Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes that Timo Werner’s difficulties in adapting to the Premier League stem from the Blues’ possession-based style of play, and they are ‘working a lot with him’ to rectify the situation.
The 24-year-old was electric during his time at counter-attacking side RB Leipzig, but he has failed to replicate those heroics in England, scoring only five league goals and missing a number of simple chances.
New Chelsea coach Tuchel claims it is down to the Blues’ possession-based football, which is hindering the pacy forward’s chances in front of goal. And the manager also confirmed they are working hard to get the best out of Werner, encouraging him ‘not to lose faith’.
“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.”
Werner himself has also opened up on his struggles during his debut Premier League campaign, telling Sky Sports that he is aware he’s ‘missed so many chances’ in the past, but is ready to ‘look to the future’ and return to his scintillating best for the Blues.
“When you have a new manager it is, every time, a new beginning for everybody, so it was a new beginning for me as well, because I said, ‘OK, I missed so many chances, I missed so many points and maybe I will start now.’
“I understood the old manager very well, it was not because of the language. But I think when you can talk German to someone, you can explain some things easier, and maybe he [Tuchel] would explain things easier than the old manager, for example, because it can be different when you talk to someone in your own language.
“Maybe misunderstanding a word can make a sentence completely different. I think he has changed me in this way to give me his trust and change my confidence.
“I don’t care about the missed chances or the past. I want to look to the future to get the team back to the top and to score goals.”