Jamie Carragher Slams Maurizio Sarri's 'Stupid' Callum Hudson-Odoi Comments

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Jamie Carragher preparing to be a pundit during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on February 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has slammed Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri for recent comments he made about Blues winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Hudson-Odoi starred for England during the international break, making his debut as a substitute in the 5-0 win over Czech Republic and then impressing from the start against Montenegro in a 5-1 triumph.

In the build to Chelsea's game with Cardiff City in the Premier League on Sunday, Sarri tried to play down the 18-year-old's performances. Speaking on Sky Sports before the match, Carragher was critical of what the manager said (h/t Metro):

"My big problem with what Sarri said about Hudson-Odoi—and it really wound me up because I put myself in that lad's position—was when he said 'I only watched 20 minutes of that game and the 20 minutes I did watch, he didn't even play that well.'

"This is a lad who is making his international debut. Why are you not watching the full game? You could argue he's watching a load of his other Chelsea team-mates, flicking the channels, whatever. You don't need to watch them. They're all 27, 28, 29… this is a young kid. Can he handle the spotlight of playing for England? ...

"To dismiss the international debut I thought it was an absolutely stupid thing to say."

Here's more of what Carragher had to say about the Chelsea manager, courtest of Sky Sports Premier League (UK only):

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

😡"He has really wound me up" @Carra23 was not impressed with Maurizio Sarri's comments on Callum Hudson-Odoi. More: https://t.co/jbI7BWlKx1 https://t.co/n3il5JMdJp

Hudson-Odoi has yet to start a game in the top flight for Chelsea, with Sarri mostly opting for Eden Hazard, Willian or Pedro in the wide positions.

For the showdown with the Bluebirds, the youngster was left on the bench again despite his fine performances during the international break. Per Liam Twomey of ESPN FC, when Sarri was asked about his selection for the fixture, he provided an intriguing answer:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

I don't see what purpose it serves to (again) describe your players as 'mentally vulnerable' in an interview minutes before a tricky away game #cfc https://t.co/NSFljvQ84V

Chelsea supporters have been desperate to see more of Hudson-Odoi, as the academy graduate has excelled whenever he's got on to the field. In the UEFA Europa League, he's scored four goals and notched two assists.

While Sarri may be cautious about trusting young players at a critical point in the season, he appears to be holding back a player capable of bringing a different edge to the Blues' attack.

Broadcaster Alex Goldberg was not happy with the wingers picked for the match against Cardiff:

Alex Goldberg @AlexGoldberg_

Pedro & Willian start on the wings... Hazard & Hudson-Odoi on the bench. *throws up a little*

With his contract set to expire at the end of the 2019-20 season, Hudson-Odoi continues to be linked with a move away from the Blues, with Bayern Munich reportedly keen. According to Tom Hamilton of ESPN FC, the tyro wants to leave the club this summer.

That will be a concern for Blues supporters, especially given the youngster continues to begin top-flight matches on the bench. If Hudson-Odoi is to commit his future to the club, then surely the manager will need to show more faith in him.