Thomas Tuchel drew on a dating analogy as he tried to make Timo Werner relax about his struggles in front of goal, telling the Chelsea striker that sometimes it helps to give a woman space and let her ask you out for dinner.
Werner struggled during the international break and missed a glaring opportunity during Germany’s 2-1 defeat by North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying. The 25-year-old faced ridicule in Germany after scuffing wide of an almost empty net when the game was level.
Yet Tuchel intends to start Werner when West Bromwich Albion visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Chelsea’s manager offered support to the £47m forward, who has scored 10 goals since leaving RB Leipzig last summer, and does not want him doing extra shooting practice.
“He misses the chance and everybody is passionate to talk about it, which is a bit annoying,” Tuchel said. “It’s easy to point the finger to Timo, which I will not accept. I am happy he is back here because here he is protected.
“This guy scores since he’s five years old. It’s not the moment to even train extra. Yesterday I sent him in from training because he wanted to do some finishing with us. I said: ‘You don’t need that, your body and your brain knows how to score.’
“If a woman does not want to go out for dinner with you, you cannot force her. You can just step a little bit back, then maybe she will call you up. The goals will come.”
Tuchel, who said that N’Golo Kanté was likely to miss the first leg of Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final against Porto on Wednesday, was not happy with the focus on Werner. “I refuse to look at the chance against North Macedonia,” the German said. “I am pretty sure for every striker in the world I can make a video of their biggest misses.”
Chelsea are in the running to sign the Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, and Tuchel indicated he was thinking about reinforcements this summer. “Honestly if we have a transfer ban tomorrow I would be a happy coach next season,” he said. “But I have ideas how to maybe improve this team. But it’s difficult. We have top guys in the dressing room and I will allow nobody to ruin that. It’s not like a puzzle where you take out a piece and put the next piece in. This is a complex situation.”