Too many people got too quickly carried away by Chelsea’s start to the season.
The fact they’d gone toe-to-toe with Liverpool and were slightly ahead of Manchester City after five matches had plenty of folks thinking that would continue for the rest of the campaign.
What they didn’t take into account, however, is the fact Maurizio Sarri’s side don’t have an out-and-out goalscorer.
And until they cut their losses with Alvaro Morata and bring in a replacement who is going to score them 30-plus goals a season, then I don’t see them getting their hands on the Premier League trophy again anytime soon.
As a former striker, of course I feel a bit for the Spaniard.
But after the goals dried up for him last season he needed to hit the ground running this time out and that just hasn’t been the case.
He ought to have stuck away the chance he ploughed into Lukasz Fabianski’s head against West Ham on Sunday, but the fact he struck it straight at the keeper shows how low he is on confidence.
Had Morata started the season with five goals in 10 games he’d have sent out a message to the fans and opponents, and most importantly to his team-mates at Stamford Bridge.
But the chances of him getting four in his next three aren’t very high at all and already he’ll be wondering where his next run of goals is coming from.
Being a striker brings a bit of a weird mentality.
It doesn’t matter which club you’re at, if you’re on form you’re its most potent asset, but when you’re off form you can be a liability.
If you walk into a club and you get goals immediately, that tells the rest of the team you are going to win games for them so they go that extra yard to put a cross in for you.
But if you get one in 10, what tends to happen is midfielders stop making runs, the ball doesn’t come when you expect it, someone has a little chunter in the dressing room: ‘He’s not doing this, he’s not doing that’.
You end up playing catch-up and that is never a good thing.
Then it becomes all about you, you start snatching at chances, you start thinking obsessively about goals and it’s like a golfer who starts over-thinking his game, a darts player who has the yips.
I don’t think Morata is ever going to be the 30, 35-goal striker Chelsea expected him to be because I don’t think he believes that now.
He just hasn’t ever looked at home at Stamford Bridge in the way Sergio Aguero always has at City, and that has to be the case.
Whatever happens between Chelsea and Liverpool in the Carabao Cup tomorrow, Saturday’s game will be the acid test for the two sides and I’m convinced it will be a scoring draw or Liverpool will edge it.
That’s because they have three or four match-winners to Chelsea’s one.
And unfortunately for Morata, that one is Eden Hazard, not him.
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