Hudson-Odoi impresses again as Chelsea consider Tomori exit

By Sports Desk January 10, 2021

Callum Hudson-Odoi once again impressed Frank Lampard as the winger pushed his case to play more regularly with a starring role in Chelsea's FA Cup triumph over Morecambe. 

The arrival of high-profile signings Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech during the previous transfer window increased competition for places in Chelsea's attack - and Hudson-Odoi has often found himself stuck on the fringes.

However, Lampard made room for all four players in his starting XI for Sunday's third-round tie at Stamford Bridge, with the hosts running out comfortable 4-0 winners.

Hudson-Odoi certainly seized his opportunity, scoring a goal and creating three chances. The England international completed 85.5 per cent of his passes and sent in seven crosses, four of which were rated as 'good' by Opta.

He has started just two Premier League games this season so far, though Lampard acknowledges the 20-year-old is doing everything right in his push to get consistent minutes.

"Callum is playing well. He's improving, he has improved and there is much more to come," the Chelsea boss told the media after the tie.

"For the goal today, it was a fantastic example of running and breaking the lines and ending up in the area like a striker, because that is what the modern winger does.

"He's making it [his case to get a run of games] now. Probably when fit, we have three natural wingers, maybe one or two others who can play in that position.

"There is always going to be times when I have to make decisions over selection, which means Callum might be in, or someone else may be in.

"But the way he is playing now absolutely at this minute means he's assisting, he scoring goals, he's a threat every time he plays. It makes me really happy, because today was definitely an uplift from Callum, there are more gears he can go through.

"He is another young player [at Chelsea] with a lot to come and we shouldn't expect too much, but when he's playing like he's playing now, it's good to expect more from him because he's showing a lot."

While Hudson-Odoi is pressing to feature for the first team, Fikayo Tomori could be on his way out of Chelsea.

The centre-back came on as a second-half substitute against Morecambe but Lampard confirmed afterwards that a loan move could happen in January - provided it is right for all parties.

On Tomori potentially leaving, Lampard said: "The situation is kind of open at the moment. There's a possibility he could go on loan to get games somewhere else.

"That would have to be the right solution for him and the club. It was part of my thinking in not starting him today, but giving him some minutes at the end. While we are looking at that, I want to make sure it's the right thing for him and the club.

"His attitude, while not playing so much recently with five or six centre-backs at the club, has been fantastic, in terms of working in training every day and how he is."

Related items

  • JFF slashes massive debt but financial challenges loom with coming World Cup qualifiers JFF slashes massive debt but financial challenges loom with coming World Cup qualifiers

    The Jamaica Football Federation has managed to slash a sizeable portion of its JMD$300m debt as of the end of 2020, President Michael Ricketts announced at the federation’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday.

    According to the beleaguered president, the JFF has managed to slash its debt to JMD$238 million.

    “We have worked diligently to cut costs wherever we can even with limited sponsorship,” he said. “This year will be particularly challenging as we have the World Cup qualifiers to fund.”

    Ricketts pointed to some of the positives that have taken place recently under his watch and explained why the country’s football is headed in the right direction, even in the face of a pandemic. He was particularly happy that the wheels are in motion to get local players on the field of play.

    “We are very happy that just Wednesday of this week the Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Sports announced that arising out of discussions with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Technical teams from both ministries will begin a series of meetings with the sporting associations regarding the resumption of some of their activities,” Ricketts said.

    “I, therefore, use the opportunity to advise you that as per this communication, all requests for training and competitions or events must be submitted to the Ministry of Sports.

    He reiterated that clubs, affiliates and event organisers must submit any request through the JFF. “The JFF has been very deliberate in working positively with the ministries and meeting the requirements to ensure that football returns as soon as it is possible to do so,” he said.

     “We intend in these discussions to not only discuss the Premier League but all competitions at the parish level including youth and women’s football.”

    The football president was happy with the progress made by the Premier League Interim Committee (PLJIC), a body which he commissioned at the start of 2020.

    “We asked the President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Mr Christopher Samuda to chair this committee and we invited members of the Premier League clubs; representatives of the JFF board and some independent persons to sit on this committee. The mandate was to review the existing commercial, operational and governance structures, policies and arrangements of the National Premier League (NPL) and recommend proposals for the improvement of these structures, policies and arrangements and prepare a three-year business plan covering 2020/21 through 2022/23 seasons.”

    This body represents the single most fundamental game-changer in the sports and we are already seeing the outcomes.

    He pointed to the formation of the new entity called Professional Football Jamaica Limited which was formed to initially drive the commercialization of the league and overtime all professional competitions. Over $100 million dollars in sponsorships and partnerships have been garnered over the last three months.

    Ricketts pointed out that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the PFJL and the JFF which outlines the relationships between the two bodies and clearly states the responsibility between both. Under the MOU, the JFF retains responsibility for operations and regulations of the league.

     

     

     

  • Resurgent Stones went 'back to basics' to regain form and confidence Resurgent Stones went 'back to basics' to regain form and confidence

    John Stones has explained his decision to go "back to basics" in a bid to rediscover his form for Manchester City.

    Stones scored twice – his third brace for club and country – in City's 4-0 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    The win, City's fifth in succession in the top flight, sent Pep Guardiola's team into second place above defending champions Liverpool, who could only draw with leaders Manchester United at Anfield.

    Though Palace, shorn of the injured Wilfried Zaha, were hardly a threat, Stones and his centre-back partner Ruben Dias were rock solid as City gave boss Guardiola an early birthday present the day before he turns 50.

    City are the first team to record five consecutive victories in the Premier League this season, while in the 10 games Stones and Dias have started together in all competitions, Guardiola's side have claimed nine wins, one draw and conceded just once.

    Stones, a big-money signing from Everton in 2016, appeared to be surplus to requirements after an injury-hit 2019-20 campaign, with the 26-year-old handed just 12 league starts.

    However, his first Premier League goals for City – and his first in the top flight since he netted for Everton against United in April 2015 – have capped off a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.

    "We knew it was a tough game today. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get goals. I need to contribute by getting those goals," Stones told Sky Sports.

    "I'm just trying to keep improving, building day by day on the training pitch, give a platform for the lads to express themselves up the pitch and get some goals.

    "We're taking great pride in it, keeping clean sheets, it's what we're there to do. Hopefully we can keep the run going, keep as many clean sheets as we can because we know how vital they are in big games and in games like today.

    "We know what'll happen if we keep getting them. We don't have to go out and score four or five goals every week. We've done it when it's 1-0 and we've fought right until the 90th minute. We kind of take the credit at the back but we've got to give credit to the whole team."

    Asked how tough it had got when he was out of the side, Stones replied: "Very. It's always tough when you're not playing and you don't get a run of games, and when you do you don't perform to what you can do because maybe you've put too much pressure on yourself.

    "I've gone back to basics, looked at myself first, looked at what I can improve on in every aspect. 

    "You need to look yourself in the mirror and ask if I'm doing everything for myself and for the team and I did that, kept working hard, kept the faith and grinding away, keep trying to improve and I still am now. I don't think you ever stop improving yourself."

    Stones' first goal was a glancing header from Kevin De Bruyne's sensational outside-of-the-boot cross – the Belgium midfielder's 100th assist for City.

    "Kevin's done it over the seasons that I've been here," Stones said.

    "I remember a few, off the top of my head, to Leroy [Sane] when he was here, some outrageous passes that you just don't know how he's done it.

    "As he's put the ball in I knew it was coming straight to me. It's something we can only dream of and Kev can just do it when he wants."

  • Inter 2-0 Juventus: Vidal and Barella dent Pirlo's title defence Inter 2-0 Juventus: Vidal and Barella dent Pirlo's title defence

    Inter dealt a blow to Juventus' Serie A title defence and moved level on points with leaders Milan by securing a 2-0 victory at San Siro on Sunday.

    Former Juve midfielder Arturo Vidal opened his Inter account with a 12th-minute header and Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku wasted chances to increase the Nerazzurri's lead.

    The Bianconeri were unable to make the most of those reprieves as an emphatic finish at the end of a route-one move saw Nicolo Barella double Inter's advantage.

    It was enough to give Antonio Conte a first Serie A win against Juve – the club he led to three straight Scudetti at the start of their ongoing run of dominance – and move the hosts level with Milan, who play their game in hand against Cagliari on Monday.

    Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal correctly ruled out for offside but there was no doubt about Vidal's opener a minute later, as the Chile international rose above Danilo to nod Barella's delivery into the left corner.

    Martinez should have doubled Inter's lead in the 23rd minute when he blazed over with the goal gaping after Wojciech Szczesny parried Lukaku's shot straight to him.

    Striker Martinez again failed to hit the target with his next opening, while Lukaku placed an effort from Barella's cutback too close to Szczesny before half-time.

    Inter finally had a second goal in the 52nd minute, Barella surging into a huge gap in the Juve defence and firing Alessandro Bastoni's ambitious pass into the roof of the net.

    Andrea Pirlo responded by sending on Dejan Kulusevski, Federico Bernardeschi and Weston McKennie but Federico Chiesa had their best effort in the 87th minute.

    Samir Handanovic kept out Chiesa's powerful drive with a superb reaction as Inter held on for an important victory.

    What does it mean? Juve with ground to make up

    Juve would have closed to within a point of Inter if they triumphed at San Siro, and they would have still had a game in hand on Conte's men and Milan.

    However, they missed their chance to make up ground and are now seven points adrift of Inter.

    They will find themselves 10 points off the top if Milan win on Monday, meaning winning their game in hand would still not put them firmly in the title picture.

    Brilliant Barella

    Italy international Barella put in a livewire performance against the reigning champions, creating a game-high three chances – including the assist for Vidal's goal – and producing an emphatic finish early in the second half. After managing one goal and four assists in Serie A last season, he has already scored twice and set up five more in the league in 2020-21.

    Vidal sparks controversy

    Pre-game footage showed Vidal embracing Giorgio Chiellini and kissing the Juve badge on his warm-up top. He may have followed it up by scoring his first Serie A goal since clinching the title for Juve in May 2015, but his muted celebrations led to much discussion about where his loyalties lie.

    What's next?

    Juve face Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana on Wednesday, while Inter travel to Udinese in Serie A on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.