Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel learnt Timo Werner lesson the hard way in West Brom defeat – TCC View - The Chelsea Chronicle

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel learnt Timo Werner lesson the hard way in West Brom defeat – TCC View

Chelsea striker Timo Werner failed to register any shot on target as the Blues’ unbeaten run under Thomas Tuchel ended with a 5-2 loss to West Brom on Saturday.

The 25-year-old offers a unique skill set and could be the difference-maker as the furthest player up front in the team in certain situations.

However, the clash with West Brom, was not one of those situations, as the humbling defeat suggests.

Thomas Tuchel was not exactly out of central forward options either.

He had Olivier Giroud and Kai Havertz on the bench and Tammy Abraham who did not even make the matchday squad.

But he opted for Werner, and it unfortunately did not pay off.

Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea lacked presence in the box

The thing with Werner is that he is not a player who is comfortable with physical duels inside the 18-yard box.

He prefers to roam, usually to the left side of the pitch, to find vacated space instead.

It would not have been a big problem if he played in a two-striker system, but he was the lone No.9 yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, the Germany international made just five touches inside the penalty box throughout the game (Statsbomb via FBref).

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

To put it into perspective, Marcos Alonso who played as a left wing-back had nine touches inside the box, while Kai Havertz who was on the pitch for 20 minutes had three.

Obviously, Werner still provided an assist for Mason Mount, thanks to his composure in front of the goal, but Chelsea lacked a No.9 presence at times during the game.

Not to mention that their most active creator in the game was Reece James (seven shot-creating actions) who would have liked to have Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham as his targets.

Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Tuchel must pick right games to play Werner up front

This does not necessarily mean that Werner should never play as a No.9 again.

As Tuchel proved in last month’s wins over Atletico Madrid (second leg) and Liverpool, it could work very well.

But when Chelsea were expected to dominate the possession and force the opposition to sit back like on Saturday, even Werner would have preferred to play in a deeper role.

Gerry is a Chelsea supporter who has more than five years of experience in online publishing. He started out writing for Chelsea fan blogs during his high school years, before writing for several local sport news outlets. After graduating in NCTJ-accredited sports journalism MA at the University of Sunderland, he has worked as a freelance writer for The Chelsea Chronicle since 2020. He is a big fan of football statistics and strongly believes that sooner or later, the xG Gods always catch up. He is also a proud member of Michael Ballack fan club.