threatened the Spurs goal.

One of those crosses came within inches of finding Callum flying in at the far post, but in the end it was a reverse of that move which ended up opening the scoring. Hudson-Odoi’s run down the left created space on the right for Ziyech to shoot from, and the Moroccan picked out the top corner with aplomb.

We still expect Tuchel to return to his favoured formation, but the fact that these two performed so well with the team set up like this will certainly be making him think twice.





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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea’s 4-1-4-1 formation allows certain players to thrive – Talk Chelsea

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Thomas Tuchel decided to surprise everyone on Sunday afternoon by lining up in yet another different formation for the first time as a starting Xl since he’s been Chelsea manager.

The Blues boss described it as a 4-1-4-1 formation, but it could also be seen as a 4-3-3 with both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech playing as wingers.

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It was a slow start but once Chelsea got in the swing of things they really thrived in this formation, and this is largely because a good handful of the players are more comfortable in this formation and it is where they are at their strongest.

The aforementioned Hudson-Odoi didn’t have a great first half, but in the second half he really stepped it up and played very well. Ziyech on the right was really good all game and got the Man of the Match award. Both of them combined superbly for Chelsea’s first goal, and it comes as no surprise with them both playing in their preferred positions where they will always be at their strongest.

Ziyech was literally signed by Chelsea to play on the right wing in a 4-3-3 formation by Frank Lampard, but this is the first time he has been selected there by Tuchel due to using different systems.

Mason Mount is another who thrives in a 4-3-3 due to playing in a deeper 8 role, rather than the 10. He always looks more comfortable when playing a little deeper and he was another on great form on Sunday.

The captain Cesar Azpilicueta as well is a lot less over-stretched when playing as a right full back rather than a wing back, being his most natural position.

It was certainly very interesting to see it and I don’t think it will be the last time.





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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Thomas Tuchel faces problems with major player out

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Chelsea News: The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is upon us and football fans will be treated with some fantastic play on display between the best teams in the continent. This is the 33rd version of the AFCON.

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has joined up with his Senegalese team for the competition. However, he is set to miss to first game of the tournament against Zimbabwe.

It is a mandatory process for players to undergo COVID-19 protocols and tests before each game. But in this case, Edouard Mendy along with defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Famara Diedhiou have returned positive results.

Hence, this means that Mendy will be on the sidelines for the first game of the tournament. Although he was set to be absent for Chelsea for a few weeks, this does prove to be a problem for the club if he’s not able to return in time.

Chelsea News: Edouard Mendy tests Covid positive at his national squad

Chelsea News: Thomas Tuchel faces problems with major player out

The Senegalese shotstopper is without a shadow of a doubt Thomas Tuchel’s number one choice. Indeed, Tuchel had earlier said that Mendy has undergone a confidence drop. He still trusts him blindly.

He [Mendy] is going through a rough period, I don’t know why exactly, but he seems to have lost a bit of confidence,” Thomas Tuchel had said after the 3-2 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League.

Moreover, Chelsea have two more COVID-19 cases to worry about at the moment. Brazilian defender Thiago Silva and French midfielder N’golo Kante are positive as well and further add to the worries for Thomas Tuchel.

In the absence of Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga will be stepping up for the Blues. His first major challenge will be up against Manchester City as they travel to the Etihad on 15th January.

Chelsea News: Callum Hudson-Odoi praises Lewis Hall

Chelsea ran out comfortable winners against Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round as they recorded a 5-1 win. Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku, Andreas Christensen and Hakim Ziyech all got on the scoresheet.

However, the most impressive player for the Blues was young Lewis Hall. The youngster had a very impressive outing against Chesterfield and has earned the praise of teammate Callum Hudson-Odoi.

He was amazing. I said to him throughout the whole game, just keep playing the way you are playing. From early you could spot it, how confident he was on the ball, driving with the ball,” said Hudson-Odoi.

Defensively he was solid as well, and I am very happy for him. Hopefully, he can keep going.”



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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Hudson-Odoi’s finishing will improve with repetition, but winger brings so much – Talk Chelsea

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Callum Hudson-Odoi will be the first person to tell you that he needs to be better in front of goal right now, and we would all agree with him.

It’s the one thing missing in his game which is a real surprise, because he used to bang the goals in throughout the youth levels as he was coming up through the ranks at the club. Finishing was definitely not a problem, and that’s why I know that finishing soon will not become a problem at senior level either.

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It’s easy to forget that Hudson-Odoi only turned 21 last month, and that is purely because he has been regularly in and around this Chelsea first team setup for many years now and that is a testament to his talent and quality.

However, whilst he has been around the squad, he has largely been unable to become a regular mainstay starting player, and his 8 matches in a row recently under Thomas Tuchel was his longest spell of starts so far, and this for me is why his finishing isn’t up to scratch.

All players need confidence and they need repetition. Hudson-Odoi scores goals for fun in training, as he did at youth level. But there is a difference to doing it in training to then doing it in the split second moment on the pitch in a massive Premier League game, and a 21-year old should be given leeway in that respect if he isn’t doing this too well. But for me, he needs to get a longer run of games playing in his preferred left attacking position and then he can build the confidence and momentum to become better in front of goal. It’s a mentality thing in the moment. You can be the worlds best finisher, but if you lacked confidence in front of goal to do it in the big moments, then you could too miss a string of easy chances. And for me this is where Hudson-Odoi is at.

If he added goals to his game he would be being spoken about as being one of the best young attackers in the game, and he will add goals if he gets a a regular starting role I have no doubts about it.

He brings so much to the team and he makes things happen. In our 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day he created two goals, and had a hand in the third goal, meaning he literally made things happen when Chelsea really needed it and others were not providing. And he has done this a lot, whenever he starts on the left for Chelsea we do not seem to lose. He brings so much from that side and he will only improve even more over time.





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