Timo Werner? He’s no Messi or Ronaldo, you know…

Date published: Tuesday 9th June 2020 11:42

Timo Werner RB Leipzig Chelsea

Timo Werner needs to go to little Chelsea and develop obviously. He’s not Messi, you know…

 

Timo after Timo
You will be astonished to learn that Mirror columnist Stan Collymore has joined the queue of ex-Liverpool players saying that they never really fancied Timo Werner anyway. After all, how could the Premier League champions-elect possibly find a place for a striker who has scored 31 goals already this season?

‘He’s a good, solid striker with promise – an all-rounder who holds the ball up well, is mobile, gets into the box and scores goals.’

He’s a ‘good, solid striker’ who has scored more goals this season than any other top-flight player in the world barring Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland. He is not Ashley bloody Barnes, Stan.

‘But the Liverpool fans sobbing about missing out on him can spare me the tears because he’s not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo and the way some have reacted, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was some sort of reincarnation of both.’

Yes, because the only players who could possibly improve this Liverpool squad are the very best players of the century. Anyone else can basically sod off.

‘This isn’t to knock Werner or Chelsea because they’re a cracking fit for each other at this point in time, and the Stamford Bridge faithful should be delighted they have got him.

‘He will enhance their young team, making them solid top-four contenders and a side that will go deep in domestic and European cup competitions.’

That will be nice for little Chelsea, who have literally finished in the top four 14 times in the last 17 seasons, during which time they have won eight domestic cups and three European trophies.

‘But Liverpool are the European champions, world champions and soon-to-be Premier League champions, and there would be massive pressure on him as the summer’s marquee signing at Anfield on the back of all that.

‘Add in the fact that Liverpool already have arguably the best-balanced front three in the world and I’m struggling to see where Werner would have fitted in.

‘I wouldn’t have seen him displacing any of them and, given everything that team has done together, I could even have seen him flopping.’

Never mind that by the end of June, all three members of Liverpool’s forward line will be 28; there’s no place at this club for one of the hottest young strikers in the world.

Never mind that when Liverpool needed goals against Atletico Madrid, they had to throw on Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino; there’s no place at this club for one of the hottest young strikers in the world.

Thankfully, nobody at Liverpool ever gets injured.

‘Sometimes in football, you have to ask yourself where you are in your career and, fair play to him, he looks to have done that.

‘He knows he’s not the finished article yet and that’s what Liverpool will be looking for even if they aren’t the sort of signings Jurgen Klopp is fabled for making.’

Hmmm. Pretty sure he would have backed himself to succeed at Liverpool if they had signed him. After all, he has scored 31 goals this season. That really is quite a lot.

And how insightful of Collymore to declare that Klopp is on the verge of breaking the habits of his entire career by only signing ‘finished articles’. It’s barely more than 12 months since he said that Liverpool needed two ‘marquee signings’ to win the title. How did that go?

‘Take Harry Kane’s career trajectory as an example of what I’m saying – if he had been chucked into Manchester City’s first team a few years ago he probably wouldn’t have thrived.

‘But at Tottenham he was playing Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League games and had the time to develop, which is exactly what Chelsea will afford Werner.’

Yes, let’s take Harry Kane as an example. When ‘he was playing Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League games and had the time to develop’, he was 20 years old and would not have thrived at Manchester City. But nor would Manchester City have wanted him.

But Werner is now 24. And at 24 he is scoring at roughly the same rate as Kane at 24, at which point he would absolutely have thrived at Manchester City – and they would have torn off the hands of Tottenham had he been offered at just £50m.

Oh and Werner (not barely out of his teens) has already played 14 games in the Champions League – he is now in the Champions League quarter-finals, unlike either Liverpool or Kane – and he will doubtless add to those at Chelsea.

Basically, the Kane example is shit.

‘As for the notion that Jurgen Klopp couldn’t justify Werner’s fee, I’m sure there is an element of the Kop boss not wanting to appear gaudy or louche in the current climate.

‘He’s not a Billy Bull*****er after all.

‘Had he firmly believed Werner would be the next Sergio Aguero or Fernando Torres, though, I’m pretty sure he’d have been whipping out the old chequebook in a heartbeat.’

Pretty sure it’s not his chequebook to ‘whip out’, Stan.

Breaking news: It’s okay to admit that signing a player you did not manage to sign for whatever reason would have been quite nice.

 

Testing times
Oh wow. Stan’s ‘Collywobbler’ really is quite special this week. He believes it is ‘absolutely barmy that Premier League referees haven’t been tested as rigorously as players’.

Because of course referees – training alone and taking refresher courses by Zoom – are exactly as vulnerable to the virus as footballers who are engaged in full contact training with about 30 other footballers.

‘By leaving it this late to start testing officials, the top flight has potentially opened the door to the virus.’

It really, really hasn’t. This is going to blow your mind but if any Premier League referee tests positive then they will not be refereeing games. It’s a simple system but we think it might just work.

 

Inflation
Alan Nixon, The Sun, June 1: ‘MANCHESTER UNITED are leading the race for Germany’s next big thing – Kai Havertz…They are expected to start with a £50million offer but may need to go further to get their man.’

Andrew Dillon, The Sun, June 9: ‘CHELSEA are now ready to go head-to-head with Manchester United in a £70million battle for Kai Havertz.’

What a difference a week makes (in which Kai Havertz did not actually play). Is that global recession over already?

 

Wizardry
But who is Kai Havertz? Well, he ‘looks like Harry Potter, is devoted to girlfriend Sophie Weber, and relaxes by playing piano’ (The Sun).

Does he look like Harry Potter? Or did he just dress up as Harry Potter for a fancy dress party and you happen to have a picture? We are leaning heavily towards the latter.

 

Quote unquote
Elsewhere on the back page of The Sun, ‘MANCHESTER UNITED have been sounded out over a cut-price deal for long-term target James Rodriguez’.

Within a couple of hours, the MailOnline have moved it on: ‘Manchester United ‘weigh up a cut-price move for Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez’ with Spanish giants looking to offload the Colombia star.’

Not to author: If you are going to put quote marks anywhere near the words ‘weigh up’ then do make sure that someone, anyone, has said that Manchester United are doing exactly that.

And yes, we are pernickety f***ers.

 

Ask a simple question
‘THERE will be no ball boys when the Premier League resumes. So who does Jose Mourinho blame if his Tottenham side get beat?’ asks Dave Kidd in The Sun, partying like it’s 2018.

The referee? The groundsman? Tanguy Ndombele? Priti Patel? You? Us? He will not be short of options.

 

Football365 shithouse headline of the day
Two key players could leave Chelsea in new transfer policy

Not so much a shithouse headline this (not naming players is no longer shithouse but standard), but it’s based purely on the 12th-15th paragraphs of a 15-paragraph story in The Sun. Which is pretty low, both literally and metaphorically.

Oh and it’s about Chelsea and you can clickbait it all you like, but nobody really cares about Chelsea. Make it about Liverpool or Manchester United next time, dirty Joe Williams. Now bugger off on furlough.

 

Recommended reading of the day
Ben Fisher talks to footballer-turned-bricklayer Billy Kee

Tom Hamilton on the end of home advantage

 

Recommended watching of the day

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