Tuchel offers Werner friendly fire; explains where defensive strength has come from
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said he was not left frustrated with Timo Werner after the win at Manchester City, but has offered the flyer some advice.
TV pundit Ian Wright has gone on record as saying Werner’s habit of straying offside is down to the German being “lazy”. While Paul Merson claimed Tuchel must drop the 25-year-old and play Christian Pulisic for the Champions League final against City. Tuchel though calmed the furore around the striker at his press conference on Tuesday.
Not only has the £47.5m summer arrival from RB Leipzig struggled for goals this season, but he has also regularly been caught in offside positions.
No more so than at The Eithad with two goals ruled out for offside against Manchester City due to Werner’s positioning. Chelsea also had a goal chalked off during the Champions League win over Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Tuchel though took the questioning surrounding Werner’s form in his stride.
Tuchel said: “I’ve no frustration with Timo being offside. He will improve and learn from that.
“He did though offer the forward some pointers.
“Maybe don’t take too much risk, take more care about his starting position. There is room for improvement but it’s one of his strengths to play on the edge,” said the German boss.
“Don’t forget, he is the guy that gave the assist so was again involved. A short one-on-one run and a nice cutback. He is involved in our chances and there is still room for improvement. That’s the way you’d want it.”
Chelsea face Arsenal on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta claiming Chelsea are the “best team in the Premier League in the last few months”.
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Much of that is down to Chelsea’s new-found defensive strength. The Blues, who sit in fourth place in the Premier League, has conceded just nine goals since Tuchel took over in January. And five of those were in the recent, freak 5-2 defeat to West Brom.
Asked what he puts the improvement down to, Tuchel said: “If we train it’s a lot in the video room and video sessions. Sometimes five minutes is enough on the field to have an understanding of details and situations to where we can improve.
“We’ve done a lot in the video rooms. It was easy. From the first minute in the first game, we defended very courageously and defended with solidarity as a team.
“It’s a big team effort how we defend. We are allowed to do mistakes because there is someone there to cover. Football is a very complex game so our training is more or less about mirroring offensive and defensive situations.
“From then on we go and try to help everyone individually.”
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