It’s been a week since Chelsea’s humbling defeat in the Community Shield to Manchester City. But even as time has passed, things have begun to look even more unflattering for the Blues. A 2-0 scoreline is not harmful but the way in which Maurizio Sarri’s side was played off the pitch should be a sign of concern for Blues fans.
Of course, it’s impossible for a new manager to have 21 days in charge of a team and expect to fully implement his style of play, but some Chelsea players looked as if they weren’t even capable of grasping the Italian’s philosophy. However, no player on the pitch looked more out of place than Álvaro Morata.
Here’s why Álvaro Morata isn’t fit to be Chelsea’s number one.
The Spaniard came under much criticism last season for his wastefulness in front of goal. Even in the midst of all that scrutiny, fans still decided to give him the benefit of the doubt as it was his first season in English football. A huge price tag didn’t help his cause, neither did his 11-goal tally in 31 league appearances.
Simply put, Morata wasn’t good enough last season, so much so that former boss Antonio Conte had to sign Oliver Giroud in January just to supplement his poor strike rate. Many believed that Chelsea could only be considered title contenders this season if they signed another striker in the summer, they didn’t and then still loaned out Michy Batshuayi, the club’s most suitable alternative.
Against Manchester City, Álvaro Morata showed the world why he isn’t fit to be Chelsea’s talisman. While his counterpart Sergio Agüero single-handedly decided the game, Morata turned in a performance of the lowest quality. The 25-year-old completed 0 successful take-ons, won 0 aerials, attempted one shot on goal, had 20 touches of the ball, created 0 chances and was unsurprisingly dispossessed four times. Álvaro Morata failed to the lead the line for Chelsea in an effective manner. The Spaniard has no excuses as he has a full pre-season under his belt as he didn’t travel to Russia with Spain.
The role of a striker is not just to score goals, it’s also to be the focal point of the attack. Morata couldn’t even hold the ball up in a way that brought others into the game. Such an attribute is imperative to the implantation of Sarri ball. The Italian needs attackers full of movement and eager to link up with each other, Morata doesn’t possess such traits.
If the Blues want to challenge for the title, Álvaro Morata is going to have to produce more. For £60million as seen against Huddersfield yesterday. Chelsea fans are going to be expecting at least 20 goals in the league this season. Maurizio Sarri has placed all his eggs in one basket with the Spaniard and it’s a gamble that may cost him his job at the end of the season. Yes, Eden Hazard is staying but even the Belgian can’t drag Morata to the level he needs to be at – Morata is going to have to do that himself.
Thankfully for Chelsea fans, Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian appear set to illuminate the Premier League this season which could eliminate the need for Morata in good form, it remains to be seen whether Sarri will opt for a front trio featuring Hazard, Willian and Pedro.