It is most unfortunate that Timo Werner’s efforts were so frustratingly overshadowed by the efforts of some of his Chelsea teammates yesterday, and not in a good way. Werner may have dazzled with his moves, his flicks, his speed, and his finishing, but perhaps he shone so bright that he literally blinded the rest of his teammates. How else could you (or he) explain a conceded goal like Southampton’s second last night!?
“I don’t know if we have a problem but in the last three games we concede six goals and that’s not where we want to be.”
Werner scored twice himself and set up Chelsea’s third, but that was still not enough for all three points. The 24-year-old’s frustration at his efforts going in vain, both on a personal level and a professional level, were palpable in his post-match interview.
“The first half we played very well until the goal from Southampton. When you [give up] a goal two or three minutes before half time it is [never] an easy situation [but] we have to win the game. I am happy about my goals but in the end I want to win the game.”
Before the game, Werner spoke of the way he had planned to exploit the familiar system of Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, and he did precisely that in taking advantage of their high line to turn and run behind his man for his first goal, and box out his defender to collect a long ball over the top for the second. For Chelsea’s third, Werner timed his run to perfection to collect a through ball and set up Kai Havertz for an easy finish. Three goals of the highest quality, surely worth three points.
But when you give up cheap goals, collecting three points becomes a much harder task. Winning every match by the odd goal in a handful, like endless economic growth, is unsustainable. Roberto Di Matteo found this out all too tragically in his parallel 2012 mirror-reality. If we are to avoid further similarities, we have sort out the defending, and sort it out quickly.
After all, defense wins championships, as they say ... in Germany?
“In the end think it’s not the offence that wins titles. In Germany we always say defence wins titles. I think that’s true. When we concede so many goals in every game then it’s hard to win games but in the end also to win titles.
“I think we have to work in it because six goals in three games is too much. I think we have to be better in this.”
Paul “Bear” Bryant. Michael Jordan. Timo Werner. All agree, defense wins championships. Frank Lampard, of all Chelsea people, should know this rather intimately after all his years of playing under José “Winning 1-0 is easy” Mourinho (most of them when that claim still applied to The Special One) and also reaching the pinnacle of Europe on the strength of legendary rearguard action.
If we are to fulfill our ambitions and meet the heightened expectations of this season, we cannot continue on conceding at the pace Lampard’s Chelsea have been conceding since his arrival. Last night’s 3 goals make it 63 in 43 in the Premier League and 79 in 49 if you include the Champions League as well.
“I think we are Chelsea, we want to battle for titles.”
-Timo Werner; source: Premier League Productions via Mirror
I think so, too.