Tuchel addresses his ‘direct’ criticism of Werner positioning

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has addressed his criticism of struggling striker Timo Werner, after footage emerged of the former Mainz boss pulling up his compatriot over his positioning.

The former RB Leipzig forward has endured a difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge, having scored just four times in his 27 Premier League appearances thus far, the change in manager yet to bring about an improvement following his struggles in front of goal.

After having been a prolific marksman in the Bundesliga in recent seasons – scoring 78 goals in 127 league appearances at Leipzig – it’s come as a shock to everyone to see the German international squander so many big opportunities of late.

The 25-year-old’s woes were compounded on Monday night, after new boss Tuchel was filmed criticising Werner during Chelsea‘s home game against Everton, the footage showing him telling his player that he was playing on the wrong flank.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Leeds United, Tuchel has addressed that viral video, insisting he was merely being ‘direct’ towards his player in order to pass on information.

“It was very direct, and at the moment without spectators, things like this can get out there,” Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference. “I was aware [of the video] because people around me showed me.

“We reminded Timo to rejoin his position on the right because he was on the left too long. Switching positions is not a problem but we wanted Callum [Hudson-Odoi] on the left and Timo on the right side to make things easier for him. We reminded him but it was not an insult or aggressive. It was direct.

“I know what you mean but in the end, if it is respectful and not insulting each other [it is fine]. I have no problem with the players being direct to me and sometimes on the sideline, the coaches are in a game mode where things are direct and meant to be clear.

“Sometimes things are not pronounced in the most friendly or nice way. I agree but me and the players are in a game mode. I have the feeling that no one takes it too personally. It is about passing information. This is it.”

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See also – Player Analysis: Can Callum Hudson-Odoi become a generational talent?

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