The Blues are keeping the ball well but it could be at the expense of their explosive striker, who likes to run into space
Thomas Tuchel believes that Chelsea’s style of play sometimes holds Timo Werner back as the possession-hungry side cause opponents to sit in defensive shapes.
Chelsea have averaged 69 per cent possession in the six league games since Tuchel has taken over, which has caused their rivals to sit deep and hit them on the counterattack.
Werner has scored just once in the eight matches since Tuchel came in. Although the forward has shown signs of improvement, the Blues will demand more from their £47.5 million signing from RB Leipzig.
What Tuchel said?
Tuchel said he sympathised with Werner’s struggles and explained why he continues to select him despite a lack of goals.
“Maybe it is our fault because we have a lot of possession and we push opponent teams very, very deep in their half so spaces are not too big,” Tuchel said.
“The biggest strength of Timo is to attack the space behind the last line so it is maybe also our fault in the dominant game that we play in the moment, it is very natural that the spaces are closed by the opponents.
“A game like against Atletico, is there any team out there in the world that can close spaces like Atletico? I don’t know. This is not exactly the opponent that you wish for Timo to show all his skills, so what is left for him is to not lose faith and work for the team.
“We are reflecting a lot about this and working a lot with him.
“There are also solutions in tight spaces to use his speed in the first metres, to use his acceleration.
“But it is not easy for him and I can totally see this and it is why I am very patient and very supportive and I believe in his potential and character and of course his goalscoring skills.”
How has Werner fared at Chelsea?
The Germany international got off to a strong start under Frank Lampard, scoring eight times in his first 12 matches in all competitions.
But as Chelsea’s form dipped under Lampard, so did Werner’s. The striker went 14 consecutive league matches without a goal – a run that stretched between November and February.
Lampard was replaced by Tuchel in January and though Werner has shown signs of life under the former PSG boss, his goal against Newcastle on February 15 is his only strike under Tuchel thus far.
What else was said?
Tuchel went on to talk about his six wins and two draws since coming in to replace Lampard at the end of January. Asked when would be the time to judge his impact, Tuchel began with a joke.
“How about now? It is a very good moment! Excellent moment for a five-year contract,” Tuchel said with a laugh.
“You know how it is. The point is to not get affected too much also in moments where you have good results, keep your feet on the ground and that is the big challenge as we know very well that you get judged on results.
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