EPL

Werner getting 'stronger and stronger' – Tuchel not worried by striker's barren run

By Sports Desk February 07, 2021

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists Timo Werner is getting "stronger and stronger" despite the Germany international's goalless run in the Premier League now stretching to 14 games. 

Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation as a prolific goalscorer following his move from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. 

But the 24-year-old has scored just four times in 22 Premier League appearances, with his blank in Sunday's 2-1 win at Sheffield United stretching his barren run even further. 

While he did not get on the scoresheet, he was in the thick of the action as Chelsea made it three wins on the bounce under new boss Tuchel. 

His low cross was clinically dispatched by Mason Mount to put the Blues ahead shortly before the interval, bringing up his sixth assist in all competitions this season – the most of any Chelsea player. 

He then drew a foul from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, providing Jorginho with the opportunity to restore the visitors' advantage from the penalty spot following Antonio Rudiger's calamitous own goal. 

Despite another scoreless outing, Tuchel has no doubts Werner is on the right track to becoming a success at Chelsea. 

"It was a brilliant run for the first goal and it was great decision making for the second goal to go around the goalkeeper," said the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach.

"It was good defending from their defenders but he worked incredibly hard and disciplined against the ball. It gave him a boost. I feel he is getting stronger and stronger every day. Today he was more free and I could really feel him on the pitch.

"He was absolutely in the game mentally and physically and he was decisive. This is the most important thing because if he can continue like this the goals will come, for sure."

Tuchel has overseen three wins and one draw in his opening four games as Chelsea boss, with their one goal conceded the fewest through a manager's first four league games in charge since Guus Hiddink in 2009.

Their latest win moved them up to fifth, just one point behind fourth-place Liverpool, but Tuchel insists his side will not get ahead of themselves and are firmly focused on their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Barnsley on Thursday.

"What would it help to talk about it [finishing in he top four]?" he added. "It is clear that we are responsible now for a situation where we are close to where we want to be. We want to try everything to reach the top four and we said this very clearly when we started.

"So, now the guys put themselves in the situation where we are the hunters for the teams in front of us and we are close. It changes nothing because the next game in the league will be a home game and like everybody else we will be under the pressure to continue our run and build on the momentum. 

"Today is the best example. What will it help you if you see that Sheffield United are very, very low, but if you analyse the team you see their result against Manchester United.

"They are bottom of the league, but you have to come here, accept the challenge, play humble. This is what you do and from there on it is now the next challenge to improve, play in the FA Cup and the next game and keep on going. The future will take care of itself."

Related items

  • Alaba will play in the Champions League final, Ancelotti confirms Alaba will play in the Champions League final, Ancelotti confirms

    Carlo Ancelotti revealed David Alaba will "100 per cent" feature for Real Madrid in the Champions League final next weekend. 

    Alaba has been dealing with a hamstring injury sustained in the semi-final first leg against Manchester City last month and did not feature in Madrid's last LaLiga game of the season against Real Betis on Friday. 

    Los Blancos came through the match unscathed with a 0-0 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu and Ancelotti confirmed afterwards that the Austria defender will play against Liverpool at the Stade de France on Saturday week. 

    "Alaba is going to play the final but it wasn't necessary to take risks," Ancelotti told Movistar+. 

    "He's going to play, 100 per cent. He hasn't played since April 26, it's true, but not only physical condition is taken into account for the match. Skill and experience are too." 

    The Italian coach expects to have Gareth Bale available for one more time before his contract expires at the end of the season. 

    Bale missed out on a place in the squad to face Betis having only recently stepped up his recovery from a back issue. 

    "He wanted to say goodbye and play if he was able. Bale has one last chance because he will be fine for the final," Ancelotti added. 

    Marcelo was sent on as a second-half substitute for what is anticipated to be his final outing at the Bernabeu, but Ancelotti hinted that the Brazilian could yet extend his stay. 

    "He hasn't said goodbye yet, he's still our captain and will be in Paris. If he does say goodbye in the end, of the best full-backs in the world will leave. I think he's talking to the club, I don't know," said the Madrid boss. 

  • Klopp will not forget 'fantastic season' regardless of title race outcome Klopp will not forget 'fantastic season' regardless of title race outcome

    Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool must not be disappointed in the 2021-22 season if they fail to win the Premier League.

    The Reds head into the final day of the season just a point behind leaders City, who face Aston Villa, managed by Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, in their last game.

    Liverpool take on Wolves at Anfield, in a repeat of the final fixture of the 2018-19 season, when the title race also went down to the wire. On that occasion, a victory for the Reds was not enough, as they lost out by a single point to City, who won at Brighton and Hove Albion.

    Even though history could repeat itself, Klopp – who like in 2019, has a Champions League final to look forward to – believes it has been an incredible campaign.

    Liverpool's title defence floundered in 2020-21 but they have returned to the top in style this season, winning both the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

    Speaking in a news conference on Friday, Klopp said: "After that game [Wolves in 2019] I was fine with the situation.

    "I remember walking on the lap of honour next to Trent [Alexander-Arnold]. We both had a smile on our faces because it was a great season.

    "Whatever happens on Sunday, I will not forget that it has been an absolutely fantastic season."

    Klopp also believes that if City do pip Liverpool to the post once again, it will only spur his side onto more success in the future.

    "The biggest defeats in my life have led to the biggest successes in my life, wherever I was," he added. "Whether it was Mainz or whatever, it's a little bit like this.

    "Even if we don't win the Champions League final, I learned at Mainz when we didn't get promoted and we arrived back and thought it'd be really sad but we had 20,000 people waiting for us.

    "We had to go on stage the day after we lost our dream of going to the Bundesliga. That was the moment we realised it was OK and if they think it was fine then we can go from here.

    "The response [of fans] is really important and whatever happens on Sunday we will not stop. We will not stop trying.

    "Yes, we have the best opponent in world football, which is a bit of a shame, but they have us in their neck, which is not too cool as well. So let's see."

  • Abraham caps memorable debut Serie A season with a slice of history Abraham caps memorable debut Serie A season with a slice of history

    Tammy Abraham capped a memorable first season in Serie A with a slice of history as Roma defeated Torino 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday. 

    A first-half double saw Abraham become the highest-scoring English player in a single season in the Italian top flight, surpassing the previous mark of 16 set by Gerald Hitchens at Inter in 1961-62. 

    The only Roma player to score more than the England international's haul of 17 in a debut Serie A season with the club was Rodolfo Volk, who registered 21 in the 1929-30 campaign. 

    Abraham has also found the back of the net nine times in 13 appearances in the Europa Conference League this season and is hopeful of capping a memorable campaign with a victory in the final against Feyenoord on Wednesday. 

    "I would have loved to get three, to score a hat-trick for my team, but the most important thing is we won," he told DAZN. 

    "I fell in love with this club on the first day and I'm always going to help the team as much as possible with my goals and assists. It's been a good year for me. I'd like to build on it and hopefully we can finish with a trophy and this will be the perfect year." 

    Asked if he will stay at Roma, Abraham replied: "I love this club. They've given me the opportunity to show myself and my heart is here. We'll see what the future holds but my heart is here." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.