Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel tells Timo Werner to stop overthinking his goal quest

Nick Purewal, PA
·4-min read

Thomas Tuchel has told Chelsea forward Timo Werner to stop overthinking his quest for goals.

Werner fluffed a tap-in as Germany slumped to a shock 2-1 loss to North Macedonia on Wednesday, for their first World Cup qualifying defeat since 2001.

The 25-year-old has mustered just two goals in 31 games for club and country since a brace in Germany’s 3-1 win over Ukraine on November 14, with his confidence at a low ebb.

Southampton v Chelsea – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium
Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has told Timo Werner to stop overthinking his struggles in front of goal (Michael Steele/PA)

Chelsea boss Tuchel revealed he barred Werner from extra finishing practice on Thursday, however.

Tuchel confirmed that Werner will start for Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Brom at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues’ German boss determined to coax the pacy forward back into form.

“This guy has scored goals since he was five years old, and he never stopped, so he can trust that his brain and his body remembers to do that because it is absolutely usual for him to score,” said Tuchel.

“So it will come back; it is just a matter of time.

“But it is much easier said than done because for me this is the moment not to think about it and not to read about it, and not even to train extra.

“Yesterday I sent him in from training because he wanted to do some finishing with us. I just sent him in.

“I said ‘you don’t need that, your body, your brain knows how to score; you did it since you were five years old so don’t worry, it will come’.

“If a woman does not want to go out with you to dinner, you cannot force her to, you just step a little bit back and maybe she will call you up. So the goals will come.

“But of course he needs to do something for it, and the best thing to do is not to think about and work hard.

“Work hard against the ball, work hard, be reliable with the ball, do your runs, don’t hesitate and be fearless.

“Don’t overthink it. It is very easy for me to say because we aren’t out there and everybody is pointing fingers at him, but this is the challenge right now.

“This is how I see it. He will start tomorrow and here we go.”

Werner boasted 12 goals for club and country after that brace against Ukraine in November, but since then, his well of goals has run dry.

Germany’s 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain sparked his horrid barren spell, with only goals against Morecambe in the FA Cup and Newcastle in the Premier League as rare respite.

Chelsea boss Tuchel revealed his frustrations with wider reactions to Werner’s funk in front of goal, insisting the star striker must now ignore not only all that noise – but also any nagging doubts in his own mind.

Timo Werner missed a big chance for Germany
Timo Werner missed a big chance for Germany (Martin Meissner/AP)

“First of all, it was a bad pass from Ilkay Gundogan; that’s how I see it!” said Tuchel.

“No, I am just joking of course.

“He misses that chance and everyone is passionate to talk about it, which is a bit annoying.

“It’s enough to talk about Timo Werner, but then people blame Timo Werner, but the truth is he did not start three times for Germany.

“So maybe if he’d had more minutes they would have scored more.

“It’s an easy solution at the moment to point the finger at Timo which I cannot fully understand, and I will not accept.

“And I’m happy that he’s back here, because here he’s protected.

“We demand a lot from him and we get a lot from him.

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“The best thing is to look at the situation honestly, not focus on the bad things, but look at it honestly.

“Which is that, yes, he is in a moment where he lacks confidence, where things are not too easy.

“The ball simply does not work out like it usually works out, but he works hard for us.

“Let’s say, if this is the most critical point of his career so far, look at the data, look at the statistics.

“He scores still for us, he is making assists for us, he is winning decisive penalties for us.

“So if this is the most critical point in your career, you can still accept it and say ‘OK it’s pretty impressive so far’.

“And I trust and I hope that he does the same, and I talk to him about it.”