Monday, October 3, 2022

Werner proved he still has a place at Chelsea – Tuchel

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Apr 2022

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Timo Werner showed why he is still an important player for Chelsea by scoring a pair of goals in Saturday’s 6-0 thrashing of Southampton. 

A £47.5million move from RB Leipzig to Stamford Bridge in June 2020 is yet to work out for Werner, whose double at St Mary’s took him to nine Premier League goals in 51 appearances. 

All three of the 26-year-old’s league goals this season have come against Saints, with his overall tally against them standing at five. He is yet to score against any other opponent more than once in the Premier League.

Werner could have easily scored more against Southampton – he hit the woodwork three times in the first half – but Mason Mount’s double and goals from Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz contributed to a resounding success. 

His poor form coupled with recent comments that he is “more comfortable” playing for Germany have cast doubt on the striker’s future at Chelsea. 

However, head coach Tuchel insists Werner’s performance against Saints showed exactly what he can bring to the table for the Blues. 

“It was his position, it was the players around him, the connection with Mason, Kai, Kova [Mateo Kovacic] – he loves to play with and has a connection to the players,” said Tuchel. 

“It was the half-left position as the double striker, it was an opponent who we could find spaces in behind against because they’re a high attacking team. 

“It was set up for him to deliver, it was not in a 4-1-4-1 on the side. Everything was there to deliver and make a statement that he did not give up and he is still an important player for this club and this group. And he did deliver.” 

It was an emphatic return to form for Chelsea, who suffered a 4-1 loss to Brentford in the Premier League last weekend and went down 3-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. 

Tuchel felt the Blues’ change in fortunes showed they cannot afford to not have their priorities right when they step onto the pitch, as they will be punished otherwise. 

“I think it tells us that we are not the team to escape with results if our input isn’t 80 to 90 per cent of energy, commitment and investment. We are a special group when we have our priorities right,” said Tuchel. 

“If we are committed, defend with courage, have the attitude right and hunger right, and are clear that this is our foundation to show the quality, then we are a strong group and have [every] right to believe in ourselves. 

“We are not the fancy group who comes with just quality and get away with just 80 to 90 per cent investment, commitment to the whole game. 

“It’s not always easy for us to have this hunger and commitment because we come from a ruthless schedule, that’s why it’s not always easy. 

“It’s not about blaming the players, I understand why it was hard for us after the international break, but it just proves the point today that if we have this right and we show our quality, which is what makes us dangerous.” 

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