Tuchel: Chelsea's style since I arrived may be holding back Werner

Thomas Tuchel admits that Chelsea’s possession-based style since his arrival may be holding back struggling striker Timo Werner… who has scored just five times in 24 Premier League games since his arrival at Stamford Bridge

  • Timo Werner ended a 14-game Premier League goal drought earlier this month
  • However, he has scored just once since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard
  • Tuchel has said Chelsea’s possession-based game might be hindering Werner
  • The 24-year-old’s form tanked as Chelsea’s poor form led to Lampard’s sacking 
  • The Blues will return to the top four if they beat Manchester United on Sunday 

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Chelsea’s possession-heavy style of football may be holding Timo Werner back. 

The 24-year-old, who arrived at Stamford Bridge for £47.5million from RB Leipzig in the summer, has scored just five times in 24 Premier League appearances since joining the club, with the Blues enjoying an average of 69% of the ball in the six league games since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last month. 

Despite picking up four league wins and two draws since his appointment, the 47-year-old has acknowledged that Chelsea’s approach may be stifling Werner’s ability to run in behind as teams sit back and try to hit them on the counter. 

Timo Werner has only scored once since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last month

Tuchel has admitted that Chelsea’s possession-based game does not suit Werner’s strengths

‘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,’ said Tuchel ahead of his side’s crucial home match against Manchester United on Sunday. 

‘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. 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 scored four goals in as many league games earlier in the season as his confidence rose

It took until Werner’s fifth Premier League game to get off the mark, when he netted twice and set up the other in the ultimately disappointing 3-3 draw with Southampton. 

Two goals in his next three league games against Burnley and Sheffield United suggested he was adapting quickly to the demands of England’s top flight. 

However, just as Chelsea’s form fell off a cliff in December and January and Frank Lampard received his matching orders, Werner suffered a significant dip in confident and did not score again in the Premier League until he bagged the opener against Newcastle on February 15 – 15 games after his strike against the Blades. 

However, Werner then went 14 top-flight games without a goal as Chelsea struggled badly

That said, Werner has just strike against the Magpies to his name since Tuchel’s arrival and will be itching to add to his tally against the Red Devils, who will travel to London intent in keeping their faint title hopes alive as they look to stay within 10-points of Manchester City, who extended their winning run in all competitions to 20 matches after beating West Ham 2-1. 

Chelsea, meanwhile, will leapfrog the Hammers into the top four if they defeat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, who last away from home in the league in January 2020 when Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield. 

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