"At the moment I'm behind"

Published on 12.06.2021

Timo Werner

The boss came with sunglasses and a good mood. Joachim Löw cycled brilliantly to the training of the national team in the European Championship quarter in Herzogenaurach on Saturday morning. And had come up with something special for his players to warm up: Captain Manuel Neuer and his colleagues played a mixture of handball and “memory”, had to remember their pass partners and run through each other.

Jonas Hofmann from Borussia Mönchengladbach trained in the fitness tent next door. The midfielder had injured his knee in training during the week, but remains in team camp. His colleagues are working on the final subtleties to be able to pass Tuesday night against world champions France.

“Want to set a fragrance brand”

“We are dealing here with the detailed work in the tactical area and want to physically absorb the four-day rhythm of the tournament,” said Löw’s assistant coach Marcus Sorg Saturday afternoon. He would not say that the starting eleven is already complete. “The players are eager to play in front of spectators again,” says Sorg. “We want to set a fragrance brand and have confidence. We want to play attractively, with a lot of commitment and successfully in order to establish an identification with the fans.“

Toni Kroos

Timo Werner sees his chances of a starting eleven realistic. Although the 21-year-old striker has just won the Champions League with Chelsea, he is likely to remain only in the role of Joker. “At the moment I’m behind the starting eleven,” said the striker. “But I don’t sit in the stands with my arms crossed and sulk. The tournament is long, everyone is needed. It’s a team tournament. You put yourself at the service of the team. We’re ready. You have the urge to start.“

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But the 39-time international, who was relaxed in a virtual press conference on Saturday afternoon available for questions, will have to be patient. Apparently no problem for him. On the contrary, he thinks that you can develop as a striker when you come off the bench. One must learn to be ready exactly when the substitution takes place. “It’s normal at this level to sit on the bench, which is a step in a development. You also have to be goal-dangerous and give the coach the option that you can also help the team from the bench. There are also things that make you warm up well, ” said Werner, who moved from RB Leipzig to London in July 2020.

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There he plays, among others, with the Frenchman N’Golo Kanté, currently the best defensive midfielder in the world. “His greatest strength is that he is modest,” Werner said of his Chelsea team-mate: “That’s why everyone in the world loves him. He goes out on the pitch and plays football, there is nothing around it that distracts around his person. He bites into it and never lets go-even in training.”Kanté, Werner added, is a win for every team in the world. “His style of play is very valuable. In the big games he had so many ball wins that were very important. They gave us many moments and turned the games in our direction.“

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