Germany is holding its team camp and there are not many people more happy to be there than RB Leipzig attacker Timo Werner.
Werner made his return to the Bundesliga this season and is looking forward to getting back out on the pitch to play for manager Hansi Flick and represent Germany.
“The national coach has always had faith in me and I’ve actually always scored regularly. Now that we’re heading for the European Championship, there’s no question about having an obligation. It’s about giving the best possible performance together with the coach — at the end of which is the title,” said Werner (as captured by the DFB website). “We don’t have to talk about that, because for that to be possible, we have to prepare well. I think we are in a good position as a team. We want to show that Germany is a football nation and that we can play at the top level. We will do our best for Germany on the pitch.”
Werner, however, is battling a bit of a knock, which has put his status for Monday’s game against Ukraine in doubt.
“It’s going to be very, very tight for Monday. I’ll try to make it for the second game. The pain has been there since the weekend, so it’s hard to say. Being with the national team is always something special. Especially now, a year before the European Championship, it’s about being able to play every game and being there for the preparations. I don’t know how much I’ll play. But when the national team calls, it’s always nice to come here and be part of it,” Werner said.
As always with Germany, there was discussion about the selections — and omissions — from Flick’s squad selection. One of the most controversial players left off the roster is Borussia Dortmund defender Niklas Süle, who Flick indicated needs more commitment to — and focus on — his career. Werner was asked about it and handled the question the best he could.
“It something special to play for the national team. The requirement is that you perform at club and international level. We know how we have to perform to be here. The national coach is very open with the players and communicates very clearly what he demands. We are well advised from all sides about what we have to achieve. The fact that someone is not here will always happen for various reasons. Football is so fast-moving that it will always go one way or the other. I’m sure that the players who are not here will be again,” Werner said.
Flick also hinted that the team could run a back three-based system, which Werner is intrigued by.
“On paper, we are missing an attacking player. But what’s important is how the wide players respond. You can be flexible from opposition to opposition. If you have an attacking opposition, the wide players can be more defensive, and vice versa. The system with three at the back can be adapted to the opponent,” Werner said.
Finally, Werner was happy to see fans at Germany’s public training session.
“It’s much, much nicer for the fans. The kids can watch their idols live. It’s very interesting both for young and old fans to see the training sessions. It brings the team closer. It’s nice to be closer to the fans,” Werner remarked.