Callum Hudson-Odoi has switched this week from the England group to the Chelsea squad which travels to South Wales today ahead of our Sunday afternoon game against Cardiff City, with Maurizio Sarri explaining why there is a contrast between performing on the international stage, where the 18-year-old impressed, and in the Premier League.
Our young winger made headlines with his first two senior international appearances, one as a substitute and one from the off, but now he refocuses on adding to his eight starts and 11 sub appearances for the Blues this season. Sarri has given details of why it is not awkward for him if the player starts for the Three Lions but not for the Blues.
‘Because I am not playing against Montenegro,’ he said. ‘In the qualification for the European Championships, the level is very low, it is not Premier League level.
‘It depends on the national team but there are lots with a very low level. I cannot understand why there is only one group. Maybe it is better to have a European Championships for the first level and another cup for the second level, because it is incredible that a player who is very important for a club has to play against, Malta or Cyprus, against Andorra or Liechtenstein. It is not right.
‘Callum Hudson-Odoi is ready to play against every opponent,’ our manager clarified
‘He needs to improve more and I want him to improve more. He has to stay with his feet on the floor, he has to work every day and improve his left [foot], improve in the defensive phase, his movement without the ball, and I want him to improve because the potential is really, really, very, very high.
‘In this moment he is a very good player but he has the possibility to become more and I want him to be more. For Callum and also for me.’
The Blues head to Cardiff with a slight fitness doubt over Jorginho following his involvement for Italy, but Sarri is optimistic the midfielder will be available. On Sunday he is hoping to see a more resilient Chelsea than in our previous outing, the game at Everton when domination turned into a 2-0 defeat. Sarri maintains his belief that the problem that day was in the players’ heads.
‘From the first difficulty of the match we conceded a goal [from a corner] and we were not able to react in the right way, it was very strange after the first 45 minutes [we had played].
Read: Sarri explains what went wrong against Everton
‘The problem was not the corner, the problem was the reaction. We were not able to face the first difficulty, we were not able to react, so the problem was the mentality. So we need to work and improve our mentality as soon as possible. We were able to react in the first part of the season, we were able to react immediately when we conceded a goal.
‘It is very difficult to improve the mentality only by speaking. I can give an example, that is more important than a speech.’