Search results


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Thomas Tuchel finds key to locked £49m Chelsea door as Timo Werner poses Real Madrid question

  Timo Werner netted twice as Chelsea cruised to a six-goal demolition of Southampton, handing Thomas Tuchel a glimpse into the 26-year-o...


Timo Werner netted twice as Chelsea cruised to a six-goal demolition of Southampton, handing Thomas Tuchel a glimpse into the 26-year-old's true capacity. His display was archetypal of the mouth-watering form which initially courted the Blues interest nearly two years ago.

The Germany international opened his account at St Mary's with a composed finish after galloping forward into acres of spaces and then rounding the goalkeeper. Werner netted his second no more than five minutes into the second-half after N'Golo Kante's chipped effort was palmed into his path.

He combined well with fellow countryman Kai Havertz and Mason Mount in what proved to be a free-flowing strike force. The striker, who has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League, looks to have made the first steps towards warranting his £49m price tag.

The German operated in — and against — a very similar system that crowned him one of Europe's most sought after strikers in 2020. Ralph Hasenhuttl's high-line flaunted Werner's best qualities but featuring alongside Havertz did so too; his combination of creativity, elusive movement and aerial prowess allowed the striker to flourish as he did for RB Leipzig.

Tuchel set Chelsea up in a way that combated Southampton's game plan as if it were a Bundesliga clash. Werner enjoyed great success playing off of a magnetising striker; essentially, Havertz took up the 'Yussuf Poulsen role', as pictured below.

Of course, not every Premier League side is as proactive in its mission to press high up the pitch. And, ever since Werner swapped the Red Bull Arena for Stamford Bridge, he has struggled to adapt his game so that he can unlock low- block sides too.

Though, alongside Havertz and Mount against the Saints, the German striker looked at home in Chelsea's front three. Tuchel believes the system provided the ideal situation for Werner to deliver. Speaking following the match, the German coach detailed Werner's performance: "Of course.

It was his position, and it was the players around him, the connection with Mason (Mount), Kai (Havertz) and Mateo (Kovacic). He loves to play, and he has a connection with these players. He was in a double striker position, the half left position, and it was against an opponent that we could imagine we'd find spaces in behind because they play a high attack.

"So it was set out for him to deliver, honestly. We were not set out in a 4-1-4-1 with him on the side, and everything was there for him to deliver and make a statement that he has not given up, that he is still an important player of this club and this group. And he did. It was necessary, very strong, but necessary."

However, while Werner may have staked a serious claim for a feature against Real Madrid in Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final second leg, Carlo Ancelotti's side is well ahead. Los Blancos' lead, naturally, questions whether the Spanish giants will operate as high a line as Southampton did.

No comments:

Post a Comment