As a man in a bunny suit might’ve said, 100 days, 1000 minutes, 14 games, 31 shots. That’s how long it will take for the drought to end.
It wasn’t the prettiest thing you’ll ever see, and not just because of a cut lip suffered earlier in the game, but Timo Werner finally scored a Premier League goal, his fifth of the season and first since November 7. And there was much rejoicing.
“He worked really hard for that. He was very decisive with assists and winning penalties in the last games and today, a goal and this is a super, super pint for him. I am happy because he put in a lot of effort and so now I think it is a big relief but we saw it coming.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
It’s a testament to Werner that he kept grinding even as fortune continued to not favor him, sometimes in extreme ways. Even on this goal, he had to wait for VAR to check whether the hairs on Olivier Giroud’s hand made any contact with the ball or, perhaps, whether they could have Jamaal Lascelles get away with another penalty in some random fashion.
Werner may lead the league in woodworks hit with five, but he’s also won countless penalties (most of which were then given to Jorginho to score), contributed with multiple assists, and has been a constant threat especially when able to use his blistering speed.
A bit of extra motivation in his native language also hasn’t hurt.
“It’s helped me that someone can scream at me in German — he’s a really good guy — has a good idea of the football we want to play and when we have more and more training sessions with him we will get better and better.”
“We want to keep going. Only four points to second place and lots have said we won’t reach top four at the end of the season but here we are. We have a good shape, we’re back on track.”
-Timo Werner; source: BBC
It would certainly be a great time for Werner, who can be a bit of a streaky goalscorer, to open the floodgates. The fixture list is getting tougher and as controlled and solid as Chelsea have been under Tuchel thus far, we haven’t really been tested all that much and the goals still haven’t exactly come easy.
Tuchel does have a plan, as one would expect. Like Lampard, he seems to prefer Werner operating as an inside left rather than as an out-and-out center forward, and that’s where Timo thinks he’s best as well.
“Timo was decisive with an assist and goal, I am very happy with that and he was working hard in the last few matches. He can play as a double striker, as a number nine if he is clever enough to use his speed and runs but his favourite position is if he can move out to the left.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Sky via BBC
That certainly paid dividends last night. More of the same please next weekend!