The pressure is on Frank Lampard’s shoulders to start getting the best out of his under-performing strikers.
Chelsea’s former midfielder was going great guns in his first Premier League management role at the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign, and the club’s 17-match unbeaten run glossed over the fact that both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were having a nightmare settling in to life at Stamford Bridge.
Since the Blues started to slip away from the summit, however, questions are beginning to be asked.
Former Arsenal star, Martin Keown, believes he knows just the remedy for Lampard to get the best out of Werner at least.
“Werner has spent most of this season on the left wing,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“Out there, he doesn’t test full backs the way someone such as Callum Hudson-Odoi or Christian Pulisic does, with direct running and a desire to burst beyond the opponent.
“The 24-year-old German is a centre forward who is more interested in putting his blistering pace to use by chasing balls over the top.
“You wouldn’t use Jamie Vardy on the wing, so why should it be different for Werner?
“The rapid former RB Leipzig striker went 12 games without a goal, but back in his favoured position in the FA Cup, he ended that drought.”
Though Keown’s comments aren’t without merit, the issue for Lampard is getting the balance in his team right.
In order to accomodate Havertz centrally, Werner has to play out on the wing. If Werner is to start centrally, than Havertz is reduced to the wide man role.
That’s without taking into account the likes of Christian Pulisic et al.