After a brilliant start to his Chelsea career with 7 goals and 2 assists in his first 8 appearances, striker Álvaro Morata has had a significant drop in goalscoring form. Since a hat-trick against Stoke City towards the end of September, Chelsea’s record signing has managed just 5 goals and 2 assists in 21 matches, and has made headlines recently with a slew of missed one-on-ones, including three in just one game (in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal last week)
It’s not been for a lack of trying, as Morata’s movement and link-up continue to be superb in general. What seem to be lacking, however, are better luck and finishing from his part. What isn’t lacking is support from his teammates. Here’s Antonio Rüdiger talking after yesterday’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal.
”As a striker it’s normal that you want to score. Of course there are a times when the head is down a little bit. But all I will say to him is ‘to continue, to work for the team as you always do and the luck will come again’. I’m not worried about him.”
”I don’t know [if the home crowd were getting on his back against Arsenal]. I just know the whole team is with him and I think all the fans are with him.”
”It’s just a difficult period for him and I hope the best for him. Sometimes there are spells when you score and don’t score, but his effort for the team is good and he always tries. If he scores again, everything will be fine.”
”Can [Morata] win the second leg against Arsenal for us? Definitely. We saw it in the last round against Bournemouth. He had one chance and scored. When he does this again, everything will be okay.”
While Morata and the rest of Chelsea’s attacking core were far from optimal in last night’s goalless draw to Arsenal, Rüdiger and his defensive teammates put in a good shift. Rüdiger, a summer signing just like Morata, has fit in very well and has quickly become an important part of the squad.
”My start [to my Chelsea career] wasn’t bad here. But I’m very pleased with my current form. My aim is always to help the team. I’m happy that I’m improving and scoring goals for the club as well. I’m still young so there is a lot of space for improvement. But I’m working hard every day.”
”I’m here to win trophies, it doesn’t matter what it is. I want to go to Wembley and play the [League Cup] Final there, it doesn’t matter against who. But we have to go step by step and do our thing.”
”The last time I was at Wembley I was playing for Germany against England. It’s a fantastic stadium and it would be special to play there again.”
”There is a lot to be excited about at Chelsea for the rest of the season. We are also still in the Champions League and FA Cup. There are lots of targets. We just have to focus on ourselves, be confident and work hard.”
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: London Evening Standard
The back-to-back goalless draws — first to Norwich in the FA Cup, and now to Arsenal in the League Cup — following on from last week’s last-gasp equalizer from Hector Bellerin that cost the team two points in the league may have dampened spirits and sapped a bit of confidence out of the squad and the fanbase, but as Rudiger says, there are lots of things left to fight for, some of them quite achievable, even.
Now it’s time to get back on the winning track against Leicester City on Saturday and Brighton the weekend after, in between finishing the job against Norwich City and Arsenal in the FA Cup and League Cup, respectively.
Come on, Chelsea!