We all handle pressure differently and we will look at how former Chelsea player Alvaro Morata handled his when it came. The Spanish forward was signed to Chelsea for £60 million in July 2017 and he was with the club for just a season and a half before he was loaned out to Atletico Madrid this summer in a deal that saw the Spaniard become a permanent player in Atletico.
Chelsea fans watched their star player struggle to make an impact, scoring 24 goals in 72 appearances for the club. In what would seem like a phase for the 27-year-old Spanish striker, he has now opened up about how he felt all the time he was at Chelsea and how the pressure really made him question his worth.
While talking to COPE, as seen on the Daily Mail, Morata had a lot to talk about his experience in Chelsea:
“I’m happy at Atleti, I’d stopped enjoying football and now I’m happy.
“I was playing some games in England and I had the feeling that when I got into space, my team-mates looked at me and I knew they thought I wouldn’t do anything good with the ball.
“It was driving me crazy. I had a bad time.
“If only I’d been able to mature before 20-22 years old, but I’d never faced such a limiting situation.
“I told my wife that we were going to go as far away as possible in January because I couldn’t deal with this pressure.
“Atleti came up, I had six or seven big offers, and Chelsea wanted me to stay, but I decided to do what I’d been looking to do for various summers.
“I have never been able to be in a place for many years. I’ve been in the best teams but I’ve never had continuity.
“When I was at Juventus, I knew in the middle of the season that they [Real Madrid] were going to buy me back, and things like that distract you.
“Now it depends on me and if I give my best, I will be here for many years. I would love to retire at the Atleti. I have five or six good years left.”
In all of this, there is one thing that Chelsea needs to pay attention to, and it is the effect of pressure on the players. Apparently, Morata was not happy when he was in Chelsea and there was no way an unhappy player could have been at his best.
Who is next in line?
There are a couple of players who might be going through the type of situation Morata had to face in the current Chelsea squad. The possibilities that they are already on that route is high but should it be that they haven’t, the club needs to prevent it from happening.
Most importantly, the youngsters need to be protected. As it is, there are a lot of expectations on them from both the club and fans, and apart from that, the competition for playing time in the club is really strong right now and the task of fighting for that space might be too demanding on the youngsters who are just starting out in their careers for the club.
Chelsea are really in a good form currently and we can see how much confidence that has built in the players. That is not to say the expectations on some players isn’t much more than it should be and might affect their performance in the near future.