Hero today, gone tomorrow? Why Werner's winner will not save his Chelsea season
Chelsea were again far from their best on Saturday afternoon as they faced Southampton at Stamford Bridge, eventually winning 3-1.
A quick start from the home side led to a deserved goal as Trevoh Chalobah headed home, but they were pegged back around the hour mark when James Ward-Prowse struck home from the penalty spot.
Chelsea, and Thomas Tuchel in particular, started to show their frustrations as both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku had goals disallowed.
But, the German would ultimately score the most important goal of the game in the 84th minute, tapping home after the assist from Cesar Azpilicueta.
Ben Chilwell would add a third not long after as Chelsea took the game beyond Southampton.
It was a nice moment for Werner as he can walk away from his day as the match-winner.
In his mind, it might lead to more chances in the starting XI, but unfortunately for Werner, that still seems unlikely for a few reasons.
Firstly, the only reason Werner has been given a start over the last 10 days or so is that Mason Mount has been out injured.
Initially, this made Tuchel change from a 3-4-3 to a 3-5-2 with Werner coming in to partner Romelu Lukaku up front.
That formation was played when Chelsea lost 1-0 to Manchester City.
After that, he was dropped for the Champions League loss against Juventus.
With Mount still struggling for fitness, Werner was brought back into the start XI versus Southampton in one of the number 10 spots behind Lukaku.
Tuchel has said it is possible that Chelsea could play with two up top with Werner and Lukaku, but the only time they have played this they lost the most important game of the campaign so far against City.
Werner: A popular figure at Chelsea
Against Southampton, nobody had more shots on goal and on target than Werner, as he struck six shots in total with only one leading to a goal.
Until he eventually got his goal, frustration was palpable in the stands, particularly after he burst his way into the box with only the keeper to beat, only to send a shot straight at the oncoming Alex McCarthy.
One look on social media after the game and you could see that most Chelsea fans were delighted for Werner to finally get on the scoresheet.
Deserved his goal today. 💙 pic.twitter.com/JXKtvzkoR1— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 2, 2021
However, this was due to his infectious desire to score rather than the quality he showed.
He never, ever gives up and fans love that.
But, buzzwords like "never gives up" and "perseverance" can only get Werner so far at this level, and Tuchel simply can't rely on him to regularly find the back of the net.
Yes, he may have scored the most important goal of the game, but it should be said that he could hardly miss.
The movement was excellent, but his goal came from just a few yards out and can't be viewed as a barometer for his performance.
Werner played well, but part of the reason Chelsea improved as the game went on was the presence of Mount, who made his return off the bench.
In the end, Tuchel will go with the golden boy, Mount, £72 million man Havertz and £95m man Lukaku.
Werner is certainly not doing his chances any harm by finding the back of the net in a key game, but the goal against Southampton probably won't be the one that turns his season around.