Alvaro Morata has finally found his manager in Spain boss Luis Enrique

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Alvaro Morata has finally found his manager in Luis Enrique… the Chelsea flop still looks glum but has looked the part for Spain in international break

  • Alvaro Morata scored both goals as Spain beat Malta 2-0 on Tuesday evening
  • But after his first international goal in 17 months he couldn’t enjoy the moment
  • ‘I feel observed and criticised,’ the on-loan Chelsea forward said after the game
  • Some feel Morata’s has always lacked a mentor – Luis Enrique could be that man 

It was a typical Alvaro Morata moment on Tuesday night when, after ending a run of 17 months without an international goal, he couldn’t quite bring himself to just enjoy the moment.

‘I feel observed and criticised,’ he said after the game. ‘There are a lot of people hoping that I don’t score. But I am the Spain centre forward so it is normal that a lot is expected of me.’

Really Alvaro? ‘A lot of people hoping’ you don’t score? There is actually more good will than bad in Spain for Morata. He is seen as a player who has still to fulfil his potential and find his place.

Striker Alvaro Morata scored both goals as Spain beat Malta 2-0 on Tuesday evening

Striker Alvaro Morata scored both goals as Spain beat Malta 2-0 on Tuesday evening

The forward is mobbed by his team-mates after netting during the Euro 2020 qualifier

The forward is mobbed by his team-mates after netting during the Euro 2020 qualifier

He played almost every minute of the two international matches as Luis Enrique’s team dominated both Norway and Malta winning them both with 2-1 and 2-0 victories.

The goals were Morata’s first international strikes since November 2017 when he was on the mark against Costa Rica.

The Chelsea loanee scored in both halves and he now has 15 goals in a Spain shirt he has worn while playing for four different clubs: Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

It should have been a reason to be cheerful but Morata still seemed glum.

Not only did Morata score twice against Malta, he also won the penalty that Sergio Ramos converted for the Norway win. He missed a hat-full of chances in the game but Luis Enrique praised him afterwards.

Asked if he had noticed a difference in the player since he moved on loan to Atletico Madrid Luis Enrique said: ‘Yes I have. He was spectacular for us because of the work he put in.

'He was spectacular for us because of the work he put in,' Spain boss Luis Enrique claimed

‘He was spectacular for us because of the work he put in,’ Spain boss Luis Enrique claimed

Morata is looking to rebuild his career during a loan spell from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid

Morata is looking to rebuild his career during a loan spell from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid

‘I think he looks much better in terms of confidence. He always has a good attitude but he looks more confident now.’

There is a feeling in Spain that Morata’s stop-start career has always lacked a mentor – a coach who really believes in him.

He felt he might have had one in Antonio Conte who wanted Juventus to sign him from Real Madrid but we all know how that turned out. Even Conte got tired of his injury problems and left the club at the end of last season.

Luis Enrique could be that man. He has himself be accused of being surly in the past. The two have a connection in terms of character. Morata can learn from his manager.

The coach needs the player too. ‘Minimalist Spain’ headlined Diario AS after the Spain enjoyed 84 per cent of possession and peppered Henry Bonello’s goal but could only find the back of the net on two occasions.

Some feel Morata has always lacked a mentor – he felt he might have had one in Antonio Conte

Some feel Morata has always lacked a mentor – he felt he might have had one in Antonio Conte

Luis Enrique could be that man - the two Spaniards have a connection in terms of character

Luis Enrique could be that man – the two Spaniards have a connection in terms of character

The same had happened against Norway. Spain don’t have the scoring options they have had in past. Morata is Luis Enrique’s golden ticket to next year’s Euros. He needs him in form and he needs him happy.

He was almost happy on Tuesday night. Not quite but almost. In Spain no one doubts his talent. His heading ability is as good as any centre-forwards.

He has pace and he is intelligent. He might need 10 chances to score two goals as happened in the last two games but he has the intelligence to get into the space for those chances to come his way.

Italy was wrong for him. Chelsea was wrong for him because he was never going to fill the boots of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba who had come before him. 

Chelsea was wrong for him - he was never going to fill boots of Diego Costa or Didier Drogba

Chelsea was wrong for him – he was never going to fill boots of Diego Costa or Didier Drogba

 

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