The power limelight can be so intimidating that it can make even the best of players appear worthless. Football history is filled with memories of players who failed to deliver or replicate their good form in new surroundings when thrust into the limelight.
Chelsea Football Club has a bad history with regards to their No.9 shirt. The likes of Matej Kezman, Nicolas Anelka, Pato, Andriy Shevchenko and Ramadel Falcao all struggled to deliver during their time at the club.
Antonio Conte’s infamous bust-up last season with then wantaway striker, Diego Costa deprived Chelsea of a true goal scorer and force in the mould of Blues legend, Didier Drogba, who could lead the line with great aplomb. In came Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.
Despite being restrained from collecting the cursed No.9 shirt by team mates, the Spanish striker refused and was bent on taking on the challenge. For a player who had never been first choice striker at any club, that was a bridge too far for him. Seven goals in seven games with a hat trick among them, the sky was true blue for Morata. But a different form which saw him go three months without a goal and just one goal scored till date in 2018, the clouds have gathered and are heavy with staunch criticisms.
Quite rightly, the Spaniard was one major reason for Chelsea’s title defence and form last season. A total of 15 goals in 48 appearances last season was utterly bad. Statistics reveal that Morata had a 59% goal rate, with just 0.36 goals per game which equates to 186 minutes per goal. This is not rocket science, but real facts. Bluntly, his statistics doesn’t give any hope even to his loudest fans.
Now in pre-season, the striker’s woes have continued. An anonymous display against Perth Glory was followed up with a better performance against Inter Milan. Then he shot himself at the Achilles with a dire performance that will have Sarri catching his head on what to do, as he flopped his lines against the Gunners.
With the club rumoured to be interested in Gonzalo Higuain, although he has eventually joined AC Milan, it will be no surprise if an interest in another striker is firmed up with a real bid as the club cannot afford another poor season by all standards.
More so, with Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud lurking from behind to steal his spot heading into the new season, obviously Morata has little or no time to show his best form or risk being jettisoned. It’s now make or break for Chelsea’s struggling No.9.
Let’s hope for the best. Cheers!