“It’s like he apologises to the ball before he makes contact with it.”
Gary Neville explained how different Alvaro Morata is to the most prolific goalscorers around Europe.
Few players have had more chances at Euro 2020 than Spain frontman Morata but the 28-year-old has just one goal to his name at the tournament thus far.
Spain ended up finishing out their Euro 2020 group with a 5-0 win over Slovakia but Morata failed to get on the scoresheet, as he saw his early penalty saved by Slovakian stopper Martin Dubravka.
“He’s got that vulnerable look about him, almost like he needs a cuddle,” Neville said on ITV ahead of kick-off.
“And he looks like when he misses a chance, he’s fearing what the media and what the press and what his teammates might say.
“It looks like he’s had some criticism from playing for the national team.
“He’s not a Diego Costa and he’s not Robert Lewandowski or Harry Kane, these characters that you think of on the pitch who are steely-eyed. He’s just not that, he’s very different.
Gary Neville on Alvaro Morata
“He needs crosses into the box but Spain don’t generally play like that. They’re not a Germany. He’d be brilliant in this Germany team with [Joshua] Kimmich and [Robin] Gosens out wide but Spain’s team plays more intricate football.”
Morata was withdrawn with 25 minutes remaining and his replacement, Ferran Torres, wasted little time in finding the net.
Neville suggested that Morata lacks the kind of confidence required to be the first-choice centre-forward for a team like Spain.
“I thought we were going to be cuddling Morata at half-time again!” Neville said at the break.
“It’s like he apologises to the ball before he makes contact with it, ‘Sorry, I’m gonna have to kick you here!’ There is just no belief.
“I have to say, I was glass half empty with Spain before the game but you just look at the chances they’ve created, even in the three games, and if they can start to take them and he [Morata] can take some confidence from somewhere then they will be dangerous.”