Five of the seven goals Chelsea put past Norwich on Saturday were scored by products from our Academy.
It is not the first time that has been the case, all five in a 5-2 win at Wolves in September 2019 were a similar collection, but for those involved in the youth production line it is just as pleasing nonetheless.For the coach who is able to pick them for the men’s first team, Thomas Tuchel, it is a source of joy as well.‘The Academy is full of quality coaches and quality leaders,’ says Tuchel, ‘and the guys who come from the Academy through to our team and onto our pitch are all of the same spirit and same attitude - humble guys who know what it is to play for Chelsea.
‘They know what it takes to be serious, to be humble, and that there's no problem in being a nice guy and still playing a hard and serious match of football.‘It's a pleasure to have that mix between the best players of the world from all countries and the Academy players. That makes things special and creates a certain energy and atmosphere for the spectators in the stadium.‘This is what we want and we will always try to push guys through but in the end, let's be honest, it's a matter of quality and not where you come from.’
One those former Academy players who netted against Norwich is Callum Hudson-Odoi. Tuchel admits he is sometimes hard on the 20-year-old winger and he explains why.‘He needs that,’ the boss says. ‘These guys who are so full of quality hear sometimes a bit too often how good they are, but you need to prove it, to show it, and for the offensive guys it is easy - just read statistics and deliver assists and goals.‘This is what he does and what he needs to show. This is the highest level in England, this is the highest level in Europe so we are hopefully not unfair but we are tough on him, because it's not enough with this talent just to be a part of the group.
‘We are also very aware we are maybe a bit unfair and play him too often as a right wing-back where he cannot show his full potential. We are aware of that so it’s always a mix and at the moment, we think that we find a way to push him to the limits and this can change from week to week.’