Thomas Tuchel has admitted Timo Werner has “a weight on his shoulders” and that the German striker is not quite himself after his struggles at the start of his Chelsea career. Werner has netted just once in his last 16 games, that came in the FA Cup win over Morecambe and was an unused substitute in Tuchel’s first match in charge, the 0-0 draw with Wolves on Wednesday. Tuchel was previously quizzed on whether his appointment was related to getting the best out of his fellow countrymen, Werner and Havertz, but the boss was also pushed specifically on Werner, who arrived at the club with a fearsome reputation as one of Europe’s most lethal strikers.
Thomas Tuchel said: “At the moment, why I did not use him on Wednesday, I see his face is a bit closed and the weight is on his shoulders,He cares a lot and that shows he has a fantastic character. Sometimes as a striker it does not help if you care a lot. Sometimes as a striker it’s better to not care at all. But he’s not that guy. He cares and he’s not happy with himself and with the way things went lately.”
The 47-year-old head coach thinks he has a solution for how to use Werner in the right way, something that Lampard struggled to do as he deployed Werner through the middle and off the left of the front three he preferred to deploy. Tuchel is also convinced that he will be the man to get the German international firing in front of goal again in west London.
Thomas Tuchel added: “From his profile, as a given, I would say he prefers to have space,”That’s clear because he’s super-fast and he likes to play in the last line, very very very high up, but a little bit more to the left, half open to the goal and to receive the balls into the open space. This is a given. Can we develop movements, patterns, behaviour to use his quality in narrow spaces? That’s my job and I’m absolutely convinced (we can) because the guy is open, the guy is friendly and the guy is eager to learn. Right now it’s important to rebuild his trust in himself and to find a smile on his face and stop doubting too much. It’s my job to do this, to help him with this and then to find a position where we can use his strengths. There will be games – on Wednesday we had 80% ball possession – and it felt like we played 90 per cent of the match in the last 30 metres – but there are movements to create with him that he can help us, I am sure.”
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