Alan Smith column: Why a rest against Arsenal will give Timo Werner cup final optimism


bear in mind the group sheet being pinned up and seeing my title — usually excellent news for any footballer. However this was 4 days earlier than Arsenal’s FA Cup Final against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993. Picked to face Tottenham, I knew immediately I wouldn’t be enjoying at Wembley.

I considered that second whereas commentating on Chelsea’s shock defeat to the Gunners on Wednesday. The digital camera lower to Timo Werner sitting within the stand. Demoted to the subs’ bench, the striker will need to have identified he now stood a nice probability of dealing with Leicester in tomorrow’s Wembley showpiece.

Likewise, Kai Havertz most likely suspected he wasn’t going to make it, particularly as his inclusion didn’t repay. In contrast to the house sport against Fulham, when Havertz grabbed a couple of targets to influence Thomas Tuchel to play him against Actual Madrid, the younger German didn’t do sufficient against Arsenal to catch the supervisor’s eye.


Although it isn’t simple second-guessing Tuchel, I might be very stunned if Werner doesn’t get the nod. Generally, you turn out to be a higher participant with out kicking a ball. Werner’s runs had been missed against Arsenal. No person may get behind the guests’ deep-lying defence.

Getty Photos

Leicester have been a bit prone to that these days. Their house sport against Newcastle, for example, noticed Callum Wilson trigger all types of bother with well-timed sprints. Caglar Soyuncu, specifically, simply couldn’t cope, getting caught in awkward positions excessive up the pitch.

The Foxes, in any case, do prefer to push up so as to squeeze the opposition. Whereas I can’t think about that altering, supervisor Brendan Rodgers will have made plans for the specter of Werner, who naturally drifts to the left facet.

That creates an fascinating duel with Wesley Fofana, an excellent younger defender with loads of tempo. My outdated group may additionally do with Jonny Evans getting back from harm to organise the techniques for Werner’s containment.

The German striker hasn’t been wanting critics in his first season at Chelsea. He’s missed a lot of possibilities and acquired caught offside too simply. When pressed just lately on the topic, Tuchel admitted that his countryman wanted to “take a bit extra care along with his beginning place”.

Werner is so swift he doesn’t must go early. He can give most defenders a yard and nonetheless get there first. To be sincere, it’s a shocking fault for a 25-year-old with 38 caps for Germany. You’ll have anticipated him to have ironed out that crease by now.

Nonetheless, I’m a large fan of the lad. He’s as sincere as they arrive, a actual trier each time.

And, not like me in 1993, he acquired a rest on Wednesday to set him up for Wembley.

Southampton vs Fulham (3pm, Saturday)

With relegation confirmed, Fulham may effectively do with out the final three video games of the season. I don’t suppose Scott Parker can muster a lot enthusiasm, both. For him, it’s all about planning for an additional gruelling marketing campaign within the Championship. Parker has a lot on his plate, so figuring out Fulham’s destiny now offers him a little additional time to get issues completed.

An apparent place to begin is the mortgage scenario. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Joachim Andersen, Ademola Lookman, Ola Aina, Mario Lemina, Josh Maja: all of them performed large components this season. So, who will keep and who will go? It seems like Parker will must construct a complete new group.


Brighton vs West Ham (8pm, Saturday)

Brighton away, West Brom away and Southampton at house. That’s not a dangerous end for West Ham and provides them a probability of ending with a flourish whereas preserving these above sincere of their bid for top-four spots. David Moyes will need higher than the limp show at Everton. The Hammers lacked punch, whereas accidents to Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell disrupted their rhythm.

Speaking of accidents, those to Declan Rice and Mark Noble have severely weakened central midfield. Tomas Soucek can’t get ahead as a lot now. Even so, this sport against a facet secure from relegation provides encouragement.

Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa (12pm, Sunday)

All types of names are being talked about as potential replacements for Roy Hodgson. I’m unsure how he would react to that. We don’t know, in any case, whether or not Hodgson is staying, though all of the indicators level to a change.

Frank Lampard is the newest to be linked, however that doesn’t appear to be a good match. A large overhaul awaits at Selhurst Park, the place 17 gamers are out of contract subsequent month. Palace face a large rebuilding job, a activity that may stretch essentially the most skilled of managers. Lampard clearly isn’t that, whereas the targets against column throughout his time at Stamford Bridge proved he nonetheless has a lot to study on the high degree.

Tottenham vs Wolves (2:05pm, Sunday)

In beating Tottenham 3-1 final week, Leeds gave a footballing lesson to gamers way more skilled. If that was worrying, the actual fact Tottenham have but to decide on a new supervisor creates different issues. It’s tough to correctly plan for subsequent season by way of switch targets and gamers transferring on, as the brand new boss will need to have a say.

On the finish of a season, names turn out to be obtainable that weren’t two weeks earlier than, so it will be silly to leap the gun. Within the meantime, a bit extra effort within the remaining video games would go a great distance.

Japan UK Journey


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here