Timo Werner has not yet officially opened his Chelsea goalscoring account, but he still should’ve collected his second pseudo-assist in just as many games after once again winning a penalty. Unfortunately, unlike against Brighton last week, Jorginho failed to convert against Liverpool last night. It was the Vice-captain’s first non-shootout miss from the spot in nine tires for Chelsea, one of several individual letdowns and mistakes that happened against the defending champions.
Werner had his own head-in-hands moment, too, missing an easy shot from a Havertz square ball, but one never knows how much to read into plays that are just continuations of blatant offsides.
More pertinently, Werner’s movement and overall effort — at both ends of the pitch! — was one of the brightest spots for the Blues, just as it was against Brighton. That’s garnered plenty of early praise not only from the manager, but from a former player as well who certainly would’ve appreciated such qualities from a striker. What’s the verdict, Mr. Magic Hat?
Werner’s runs— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) September 20, 2020
There’s little use in daydreaming about a Cesc-Timo combo, but if we can find someone who can regularly look for and pick out the 24-year-old’s runs, we should see plenty of goals from him. We’ve yet to have anyone do that with great conviction in the two games so far, but we’re all still just learning and getting used to each other.
That said, Werner still had his moments, even if most of them were thwarted by a world class individual performance by emergency center back Fabinho, who earned special and well-deserved praise from his manager afterwards.
“Come on, Timo is a top player. With space, there is no real football tactic which can defend him when he has the ball.
“But Fabinho is obviously a pretty good challenger, good in one-on-one situations, and did outstandingly well. If Sadio didn’t score two goals, I think the Man of the Match contender would have been Fabinho.”
-Jürgen Klopp; source: Sky via This is Anfield
Werner did turn and beat Fabinho in the process of winning a penalty, which just underlines the need to look for him more often, whether he’s in the center or, like last night, mostly out wide left.
Image 1: Werner heat map.— Yan (@ChelseaYannick) September 20, 2020
Image 2: Some positive Chelsea metrics from the game.
I maintain we could have got something from this game without the Christensen and Kepa incidents. pic.twitter.com/Rhq1a875MS
Yesterday’s defeat was strangely demoralizing — probably more due to the manner of defeat rather than the defeat itself — with plenty of post-match talk from those involved about the need to keep heads high and confidence up. It’s just the second match! The season is long and the project is multi-year.
Werner certainly has a plan, as he told Bild ahead of yesterday’s encounter against the other team that really wanted him earlier this year.
“I decided to go to Chelsea with full conviction because I think it’s the best move for me. I can say I haven’t regretted it so far and I certainly won’t in the future. I had to make the best decision for myself. At Chelsea, I saw that I can play straight away and be a regular. With this project, I can grow.”
“This is an opportunity that Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah may have seen four or three years ago at Liverpool FC. They too went there to develop so that they could win the Premier League and the Champions League. That’s where I was now, and of course, I would like to see that development. [...] My goal is to get to the level of such players. And I see an opportunity at Chelsea. I’m 24 years old, so I have to play.”
“[...] we probably won’t win the Premier League or the Champions League this season. If it works anyway, all the nicer. But that’s not what the club expects.
“As I said, I like to compare that to Liverpool a few years ago. In the first year, the team didn’t win a title either. In the second year they were in the Champions League final, in the third they won it and in the fourth, the title in the Premier League followed. With our Chelsea project, too, we want to develop step by step so that we have greater chances for the title after each season.”
-Timo Werner; source: Bild via Goal
When Diego Costa arrived in 2014, legend says he told his teammates “I go into battle. You come with me”. And so we did, to the tune of two Premier League titles in three years. That’s not exactly Werner’s style; his plans are more calculated, more technical, more complex. But if we get him the ball, he’s going to carry us to glory just the same.