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Thomas Tuchel urges Timo Werner to ‘put his chin up’, move on from missed chances

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Lessons

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Leg One Photo by DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Every good striker misses a lot of big chances, since it is his quality as a striker that gets him so many big chances to score in the first place. There is no doubt that Chelsea centre-forward Timo Werner is one of such, doing every major and minor thing you expect from a player of his stature. But the final touch is almost always what fails him — a tale as old as time in the sport, since high success rates in strikes would make football scorelines much bigger than they are.

This is not to say that Werner’s situation is not worrisome, and neither is manager Thomas Tuchel’s insistence in putting the guy on the pitch week in and out as centre-forward when last season’s top goalscorer Tammy Abraham is available. And missing chances like the big one he had in front of former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois less than 10 minutes into the Champions League semifinal first leg against Real Madrid can oftentimes be what makes or breaks a big occasion like yesterday’s.

Good thing that matches last much longer than that and four minutes later, Christian Pulisic was rounding Courtois to score the first ever CL semifinal goal by an American player. Werner himself persisted and tried to get in the scoreline as well, although he never got as good of a chance as the big one he missed.

Nevertheless, we moved on. And we should continue to do so, putting mistakes behind us and still doing the right things to earn those big chances.

“[Werner] missed a big one at West Ham and another one here. That doesn’t help. But it also does not help to cry about it. There are millions of people who have harder things to deal with than missed chances. This is the good thing about sport. Nobody cares tomorrow.

“We were sad and angry at the time. He is angry and maybe ­disappointed. [Today] he has a free day. Then he has to put his chin up. He is in the positions. We will never stop pushing. If he scores in the next game nobody will speak about it.”

-Thomas Tuchel; Source: Guardian

Of all sentiments that football brings into the fore, frustration is one of the biggest. Watch a match between footballing giants and you will be witness to several head-scratching moments and jaw-dropping misses from some of the best players in history.

But what made them great at the end of the day was not a high conversion rate, a negative expected goals to goals statistic or any other numerical value. It was rather the ability to overcome adversities and with a mix of talent and luck, getting the chance to lift the biggest trophies in football.

And we can still create this kind of greatness this season. The journey has certainly not been frustration-free, but those will be forgotten the moment silverware is ours.