Ahead of our opening action of the new year, Frank Lampard has been discussing the form and work of his German striker...
Timo Werner has the unwavering support of his manager as he continues to work hard to end a run without scoring. That was the emphatic message delivered by Frank Lampard ahead of our weekend meeting with Manchester City, the first action for Chelsea in 2021.
The Blues have picked up four of the last 15 points available and part of that dip in form has been attributed to a lack goals; we have netted six in the past five Premier League games compared to 12 in the five before that.
While those goals have dried up throughout the team, Werner has come under the spotlight on an individual level having not scored since our win over Sheffield United in the first week of November. However, Lampard has reiterated he is not concerned for his new forward and insists the only way to get through a tough period is to practise, perspire and perfect your technique.
‘Every player goes through tough times in front of goal and I always found that work at the training ground was the only way to turn that,’ explained the boss. ‘It’s about simple work, repetition of finishing, which Timo is doing now, and when you work like that then it’s a matter of time.
‘His natural attributes will get him in front of goal, get him away from defenders and get him those chances again. The beauty is that he’s been getting chances because that’s definitely a positive.
‘If his confidence is low from missing a couple, that’s only natural and it’s my job to help push him in a positive direction. I feel the goals will come.’
Many of Werner’s 34 goals for counter-attacking RB Leipzig last term were fashioned by the German bursting forward from halfway into space vacated in the opposition half, utilising his blistering speed and direct running.
However, Premier League opponents have proved less accommodating as many sit deep in low blocks, minimising that space and time on the ball. It is an aspect of English football that Werner, and our other new arrivals, are having to adapt to, although City will certainly not take that approach this weekend.
Nevertheless, Lampard is adamant his summer signings should be given time to adjust to new surroundings, and believes Werner will prove to be an attacking weapon against any defence he comes up against.
‘City will be a different game but we are a possession-based team and we usually have the lion’s share of possession,’ he continued.
‘We have generally found some low-block teams against us over the last period that we haven’t broken down well enough when actually we were earlier in the season so there are little tweaks we need to make to that.
‘Timo’s attributes can be very powerful on the counter-attack but there are lots of things that we need in the game against Manchester City on and off the ball. He’s always a huge weapon on that and I think he will become a huge weapon against low blocks as well.
‘It’s not that he can’t play against that - he’s sharp and he can finish so sometimes the onus is on us to get the ball into the right areas.’
Lampard will be hopeful that Timo’s target practice pays off on Sunday, with the team’s lack of points and goals ended against the visiting Citizens.