Timo Werner says the Chelsea team are eager for the start of the new Premier League season today and hungry to add domestic success to our recent European silverware.
This week, the Blues added the UEFA Super Cup to the Champions League trophy we lifted at the end of last season, but now attention turns back to England as we open our Premier League campaign by hosting Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.
Werner insists the focus of himself and the rest of the Chelsea squad is firmly on the future and not on past successes, as they know we begin from scratch in the Premier League with new goals to achieve and fresh challenges to face.
‘Like always, I think it’s a new start for everybody,’ he said. ‘Everybody begins at zero. It will be a long season again, but we have a lot of targets we want to reach this year, as a team and also for myself, and we’re looking forward to the season starting again.
‘As a team, there are a lot of competitions to try and win again. We won the Champions League last year, the biggest competition in Europe. It’s not easy after a win like that to come back and to be hungry, but I think we have a team which is very young, with a good mix, and which stays hungry.
‘This is a squad which wants to, for example, win the Premier League this year and win the Champions League again. So we are still hungry. There are a lot of competitions this year and we want to be in all of the competitions as long as we can.’
As well as the chance for more success, another reason the striker is excited for the start of the new season is the opportunity to get to know the Chelsea supporters at Stamford Bridge better, as fans are returning to Premier League matches in large numbers for the first time since March 2020 this weekend, following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in England.
Having only had limited opportunities to play in front of the Chelsea supporters since joining the club last summer, that means the German is eager to thank the fans for the backing they have given him, especially after hearing them singing his name on the few occasions he has been able to play in front of a crowd for the Blues.
‘Of course when I heard it the first time I was proud, it makes you feel very good because it’s a big honour when the fans give you something like that and stand behind you, so I was very happy and hopefully they’ll be singing it a lot this season.
‘We’ve had now one-and-a-half years without fans in the stadium. On the one side of course it’s a little bit more quiet in the stadium, you can communicate with your team-mates a bit better.
‘But on the other side when you have the fans in the stadium and they are pushing you and they give you the power in the game, that’s something special. That’s what we want to play football for, so everybody is glad the fans are back and we start the season with fans in the stadium.
‘I’m lucky now to be playing in front of the people, because last season it only happened one or two times at home, but now with a big crowd it is something special. Also, when you come to a new club and you have one year with no fans in the stadium it is a bit weird, but now maybe it is like a new start with them.’