For as much as people doubted the interim hiring of Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich, the erstwhile coach was there to prove them wrong.
Remember the desperate calls for Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, and Erik ten Hag? Many fans were ready to dismiss Flick before he ever threw on his navy blue polo shirt. Now, the masses have lit their torches, sharpened their pitchfork tines, and gathered their online army, ready to pounce every time Timo Werner takes a bad touch.
Flick, however, has always had a plan for Werner — even going back to his Bayern Munich days. Back when Flick was at the helm in Bavaria, one of the big disagreements the sextuple-winning manager had with sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic was over Flick wanting to bring in Werner and Salihamidzic repeatedly telling him, “No.”
Now, that plan is in effect and Werner has five goals and one assist in five games under Flick. Moreover, if Werner can refine his finishing further, he could be that offensive catalyst that Germany has been lacking.
It is more than Flick, though. Werner’s teammates have come out in defense of their teammate’s quality.
Now, the question will be if Werner can continue to block out the naysayers and maintain his progression upward or if he will fall back into the rut of letting what people say or thumb out on social media affect his confidence and form.
Werner, though, should just embrace the hate.
It’s there, it’s not going anywhere, and the second he makes a mistake, the online masses gather to chase him out of town like is 2021’s Footballing Frankenstein.
Werner seems like an affable enough fella, but he should just start playing the role of a heel at this point — and revel in it.
When he scores, he should put his hand under his ear and gesture to the crowd. Heck, he might as well dole out a few crotch chops as well for good measure. For good measure, Werner might even want to have someone design a Ric Flair-esque robe that he can wear on to the pitch for introductions.
If people want you to be the heel...just give them what they want. In today’s culture of social media, you cannot change their mind.
Given Werner’s history, that won’t happen — he’s too nice of a guy. And while he might have some questionable eating habits (ketchup on pasta?), the former RB Leipzig star just wants to play football.
Time will tell if he can continue on this trajectory, but Werner has Flick — and a talented cast of German teammates backing him. The 25-year-old probably could not ask for a better support structure and he’ll need it.
With his pace and ability to make things happen in even the tiniest slivers of space already part of his arsenal, Werner will now have to improve his efficiency around the net.
If he can do that, this could be a special run for Germany. Either way, though, the doubters and naysayers won’t be going away any time soon.
Werner will have to strengthen his own armor to deal with hate and catcalls that will inevitably be coming his way, regardless of whether he is successful or not.
Or he could just embrace the hate and let it fuel him as he seeks to reach new heights in his career.
“I’m Timo Werner! The stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ and dealin’ son of a gun.”