Alvaro Morata wants to banish the memory of missing a penalty on his Chelsea bow when the striker returns to Wembley to face Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Morata, signed from Real Madrid for a club-record £70m in July, had a debut to forget after dragging his spot kick wide in Chelsea’s Community Shield shoot-out defeat to Arsenal earlier this month.
However, the Spain international has vowed to put that right when the Premier League champions take on their fierce London rivals at the home of football on Sunday afternoon.
“It is a big motivation for me, it is a bad place (Wembley) for me at the moment because I missed a penalty,” said Morata in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports ahead of the game.
“But I have the opportunity to take this feeling out of my body, my head and all the heads of Chelsea supporters.
“I am very motivated for this game, it is against Tottenham, a very big team.”
In fact, Morata admits his fluffed penalty against Arsenal that partly contributed to Chelsea’s defeat in the season curtain raiser – goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also missed from the spot in the shootout – played on his mind in the build-up to last weekend’s game with Burnley.
“It is not good, I missed a penalty which was important for the team, for the club, it is a trophy, all week it is in my head and it is not good,” he said.
“My feeling is I am new on this team, I am new in the Premier League, and it’s just the beginning for me. But I could only think about this thing – the penalty – it’s the mentality that is important.
I am at the better age and all of the best moments of my career are coming
“I said to my wife, ‘this weekend I score a goal’, because I need to change the mentality, I need to turn the situation, to tell all the supporters that I am here and I am not scared to miss a penalty or to play badly.”
Despite not starting the Blues’ Premier League opener against Burnley at Stamford Bridge, Morata did come off the bench to score on his first league appearance for his new club.
With Chelsea already trailing 3-0 and down to 10 men when Morata replaced Michy Batshuayi just before the hour-mark, though, the forward’s introduction – he also had another late ‘goal’ ruled out for offside – was not enough to prevent the Clarets from recording a shock 3-2 win.
And it seems the player is already learning that there are no easy games in the Premier League.
“It is not the best beginning,” he said. “If this weekend was the end of the Premier League, it is OK, but we need to play better and to know that here, all the teams can give everything. It must be impossible for us to give points to other teams at Stamford Bridge.
“Because here in the Premier League it is so difficult to win points at other stadiums, and Stamford Bridge must be very important for us to get the three points every weekend.”
Tottenham vs Chelsea
August 20, 2017, 3:30pm
Morata signed a five-year deal when swapping the Spanish for the English capital earlier this summer, and the 24-year-old says he is now hungry to make a huge impression in west London after largely warming the bench at the Santiago Bernabeu last season.
“I want to make an explosion (at Chelsea),” he said. “I play well at Real Madrid and at Juventus, but I think I did not make the explosion that everyone expected of me. I need to be an important player for the team, for the Spanish national team.
“And I think I am at the better age and all of the best moments of my career are coming. I played good matches in the Champions League, but one a month. I need to play every weekend, score goals and play at the top level every weekend. And I work for this situation.”
One of the key factors in Morata deciding to join Chelsea was the identity of their head coach, Antonio Conte, the man who had brought him to Turin in July 2014 while in charge of Juventus.
Despite never playing for the Italian, however, with Conte leaving Juve that summer to become manager of Italy, Morata says he always knew they would work together at some point down the line.
“Yes it was a big part of my decision when I signed with Juventus, Antonio was the Juventus coach, and for many things (reasons) Antonio then left Juventus,” he said.
“But I feel always all the years when I have been in pre-season, ‘probably this year I work with Antonio’.
“And I feel that Antonio is a coach that has always trusted in me, it is everything for me, I speak a lot of times with Antonio and for me he is the coach that is most interested in me.”
Now Morata must replay the faith Conte has invested in him and when better than this weekend against Spurs as Chelsea look to get their title defence underway after the slip-up last time out against Burnley.