Owen spots one flaw in Timo Werner's brilliant display in Chelsea's win over Sheffield United
Michael Owen has criticised Timo Werner’s poor positioning despite the forward’s playing a big part in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.
The 24-year-old’s poor goalscoring form continues, but he surely made the difference at Bramall Lane.
He was involved in both Chelsea goals in the game, providing the assist for Mason Mount’s first-half opener before winning the penalty for Jorginho’s match-winning goal.
Speaking after the game, Owen praised Werner’s contribution but also highlighted the former RB Leipzig ace’s poor positioning.
“I find him [Werner] an interesting watch, really,” the former England international told Premier League Productions’ Matchday Live (via Optus Sport) on Sunday.
“Because he does some things brilliantly well and some [other] things [that makes me] scratch my head.
“He stands offside a lot of the time, even when he’s facing right across the line and he knows he’s offside.
“For someone who is so quick, he doesn’t time his runs [well].
“But he’s very direct, he can score goals.
“He’s had a barren patch, but he’s always scored goals throughout his career, so I wouldn’t be too worried about that.”
Owen also believes Werner is going to thrive playing in the inside forward position in Tuchel’s 3-4-3 formation which gives him space to run behind a striker.
“Cutting in from that left-hand side, I think it suits him,” he added.
Although Owen’s criticism might sound very harsh given Werner was only caught offside once against Sheffield Utd.
However, Werner certainly could improve his positioning during games.
According to Opta (via Premier League’s official website), Werner has been caught offsides 16 times this season, joint fifth-most in the league.
His tendency to lurk in offside positions with the objective of snapping up sloppy back passes certainly pays off at times — like what we saw in the build-up to the second goal on Sunday.
But as Owen pointed out, with his pace (and Chelsea’s having the possession of the ball most of the time), Werner might want to dial down that natural instinct of his.