Thomas Tuchel solves Chelsea’s dilemma with Pep Guardiola’s subtle Raheem Sterling training trick – Jake Stokes
Callum Hudson-Odoi has become one of Thomas Tuchel’s brightest selling points, coming one step closer to asserting himself as the first name on Chelsea’s squad sheet.
The 20-year-old striker initially struggled to secure valuable playing time under the German boss, but Hudson-Odoi’s patience, desire and hard work ultimately allowed Tuchel to give him an opportunity in the desired position.
The Chelsea number 20 has had seven successive starts for the Blues, directly contributing to three goals as he gradually became one of the team’s most influential figures.
Hudson-Odoi’s display against Juventus marked the start of his next chapter by becoming a staple on Tuchel’s side, effectively exploiting indoor spaces with electric U-turns and superb one-touch play.
The Cobham graduate’s ability to produce a high-quality output in the final third with remarkable consistency makes him such a dangerous threat.
He has a catalog of random creation techniques in his arsenal, be it his cross weight, his interaction around the 18-meter box, or his incisiveness. However, her performance against the Old Lady unearthed another dimension to her game.
Hudson-Odoi has shown a willingness to truly adapt his style from the skill set of a typical winger to a specialist striker, while operating at the highest level.
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The England international worked well in the half-spaces and showed a real intention to attack the central areas with elite-level movement and play.
While his raw ability to produce magical moments is widely documented, a deeper dive into Hudson-Odoi’s technical profile highlights a subtle training trick used by Pep Guardiola on Raheem Sterling to maintain a high output level and constant.
The root of Hudson-Odoi’s display was of course, aforementioned, his raw ability, but his conscious use of his instep allowed him to thrive on the front foot and open up avenues for attack.
This is the exact technique that saw Guardiola guide Sterling through his incredible success for club and country following his appointment to Manchester City in 2016.
“When I used to dribble I was on the wing and controlled it with the outside of my foot – it slows the ball down,” Sterling said.
“It brings you back to what you used to do with the under-eights: open your body, pick up the pace, it’s little details like that.
“When you play a game, you probably don’t understand it. Small touches on the outside of your foot, stuck under your foot, it tells you to reach the left back faster, open up your body and take it with you instead of just controlling it and yourself Stop.
While it’s unlikely that Guardiola directly warned Hudson-Odoi to resume the same bad habits Sterling once suffered from, the premise still stands, giving Chelsea a major boost in solving the top three puzzle of Tuchel.
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