Football, which has always been so suspicious of psychology as a player's improvement tool, has come up with manuals and theories that describe the mental qualities of the ideal center forward. The studies carried out have an impact on concepts that scorers must register among their virtues, such as leadership, because of the importance of the role they perform. They also require what the experts call "emotional autonomy": the mental shell they need to create to protect themselves against the error in the auction or circumstances of the game that detract from concentration. There are no more psychological positions in football than those of the goalkeeper and forward. The derby this Saturday (16.15, beINLaLiga) has exposed Álvaro Morata to an emotional trap. The new forward of the Athletic he faces the reception that his new fans can give him for his Madrid past and the need to skew doubts with a convincing performance. At Atlético itself point out how important it would be an awesome match that will help you integrate into the team and with the fans.
The appointment of the Metropolitan will measure the conditions of Morata to compete under the overpressure generated by all the lights that point to his figure. Some episodes of his time at Chelsea have earned him the reputation of being a fragile-minded player. In his two stages at Madrid responded to the demands that were demanded from the bench. In Juventus, without being an indisputable holder, he also left traces of being a big team striker.
"Álvaro has very important conditions," recalls Alberto Toril, the most important coach of his formative years, who led him half a season in the youth team of Real Madrid and another three in Castilla. "Maybe he lacks that deposit and that character of feel the first sword and take full responsibility in the team. He needs to take that little step. Until now when he has had a secondary role he has played better. When I met him he was a little immature boy and he did not have a very strong character ".
"I do not think Álvaro is a weak player in the psychological aspect," says José Mari Amorrortu, who was the manager of the rojiblanca youth academy when Morata decided to go to Getafe. "A boy who says he leaves Atlético at 15 because he wants to play and consider that you should do it more is showing personality to choose your path. I remember he came to see me. At that time, Borja Bastón was the striker of the moment in the club's quarry and he was the one who played. "
After his departure from Atletico, the technicians of the rojiblanca quarry, who were convinced of their potential, followed closely their evolution in Getafe. They wanted to recover him, they even met him at the offices of the Vicente Calderón. Finally, he played in the youth of Real Madrid.
The general consensus is that Morata's football conditions are ideal for becoming one of the most decisive strikers in European football. "In Europe," warns Toril, "there is no center forward with their conditions. There will be more performance but not more technical qualities. He is powerful, he is fast, he has a good game on his back, he is good at combining, he is very good at space, he handles well in tight spaces, he has a good header … He has everything he needs a tip ".
"He just has to take responsibility," warns Toril. "He should try to be a lot more goalscorer than he already is. He can not stay in 10-15 goals, he has the potential to put more than 30 ".
In the Atletico locker room they talk about "a good player". Simeone also slides his satisfaction to be able to count on him. The rojiblanco coach thinks that his characteristics are in line with what he was looking for and that in the derby the player he has been pursuing for some time may be seen. From the leadership of the Athletic contemplate his arrival as a reinforcement that not only satisfies the demands of the technician. They also consider him as a temporiser of the recovery of Diego Costa so that he does not force his return ahead of time.
"El Cholo has insisted on his signing because Morata has a good time playing with many meters towards the opposing goal," observes Toril. "There he moves very well. It is very powerful and when it picks up speed it is very difficult to stop. He has chosen very well with Atlético. The game system, the character of the coach, is perfect for it to evolve. "
In the matches organized by Simeone during the week prior to the derby, Morata has encountered the same problem that he experienced in his debut with Betis. It's hard for his classmates to find him. It is a question of automatisms. Morata must mesh with the central axis of the Atlético game, which starts from Rodrigo towards Griezmann and diversifies into Correa or Lemar. "I think it will fit well because it can complement well with Griezmann and even with Costa. If Costa plays as a reference, he can start from the left. In Castilla he started playing in a band and in Madrid he continued to do well. That gives you many variations to modify the drawing, "explains Toril.
The first days of Morata at Atlético have also revealed that their integration will depend on their physical condition. In the Benito Villamarín the informer reported that he needs to sharpen. It came very fair of energy to define before Pau after a long driving. Neither did he repeat his efforts, an unequivocal sign that a player is not ideally at his point. The derby will also measure you in this aspect. But above all it will measure your mental integrity.