By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
RB Leipzig trainer Marco Rose emphasized full support for striker Timo Werner after the often maligned German striker received boos and whistles from the hometown crowd last night.
|Timo Werner.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
The famous “ear-lobe” goal-celebration gesture isn’t necessarily anything new in football. Players who have taken heat from either the press or their hometown fans oftentimes can’t resist pointing to the bottom lobe of their ear after they finally break through the frustration as a means of saying “I’ve heard you, now hear this!!”
This particular form of commemorating a goal has nevertheless become commonplace since the Bundesliga resumed less than two weeks ago. Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna (after enduring a particularly hurtful tug-of-war in the press between his family and his F.A.) employed it when scoring the game-winning-goal against Augsburg on matchday 16.
Joshua Kimmich too got in on the act. After having to endure all the humiliation of the German national team’s World Cup elimination – considered the first major international tournament in which Kimmich was supposed to function as the team’s leader – went straight for the ear-lobe point after scoring a scorching tying goal against Köln on matchday 17.
Last night, it was Timo Werner’s turn. The German national team striker had to endure a cascade of boos and whistles from the Leipzig crowd as he got caught offside numerous times, sent final passes to no one, couldn’t find the finish in front of goal, and even accidentally shot a ball off his face. Werner finally converted the 3-1 six minutes from time in the 3-1 Pokal victory over Hoffenheim.
The 26-year-old’s frustration evidently ran so deep that he felt the need to post a photo of the celebration on his instagram profile. Speaking to members of the assembled press afterwards, RB trainer Marco Rose called it a “shame” that Werner had been subject to such treatment and reiterated his support of his striker.
“The mood of the crowd tilted him over the edge and I think that’s a pity,” Rose said, “Everyone should make every effort to help their [hometown] players feel supported. That helps us immensely.”
Rose reiterated that he backed Werner irrespective of some of the mistakes and confidence issues the attacker has been having since missing out on the World Cup and dealing with the perception that his big-money move to play for Chelsea on the aisle was a failure. In Rose’s view, Werner’s errors wouldn’t have warranted a subbing off, even if the Pokal fixture had gone into extra time.
“I would have stuck with him for 180 minutes,” the coach noted, “In the final analysis, he scored an important goal for us. We will be relying on Timo in the coming weeks.”