Alvaro Morata must improve tactically at Chelsea to succeed, says Gianfranco Zola
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 05/01/19 5:54pm
Alvaro Morata needs to improve tactically if he is to succeed in the Premier League, says Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola.
Maurizio Sarri recalled Morata to his starting line-up against Southampton on Wednesday night, but the Spain international was unable to break the deadlock as Chelsea were held to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
Zola insists Morata remains one the most technically-gifted strikers in world football, but says he must improve his tactical awareness if he is to rediscover his form in front of goal.
Zola said: "Technically Morata - and this is the reason we invested a lot in him this year - we thought he was the perfect number nine for us.
"Maurizio has always said that. Technically without doubt he is one of the best in this position.
"I think he has to improve a little bit tactically because nowadays with the type of football, football is so organised you need to get better tactically, your ability is not enough.
"In my opinion he needs to improve on this. He's been working on that, he has a good attitude. He feels that he doesn't score enough and he feels a lot of responsibilities for that.
"But he has to learn to put everything behind because these are only burdens that you take on the pitch and they don't help you to perform better."
Morata has scored just once in his last eight appearances for Chelsea and has managed only 22 goals in total since joining from Real Madrid in 2017.
Zola believes Morata is struggling for confidence this season but has urged the Spaniard to embrace the weight of expectation at Stamford Bridge.
"It should be a motivational thing," said Zola. "You are at Chelsea, you are not playing for Southampton or Brighton with all due respect to those clubs.
"People expect a lot from the number nine at Chelsea. They expect a lot of goals and good performances. This is normal, he has to get used to it.
"If he goes to another big club it'll be the same - there is no way you can avoid your responsibilities.
"It's part of your job and if you can handle that then the better you're going to be."