Timo Werner is a coach’s dream, because he’s a defender’s nightmare.
That’s according to RB Leipzig assistant coach Moritz Volz, who has been working with Werner since last summer and is thus better qualified than most in assessing one of Europe’s most exciting young strikers.
Only Robert Lewandowski had scored more goals in this curtailed Bundesliga season than Werner, whose dynamism and ruthlessness had helped Leipzig to third in the table, having been at the top earlier in the campaign, when football was called to a halt recently.
His excellence has obviously attracted the attention of plenty around the continent, with Bayern Munich and Liverpool the teams most frequently credited with an interest in Werner.
But what is the 24-year-old like to work with?
“I think most people – most coaches, most managers – will tell you that it’s a great feeling, a reassuring feeling, having a forward who is very, very able to to find a goal and put it in the net,” Volz told the Totally Football Show this week.
That perhaps sounds like an obvious thing to say, but Volz’s point was that having a player like Werner up front not only helps score goals, but also aids the rest of the team’s play, even when he’s not directly involved in it.
“That’s really Timo in a nutshell. Whether he’s having a good game or a bad game, he influences the game, because due to his pace and due to his nose for a goal and his danger in front of goal, his finishing ability with both feet and his head, he will occupy the minds of the opponent and he will effect how they play against you with Timo on the on the team. That’s really how how how I would sum him up.
“Apart from that, Timo is a very well raised, polite and funny individual who enjoys being being part of the team and enjoys being in this group and team and club environment.”
While football has completely ground to a halt in many places, in Germany life is continuing to some degree of normalcy, even if there are no games currently allowed to take place. Clubs have been able to train, to a limited degree, and there is even optimistic talk that the Bundesliga could return in early May.
“We as a club have been fortunate that we were able to to continue after a smaller break to train in small groups, so that’s what we’ve been doing,” Volz said.
“Obviously it’s far from the training that we’re used to, and also very unspecified because where we don’t know when our next game is at the moment. We really hope it to be the first or second weekend of May, and so the preparation is geared up towards that. We will work here according to what we are allowed to by the authorities.”
While training has been continuing, the pattern of it is tough to gauge because of the lack of certainty over the fixture list. There is no reference point, nothing that the sessions are specifically working towards, which presents its own problems.
“Normally when you when you train you know your next fixtures and everything is geared [towards that]. So you know when is a good time to have a down day etc.
“Obviously, it’s very unusual to have maybe three or four weeks of training without a game to play – even in pre-season, usually at the latest two weeks out [from competitive football] then you have you have a test game and you gear things towards that as well. So it is an unusual situation, but we feel very fortunate and privileged here that at least we were able to do our job and to have a small sense of normality, whilst everything is going on.”
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